Reliability confessions

10 reliability confessions of not quite the best practice.
By Shon Isenhour March 28, 2016

10 reliability confessions of not quite the best practice. Courtesy: CFE MediaYou have secrets. Secrets that have robbed the reliability from your facility and its assets. Sometimes it just makes you feel better if you confess your secrets publicly. Maybe you should let a few of your secrets go today, and bask in the relief that follows. Let me share a few secrets I know already:

  1.  "I use whatever grease is in the nearest grease gun I find. (Grease is grease.)"
  2. "I sometimes overload the machine and cause it to fail because when it does I can take a break while maintenance fixes it."
  3. "I never torque the bolts with a torque wrench. (Tight is tight, right?)"
  4. "I once wrapped a fuse in aluminum foil because it would not stop blowing."
  5. "I never put all the bolts back if the equipment doesn’t need them. (I’m eliminating wasted time.)"
  6. "I don’t wipe off the grease fitting before I lubricate."
  7. "I sometimes don’t share all the critical steps for a job plan so that I can save the day when it does not work."
  8. "I have put a 20 amp fuse in a 10 amp slot."
  9. "One time I dropped a bolt into a gearbox during a PM and it is still there today."
  10. "I added flammable hydraulic fluid to a system requiring nonflammable to save a trip back to the store room."

At least some of these little secrets happen regularly in plants everywhere. I challenge you to reread the list and this time think about what underlying systemic causes might have led for the perceived need for the individual to take these steps and then make them their secrets. Remember what Edward Deming said: "Blame the system not the people." Fixing the system eliminates many more problems within your site than blaming an individual.

– Shon Isenhour is a founding partner at Eruditio. This article originally appeared on ReliabilityNOW. Eruditio is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Erin Dunne, production coordinator, CFE Media, edunne@cfemedia.com