Did you Review Your Last Shutdown/Turnaround?

by Owe Forsberg

In best practices, a closeout review or critique meeting gathers all the information from the last event and uses it to prepare for the next event.   It is the ammunition your organization can use to either support the current Shutdown/Turnaround/Outage process as cost and safety effective or to challenge how the process is currently performed.

Unfortunately, many organizations either don’t do the review or have the meeting and do not use the information to impact the next shutdown cycle.

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Contamination Control Can Reduce Costs

by www.Dingo.com

Today’s mining industry is facing a new set of challenges. Commodity price projections for the future remain uncertain, global demand remains high and there is a global labor shortage. While the mining industry remains highly competitive and essential to continued global economic growth, mining companies continue to search for ways to sustain growth and profitability. Continue reading

Certification & Job Performance

by Heinz P. Bloch

Soon after the BP offshore oil spill in April 2010, quite a bit of soul-searching was done by industry. As you may recall, 11 people lost their lives in the fiery explosion that preceded the release of millions of gallons of crude oil into the U.S. portion of the Gulf coastline. Some sources called it the greatest spill ever and, if nothing else, we can agree that it changed many lives.

Risk taking was then reexamined and job functions and accountabilities were being scrutinized at some corporations. In line with these commendable endeavors, a major oil producer’s corporate maintenance reliability (CMR) team asked me to respond to some interesting questions. They expressed the hope that I might provide some insight.

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Cost of Unreliability

by H. Paul Barringer

The cost of unreliability is a big picture view of system failure costs, described in annual terms, for a manufacturing plant as if the key elements were reduced to a series block diagram for simplicity.  It looks at the production system and reduces the complexity to a simple series system where failure of a single item/equipment/system/processing-complex causes the loss of productive output along with the total cost incurred for the failure.  If the system IS sold out, then the cost of unreliability must include all appropriate business costs such as lost gross margin plus repair costs, scrap incurred, etc.  If the system is NOT sold out, and make-up time is available in the financial year, then lost gross margin for the failure cannot be counted.  The cost of unreliability is a management concern connected to management’s two favorite metrics: time and money.

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Should You Contract Out Maintenance?

by Torbjörn Idhammar

As an option to reduce plant costs, plant managers may consider contracting out maintenance work. This may have some merit, depending on many factors, including the nature of the business.

One question that may be asked is, “Is maintenance a part of our ‘core business’?” Let’s look at a couple of examples. If the business is a hospital, where revenue is generated by the sale of medical services, and maintenance consists of a few specialized activities, such as janitorial, H&V system servicing, and repair of advanced medical diagnostic and monitoring systems, then contracting out these activities is almost certainly the best approach.

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Maintenance Cost and Estimated Replacement Value

by Torbjörn Idhammar, IDCON INC

Yesterday you were a happy camper.  Today you are told your Maintenance Cost (MC) as a percent of your Estimated Replacement Value (ERV) is 4.9%.  According to Consulting, Inc. and your corporate management 4.9% is way too high.  Good performers are under 3%, some operations are even under 2%.  So, the question is what are you going to do about it Mr. Maintenance Manager?

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Workforce Development

by Ramesh Gulati
Co-author: Bill Hall

Big changes are happening in today’s workforce. These changes have nothing to do with downsizing, global competition, or stress; it is the problem of a distinct generation gap. Young people entering the workforce are of diversified background and have much different attitudes about work. They want a life‐work balance. They want to be led, not managed — and certainly not micro‐managed. The new mode is flexibility and informality. A large proportion of our managers of the veteran era have been trained in relatively autocratic and directive methods that don’t sit well with today’s employees. Are we preparing our workforce to meet tomorrow’s need?

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Costs, Benefits and Projecting Project Payback

by Andrew Gager

I renewed my subscription to Consumer Reports last month. I don’t buy anything of value without referencing Consumer Reports and two or three other review sources. For instance, I just bought a new lawn tractor. I researched the options for weeks before finally purchasing one. It takes about 1½ hours to cut my lawn with a traditional push mower. I figured a riding mower would cut my mowing time significantly. So my cost-to-benefit ratio was based on money spent now divided by the total number of hours reduced over X years. A no brainer, right?

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“Wrench Time” – Why the “FEAR” to Measure Maintenance Productivity?

by José Wagner Braidotti Jr.

The best results of maintenance practices carried out in enterprises critically depend on the efforts of maintenance staff to ensure their day-to-day actions comply with the schedule of services in order to avoid unwanted failures, correctly diagnose the behavior of active production processes, and ensure quality information recorded in the work orders.

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Beginning a Maintenance and Operations Partnership

by Torbjörn Idhammar

Plant pros often talk about the importance of a maintenance, operations and engineering partnership. In my experience, the discussions commonly center on very general terms such as better communication and understanding. Those issues are important, but we need precise rules and actions to drive that partnership long term.

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