3 Key Contributors to Poor Reliability

“What are your top three contributors to poor reliability?” This questioned was recently asked on the LinkedIn discussion groupReliability Success by Philip Brown.  When writing this blog post, 46 comments had been posted in response to Philip's question.  There have been some great responses from the international maintenance and reliability community; I wanted to condense the conversation a little and share it. So here it is....

Paula Hollywood from the ARC Advisory Group based her response on a recent survey conducted that revealed poor program execution was the key contributor to poor reliability.  Further, lack of commitment, adequate funding, lack of recognized methodologies, and poor training were contributing factors as well

Robert Noble of Hydratight responded; Equipment Designers, competence, and penny-pinching.  While Mark Latino, President of Reliability Center Inc. thinks the lack of management systems is a major contributor.  Others felt poor management, proper work instructions for PM/PdM’s, substandard data collection to drive improvements, or RCA application.

Hamid Al-najjar from Sweden believes lack of information, support, and unclear visions are major factors.  John Morey from Australia believes unprepared engineers, trades training, and components are to blame.  David Van Herterijck from Belgium listed execution, strategy, and people as the causes.

Philip Brown himself responded that transient workforce, lack of ownership, and contract workforce were his reasons for poor reliability.  This is what I see working with dozens of organizations; regardless of where in the world they operate: 

  1. Operation of the equipment: Poorly trained operators, no ownership, breakdown means break-time baby! 
  2. Production, Production, Production! The easiest work to take out of a production schedule is a PM. Remember, pay a little now or pay big bucks later. 
  3. Equipment design: Design engineers concerned more with on-time and under-budget rather than designing reliability AND maintainability is the design phase.

I have mentioned previously the value of LinkedIn discussion groups.  In a future post I will mention some of my favorite discussion groups for maintenance and reliability professionals. 

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