Equipment Reliability

Total Process Reliability: Going Beyond TPM

What is Total Process Reliability—“TPR” ?

Total Process Reliability (TPR) is an organizational approach to improving operational reliability of major assets; in-turn improving overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), increasing production capacity, reducing costs and growing the effectiveness of the relationship between maintenance and operations. TPR combines the proven tools and techniques of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) with an effective organizational change model to establish a vigorous and structured improvement process leading to operational excellence. 

True TPR is philosophy adopted and practiced across the organization; it is NOT just a maintenance initiative.

Effective Maintenance Troubleshooting: 6 Key Elements

We in the reliability consulting and training profession, spend the majority of our time teaching ways to prevent equipment and system failure. Knowledge of effective troubleshooting practices can go a long way toward getting equipment back on line quickly. Unfortunately, due to many reasons troubleshooting occupies too much of a technician's time.

Working as a maintenance technician for 17 years I learned many tips and tricks for troubleshooting equipment. In the past 11 years working in consulting I have refined those field-learned tips and tricks into repeatable processes. You might consider these six key elements to improve your troubleshooting skills:

Fix Your Leaks: The Consequences of Leaking Equipment

If the culture of your organization is such that instead of fixing leaking equipment you build dams of absorbent socks, fabricate “drip-pans”, permanently attach vacuum systems to collect coolant, oil, or water and empty them back into the appropriate reservoir; you are at risk.

Why Should Leaks Be Fixed?

Cars as an example of Basic Equipment Care

When we consider the Total Productive Maintenance process, specifically operator care, it is often helpful to use the analogy of how we should maintain our vehicle.  Car MaintenanceThe operator of the vehicle has certain responsibilities that if neglected will result in lower performance and possible catastrophic loss.  Clearly the operator has the responsibility to maintain fluid levels (gas, oil...), proper tire pressure, cleanliness of the vehicle, and report any abnormal noises, warning lights, or performance.  The operator does not need to be a mechanic, but does need to take ownership to ensure the proper service is performed.

Basically, the cost of maintaining equipment is directly correlated to the experience, ownership, and knowledge of the operator.  If you wish to test this theory, hand your car keys to your 17 year old son!! When my son was 17, even with repeated warnings, he didn't learn not to follow the car in front of him so closely. He finally learned the lesson when I got to buy a shiny new hood and bumper for my car. 

Boost Line & Machine Performance with Equipment Improvement Teams (Quick Tip)

Equipment Improvement Teams are critical to increasing line and equipment reliability and performance. However, to achieve their potential make sure you have prepared well and have executed the fundamentals properly!

Equipment Improvement teams (EIT) can be critical to increasing the performance of a line or machine. To achieve significant results from your EITs, they must be properly chartered, practice good meeting principles, and be commissioned with a specific goal and timeframe. EITs fail when the goals are too big, unclear, and proper meetings are not run. Avoid these pitfalls and you will see a marked improvement in reliability and performance.

If you have any tips you would like to share with others or want us to cover, please leave a comment below. 

3 Principles of TPM / Total Process Reliability (Video)

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is not a new concept, however it is often misunderstood.  It is still viewed as solely a maintenance initiative and lacks respect in other departments. Through the years Marshall Institute has refined TPM into Total Process Reliability.  A concept, highlighted in the name, that focuses on the efforts of everyone in order to improve equipment reliability and production output.

Greg Folts, president of Marshall Institute, outlines 3 key principles of Total Productive Maintenance and Total Process Reliability to help answer a few questions that people may have about the purpose and goal of these reliability improvement strategies.


When 'Good Enough' is Not Good Enough

One issue we face in many maintenance departments is that we accept "good enough".  I have worked in many maintenance organizations in my career and find that "good enough" and "close enough" can be the source of many equipment reliability problems.

Often we find that small issues become large problems.  When quality work is not the norm, equipment reliability and performance will suffer. WrenchWhen the grease we install in bearings, the alignment of the motor, the torque of the bolt, the belt tension, the chain tension, the allowable chain stretch, the pulley condition....are ‘close enough', production output will be close, but not enough.  Why? Because precision matters.