Operations Excellence  

No matter how well you maintain a particular piece of equipment, if it's operated incorrectly, there's no maintenance in the world that can keep it running.

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Issues on the Operations side

When equipment fails, it is easy to look over the Maintenance function and ask “Why.” Common sense says that reliability is not soley a Maintenance thing. From studies, the Maintenance group only owns about 17% while Operatons has about 21% and Engineering 23%. (Source: Maintenance Engineering HB, 2nd ed.) Without cross-departmental support in the form of partnerships, even your best efforts will not improve equipment reliability. We typically see the following:

  • Many sites lack a comprehensive strategy to ensure the reliability of their assets (human, data, and equipment).
  • The morning Shift Overlap meeting often is more a blame game over who is at fault instead of being focused on driving improved reliability practices. Everyone is not headed in the same direction.
  • Maintenance and Operations are not aligned from a task or scheduling perspective so equipment is not available for maintenance work, or held up from operation due to the lack of effective maintenance planning.
  • Many sites may or may not have standardized work procedures for Maintenance and Operations personnel. If they exist, their use is not enforced which drives failures. Every person who operates or maintains the machine does it their own way.
  • There is no formal training for operators or maintainers where the outcome is audited and used for continuous improvement.
Most likely, you have your own list as well.

Our solutons to guide your success

Ultimately, it’s really about leadership and defect elimination throughout the organization, including through operator-driven reliability.

Find the P on the Potential–Failure (PF) Curve, push the P out from a continuous improvement perspective and eliminate the defect entirely. Coordinate with Operations so that you have a wide enough window that you can proactively plan, schedule, get the parts, and complete the repair before you ever reach this functional failure point.

Learn from failures when they do occur so that you can prevent them from recurring. Create a defect elimination program with an effective root cause analysis process that enables you to identify problems. Involve operators in watching for signs of impending failures and helping you to maintain their equipment. Engage people throughout your organization, up and down to the lowest levels. Read more
Getting there requires many elements and in some cases, is more art than science.

  • Educate equipment operators on the role of non-intrusive inspections to drive equipment reliability.
  • Know failure rates and Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF) for equipment.
  • Understand the bathtub curve and that most equipment does not fail due to age.
  • Slice up the Potential–Failure (PF) curve.
  • Identify potential failure points through Weibull analysis.
Focusing on eliminating work rather than improving the efficiency of maintenance will help you reduce costs while improving equipment reliability.
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People and Processes helps you improve reliability by partnering with Operations.

Defect Elimination Program Implementation and Coaching
Prevent potential failures or keep actual ones from recurring by identifying and correcting defects. Standardize processes to ensure that you are analyzing defects properly and consistently and that you are addressing them in a timely manner. Read more
People and Processes will help you analyze workflow processes for effectiveness and adherence and to use problem-solving techniques to eliminate defects. Implement or refine continuous improvement processes as well.

Operator Driven Reliability Implementation and Coaching
Operators often know their equipment best. Improve reliability and profitability through an operator-driven reliability (ODR) program that involves them in assessing equipment conditions. Read more
People and Processes can create an efficient ODR program through effective strategic planning and communication. We can also assist you in leveraging the proper analytical tools and training employees across departments.

Best Practices Implementation Guidance and Mentoring
Once business processes or workflows are established in accordance with best practices in maintenance and reliability, step descriptions and desired outcomes can be identified and specific responsibilities and accountabilities can be assigned to ensure adherence and utilization of each defined business process or workflow. Read more
People and Processes helps you develop these business processes or workflows so that everyone in the organization can follow one method for any given set of tasks. These are integrated into your day-to-day work habits, policies and procedures manual, and new employee training guides. We then help you ensure that they are followed and continuously improved.

It takes a partnership between all of the different functions within your organization to become successful with equipment reliability and managing costs.


Contact People and Processes to learn more about how we can help you improve reliability through Operations Excellence