Sustaining TPM: Build Internal Expertise

So far, in the Sustaining TPM video series we have discussed the importance of gaining consensus on strengths and opportunities and building a persuasive case for change. This next and equally important topic is building internal expertise

For those currently embarking on your TPM implementation journey, let's assume you have successfully executed the first two steps. This means that your peers and management team are on board with the need for Total Productive Maintenance and also the current areas for opportunities that exist at your site. With this momentum built, it is vital to utilize individuals who are able and willing to drive the process. This is the step of building internal expertise.

On your journey you will require the sponsorship of corporate and you may seek the services of a consulting company; however valuable these people are, they cannot sustain your process. Sustaining the process comes from a sense of ownership, and this has to be developed at the shop floor.


Elevate the Maintenance Profession: Start in the Trenches


During the 2012 Golden Globes Award Ceremony in Hollywood, CA, the Foreign press recognized the best in movie and television. Two days ago the best in the music business were recognized at the widely viewed Grammys.  This got me thinking; why can’t we glorify real workers who propel our economies forward? Why don’t we recognize maintenance heroes with more fanfare? Why doesn’t our president invite the best maintenance leaders to discuss energy cost saving techniques?  Our president recognizes the  Super Bowl winners and national college athletes. Why can’t he acknowledge those who are going the extra mile to keep our buildings, our businesses and machines performing at high levels within severe budget constraints on a daily basis?

Organizing Your Emergency Maintenance

One of the best ways of improving our response time in critical breakdown mode is to have our tools and parts well organized. When a critical piece of equipment has gone down unexpectantly, we as maintenance professionals are forced into an EMT (Emergency Maintenance Technicians) role. We are expected to repair the broken equipment ASAP. This type of maintenance is never our preferred maintenance strategy but it happens and we should be prepared for it.

911 - Emergency!

Emerging Technologies and New Talent Pools

We are in the midst of a maintenance crisis and are facing highly sophisticated equipment challenges, budget cut backs, a mass exodus of skilled talent, and social stigmas that inhibit our youth from pursuing maintenance career paths.

This raises key questions. How can we quickly backfill the exiting boomer generation? How can we accelerate learning curves and how can we uncover new talent pools?

Well, I believe that the return of the troops from Iraq and Afghanistan is exciting news and they should be given a heroes' welcome!  We can do this by giving them the opportunity to develop new career paths in the maintenance field, and hopefully avoid the pitfalls we have seen in the past.

What is your company doing to reach out to veterans?

How are you developing your workforce?

As the U.S. and other countries are moving forward to deal with today's challenges, more leaders are becoming enlightened to the fact that we are no longer in an arms race, but actually a skills race. The countries with the most advanced skill labor pools will be able to retain and attract companies, leading to economic growth.

A challenge associated with developing and retaining talent in companies is what I like to call the "training paradox": when money is plentiful, time available to send people to training is scarce. Conversely, when money is constrained, time is often plentiful to send people to training. Making the commitment to send workers to training in either scenario is hard, but it must be done, as you can see after reading some of the alternative training programs below. 

Sustaining TPM: How to Gain Consensus

What does an organization have to do in order to take the first step to achieve sustained reliability improvement? Here at Marshall Institute, we believe that this is to assess the organization's current state and gain consensus on strengths and opportunities.

Greg Folts covers this topic in the second video in our Sustaining TPM series. He discusses the importance of gaining consensus in sustaining TPM improvement and identifies proven methods to achieve consensus. These are:

Fighting the Maintenance Crisis

In industry we are very aware of the plight of skilled trades. To compete companies have been cutting back their staff, deferring maintenance almost to chronic levels to save money and have been adding automation systems thus increasing the complexity of the environment.  With the average age of the skilled workforce reportedly in early 50’s, a mass exodus is upon. However, to backfill these very valuable skill sets the next generation are clouded with negative stigmas of these often lucrative career paths and thus do not pursue the education needed to be qualified to fill these positions.

U.S. companies find themselves in the awkward situation; despite 10% unemployment rate and  plenty of bodies to fill vacant or soon to be vacant jobs, there are very few with the skill sets needed to run their equipment, manage their maintenance performance and deliver reliability consistently. More companies are beginning to realize that they no longer operate as pirates - by acquiring others talent - and having to become farmers and grow their own talent pools.  That is why companies like the Marshall Institute with their fast track training curriculum are so valuable.

Sustaining TPM: 4 Steps for Success

Change is inevitable, just like death and taxes :). Accepting this is the first step to successfully managing and sustaining change.

Successfully managing and sustaining Total Productive Maintenance / Total Process Reliability implementation in a manufacturing environment is difficult, but there are proven steps that will guide your journey and, if followed, will support your success.  In this asset maintenance management video blog series, Greg Folts discusses four key steps necessary for managing a successful TPM implementation.

The steps are:

Greg's Total Productive Maintenance Tips

With more than 17 years experience I feel that I have accumulated some useful Total Productive Maintenance/Total Process Reliability (TPM/TPR ) tips.  In today's blog post I want to share a few of these tips with you.  They should provide valuable ways to improve and optimize your TPM/TPR process.

TPM Video Series: Labeling Tip for better Visual Controls

In today's video I cover a cost-effective and quick-to-implement tactic that extends the life of equipment labels.

Often equipment labels become unfixed, scrapped and tattered due to the daily wear of plant life. These labels are important visual aids for operators and maintenance technicians and must be easy to read and clearly visible.  Extending the life cycle of these labels becomes an important element of equipment reliability. Applying clear boxing tape over the labels will increase the adhesion surface area to protect labels from oil, lube, moisture; anything that could contaminate or destroy the labels. These are the two quick steps to improve the life cycle of your equipment labels:

TPM Series: Defect Tagging as a Visual Control

Defect Tags are great tools and visual aids for both operations and maintenance to use to identify equipment defects.

The 2 key advantages of Defect Tagging are:

  1. Other operators and maintenance people can see that a defect has been identified and that a work order has been created.
  2. When a work order has been made, and the repair planned and scheduled, the maintenance mechanic can see exactly where the defect is located on the piece of equipment.

In addition to Defect Tags, there are Opportunity Tags. These tags, colored differently from Defect Tags, highlight areas of improvement on a piece of equipment. Opportunities are not issues that are a concern for equipment reliability; they are ways to optimize the equipment for maintenance work or operation.

TPM Video Series: Using Transparency Sheets to Increase Reliability

TPM colored transparency sheets are great tools to identify normal equipment operating conditions from abnormal.

My short instructional video outlines how to use TPM transparency sheets as a visual control to mark the normal operating range for a gauge.  The value of the gauge marking is that it provides a very clear and quick way for operators to identify if equipment is running properly or not.  This knowledge allows an operator to act quickly in the event that equipment is not running properly. Such as fast response may prevent a large failure from occuring.

If you are not currently using TPM transparency sheets as visual controls you should strongly consider it.  For such a small investment the results can be significant. Check out the video below and start using transparency sheets today!


Greetings from the 2011 SMRP Conference

I’ve been in attendance at the 2011 SMRP conference in Greensboro,NC.  Marshall Institute has an exhibitor booth set up and I have had the pleasure of manning this booth at various times when not attending the many training sessions offered this week.  I have really enjoyed getting reacquainted with clients and friends I have had the pleasure of working with in the past as well as meeting new friends and acquaintances who share my passion for maintenance and reliability.  If you are not an SMRP member, I highly recommend this organization.  SMRP is a great recourse for improving your maintenance knowledge and skills through training, literature, networking, and support.  Some of the highlights of this conference have been; really interesting papers, workshops, and breakout sessions given by many of the “Who’s Who” of the maintenance and reliability world.  The exhibition hall was also packed with leading industry companies offering products and services specifically related to maintenance and reliability.

Basic Equipment Care Webinar Series: Defect Elimination

Defect Elimination is the third and final recording from Marshall Institute's and's webinar. Senior Consultant Mark Jolley delivered the webinar for Trade Press Media, the operators of and Maintenance Solutions Magazine titled "7-Steps to Implementing Basic Equipment Care." The two previous posts covered the 7-Stepsand the 5S'.

Today we'll cover Defect Elimination.

Click the video image below to play the short recorded webinar snippet covering the main elements of defect elimination.