Maintenance Reliability

Design for Reliability - Part 3 of 4

What does the word performance mean to your organization? When I hear the word performance I envision a Formula Race Car at the head of the pack or an Olympic athlete crossing the finish line. Thinking specifically of the finish line and high performance, I think of all the stages it took to get to the point of crossing the finish line as number one. When I think of high performing electrical or mechanical systems at work I realize whether in a refinery, offshore platform or in 5,000 feet of water sitting on the ocean floor, there are some common themes.

While subsea reliability programs have heavily relied on models and activities developed and mastered in manufacturing and refining, subsea reliability is forced into a philosophy that creates a systems approach in its operations. 

Systems reliability in subsea considers the degree of standardization in the equipment and in the tools used to repair and maintain the equipment. It allows for almost any operation to be suspended if operational limits are on the edge of being exceeded. Listed below are measures taken when limits are on the edge of being exceeded:

Optimizing Maintenance through Lean Practices

Lean manufacturing has proven time and time again to be a powerful process for optimizing manufacturing in today’s competitive environment. Organizations are adopting Lean manufacturing practices today more than ever in hopes of improving their throughput, quality, and productivity.

Often times, we begin our Lean journey with a strategic focus on our product lines. We map our processes and eliminate waste by streamlining our changeovers and level loading tasks. We 5S our areas to ensure that we have the right tools in the right places at the right times. All of these efforts usually pay big dividends for our organizations.

A common mistake many organizations make is that we leave our maintenance departments out of our Lean implementations. We may expect them to participate in our Kaizen events, TPM workshops, and equipment improvement teams but we fail to look at our maintenance activities as value added processes that can be improved using the same Lean practices that we apply to our product flow lines.

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.


Cost Cutting as a Maintenance and Reliability Strategy

cost cutting

Cost cutting is the antithesis to improvement. I am constantly amazed that everyone I speak to realizes the inherent problems with adopting a cost cutting strategy in the midst of an economic downturn. Nevertheless that is the exact course many companies take when faced with dwindling profits, disappearing margins, and increasing expenses. Unfortunately this is how value is destroyed. In my research of companies who have adopted cost cutting as business strategy I have never found one that achieved high performance in the long run. In fact no company has ever cost cut their way to "world class" performance. Studies have shown that those companies who adopted a "process or continuous improvement" approach were the ones most likely to achieve best in class performance after the economic storms subside. Has anyone out there adopted a cost cutting strategy in the name of business improvement?
And if so, what were the results?