Basic Equipment Care Webinar Series: 5S

Marshall Institute senior consultant Mark Jolley delivered a webinar for Trade Press media, the operators of and maintenance solutions magazine titled "7-Steps to implementing basic equipment care". in the last post we covered the defect elimInation (hyperlink to previous post)

Today we'll cover 5S:

  • Sort
  • Set in Order
  • Shine
  • Standardize
  • Sustain

Click the video image below to play the short recorded webinar snippet covering the main elements of 5S

Basic Equipment Care Webinar Series: 7 Steps To Effective BEC

Marshall Institute senior consultant Mark Jolley delivered a webinar for Trade Press media, the operators of and maintenance solutions magazine titled "7-Steps to Implementing Basic Equipment Care".

In three blog posts we'll release 3 recorded short snippets from the webinar:

  • 7 steps to BEC
  • Defect elimination
  • 5S

Today we'll cover 7 Steps to BEC:

1.) Perform Initial Cleaning
2.) Address Contamination Sources
3.) Establish Cleaning & Lubrication Standards
4.) Inspect Equipment
5.) Improve Process Knowledge
6.) Improve Workplace Organization
7.) Sustain Basic Equipment Care

MRO Strategic Sourcing: Research Sourcing Providers in the Market

In a recent blog post titled "MRO Strategic Sourcing: The Expensive Table Scraps", I explained that too many organizations leave money on the table due to poor procurement practices.  I outlined 7 fundamental steps to optimize strategic sourcing. This post is the second in a 7-part series in which I will go into more detail for each of the 7-steps and discuss how it applies to MRO Storeroom operations.

Today, we’ll look at the second step – Research the sourcing providers in the market

7-Steps to Optimize Strategic Sourcing:

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.

Tidy Up Your TPM

Fall is in the air. The nights are getting cooler, the days are getting shorter, and the leaves are starting to change colors here in the Mountains of North Carolina. Fall has always been my favorite season for many reasons; including, Friday night High School football games, County fairs, church BBQ’s and most of all deer season!

Fall is also a great time to re-evaluate your TPM/TPR processes. To help self-evaluate your processes ask yourself these key questions:

MRO Strategic Sourcing: Assess Current Spending

In a recent blog post titled "MRO Strategic Sourcing: The Expensive Table Scraps", I explained that too many organizations leave money on the table due to poor procurement practices.  I outlined 7 fundamental steps to optimize strategic sourcing. This post is the first in a 7-part series in which I will go into more detail for each of the 7-steps and discuss how it applies to MRO Storeroom operations.

7-Steps to Optimize Strategic Sourcing:

Reliability Matters: Planned Maintenance Vs Reactive Maintenance

Reliability matters, whether it is in your personal life or on the factory floor.  It is generally assumed to cost 2 to 5 times more for breakdown maintenance as the same job in a planned, scheduled environment. This is a truth I was recently reminded of.

During a 600-mile drive to a family reunion my truck's fuel pump failed.  The cost of repair and towing was $781, even with a few towing miles paid by AAA. The lost-time on the trip was 5 hours.  All in all, it was a pretty "fortunate failure" and I was able to coast to an off-ramp, and roll right into a parking lot when the truck died.  In addition to that good fortune a nearby garage could get me in within two hours of the breakdown and the parts were available the same day. Another garage I called had no time available for almost a week.

To calculate the cost of this breakdown failure in comparison to a scheduled failure, I did a search and found that the fuel pump and filter if purchased at a local parts store would total $275.  The labor for the job was about 3 hours and they kept my fuel in the tank.

MRO Strategic Sourcing: The Expensive Table Scraps!

Have you ever heard the old saying, “Money left on the table?"  That’s exactly what North American organizations are doing when they fail to use strategic sourcing activities to source MRO materials.  Conservative estimates have shown effective strategic sourcing has led to reductions in spending ranging from 15% - 25%.  Furthermore, la


rger companies place more emphasis on sourcing strategies for office supplies rather than critical spares.  I have yet to visit an organization that carries more ink cartridges and post-it notes than the value of a typical MRO Storeroom.

Here are a few things to think about and review before heading down the path of strategic sourcing.:

Maintenance Seminar Prize Winner

C  Documents and Settings TFurnival My Documents 2011 Marketing Blog James Branom

'Prizes are fun.' A statement that I am sure most people can agree with.  In March of this year, to add a little extra fun to the maintenance training world, Marshall Institute ran a limited time give-away for a brand new iPad 2. The obvious allure of the much talked about iPad 2 led to great interest. Many people entered the draw; however, as we all know there is only one winner. That fortunate person is James Branom, a TPM Technician, from Bosch llc.

James Branom with his new 'toy'.



Strategy Vs Action…the chicken AND the egg!

I recently participated in a forum discussion on LinkedIn, hosted by R Dillibabu, asking the question “Is practical knowledge more important than theoretical knowledge in factory management?”

As I considered my response, I remembered a quote from Dr. W. Edwards Deming, stating “it is …application that discloses inadequacy of a theory, and need for revision…without theory, there is nothing to revise.”

I began to consider that the answer, like many things in life, is having proper balance between theory and practical experience. Without practice, a theory is never improved and without theory, a practice has no structure, framework or understanding. 

When developing a reliability improvement strategy, it is important to balance the practical experience of company personnel with known theories on change management. The organization needs to understand that the theory or strategy behind the reliability improvement plan is as important as practical examples of success.  If either is missing, failure is predictable.

Maintenance Fundamentals – The Basics Matter

In maintenance we are often looking for a single solution to a very complicated problem.   We hope that by implementing better technology, newer equipment, or newer improvement processes we can solve our maintenance issues.  On a positive note, more often that not we can probably save our money on the above equipment, technology and processes; however, there is no easy fix.  We frequently find that the most complicated problems arise from small, unobserved sources; these are the very elements that we tend to pay too little attention to because they are small or viewed as too basic. 

Let's use lubrication as an example.  Many organizations do not invest enough thought, skill, process, training, or execution follow-up into the basics of lubrication.  If you have ever tried to define how much grease to apply to one bearing grease fitting, you quickly gain an understanding of how unclear the fundamentals can be in a plant.  Worse yet, if we fail to define the basics, we risk high variation and lack of standardization in the process. Air Gauge on Wall

Maintenance & Reliability Management Diploma Interview

A series of interviews with Advanced Maintenance & Reliability Management graduates.

I recently caught up with Steven Bean, Sr. Facilities Maintenance Manager for RF Micro Devices to discuss the impact the advanced maintenance and reliability diploma has had on him as a maintenance and reliability professional and his work.

Rinnette Lowder (RL), Marshall Institute Interviewer, Who do you work for and what do you do?

Eliminate Waste Now: Process Map Your Maintenance Work Flow

Process Mapping is a LEAN manufacturing tool used to identify waste embedded in a process.  In general people think they know their process thoroughly from start to finish, but often times creating a process map highlights that they are littered with “extra” steps. These extra steps, or waste, are often costly because they require valuable resources: people, time, and equipment.

(Example of a maintenance work order process map. Click on the map to expand).

Successful TPM Communication: 7 Times 7 Ways


Communication is said to be the glue that binds an organization together.  It is also, in my opinion, an essential part of gaining Total Productive Maintenance/Total Process Reliability (TPM/TPR) buy-in and sustaining the focus. A mistake many organizations make is assuming that several announcements and a note on the notice board is sufficient communication.  At Marshall Institute we say one must communicate seven times, seven ways; but that does not mean seven months apart.

Develop and implement a robust communication plan and check to see if the target audience has received the unfiltered message. If you want to know if your message is getting out clearly why not ask someone on the night shift if he or she has received the message? The day shift is easy but how about the rest of the folks?

Communicate both 'the what' and 'the why'. Allow people to respond and give their input and raise questions up front. The sooner you placate the nay-sayers and iron-out misconceptions the stronger your TPM implementation adoption will be.

Advanced Maintenance & Reliability Management Diploma

An Interview with 2009 advanced maintenance and reliability management diplomaGraduate Kevin Conrad, Novozymes Project Execution/Maintenance Manager; Blair, NE. 

To evaluate the long term impact of the Advanced MRM Diploma we contact past graduates. We recently spoke with Kevin Conrad. After speaking with Kevin, we felt that his responses were worth sharing with all future diploma students. Kevin summerizes the impact of NC State's and Marshall Institute’s MRM Diploma as, “no matter how mature or in need of improvement your organization is, this diploma will help you attain your goals.” 

Rinnette Lowder; Marshall Institute Interviewer (RL):  Tell us about your company and yourself.