Hail to the best

A year ago, six plants made a commitment to maintenance excellence. Six plants began a process to evaluate their maintenance operations and compare them with some of the best. Six plants entered the North American Maintenance Excellence Awards program.
By Richard L. Dunn March 1, 1999

A year ago, six plants made a commitment to maintenance excellence. Six plants began a process to evaluate their maintenance operations and compare them with some of the best. Six plants entered the North American Maintenance Excellence Awards program.

Three plants were evaluated by the awards board of directors as finalists. As a result, three plants had their operations audited onsite by teams of examiners. And three plants emerged as winners of the coveted NAME Award recognizing world-class “capacity assurance for operational excellence.”

The three winners of the NAME Award for 1998 are:

– Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries, Boyle, Alberta, Canada

– AK Steel, Middletown Works, Middletown, OH

– Harman-Motive, Inc., Martinsville, IN

At a time when many companies seem to be downplaying the role of maintenance, it’s important that we recognize plants in which good maintenance is understood to be an essential factor in business success. The entrants in the NAME program clearly understand this. Maintenance in their plants has management support at the highest levels. It is integrated with production operations to ensure mutual understanding, support, and commitment. And these maintenance organizations are key players in ensuring the capacity and productivity of their plants.

Another important observation is that these plants accomplish similar goals through diverse organizations and methods. While the winners are clearly world-class operations, their paths to excellence are quite different. But they do share the common traits of commitment to continuous improvement and a never-ending search for what works best in their plants. Their managers are aware of the value that maintenance excellence provides and the role that it plays in operational success.

If you would like information on how you can build this kind of recognition in your plant, contact me and I’ll make sure that you receive it.