Does reliability have to cost a fortune?

By introducing a few key characteristics to unlocking the potential of your personnel, a plant can do so at minimal cost.

04/28/2015


Business to business, industry to industry, a great deal of effort (and money) is spent on trying to find the “silver bullet” or “next best thing” when it comes to reliability.  The goal is to produce game-changing results in record time, or at least a time faster than your closest competitor.  I submit that there are two components to success:

1) The content (money) piece

2) The people (priceless) piece.

Most businesses find a way to fund the content piece.  In fact, that’s probably the most readily addressed portion of a reliability program.  Funding predictive technologies, computerized maintenance management systems, training solutions, and subject-matter experts/consultants - these decisions come easier than most, since we have the ability to determine or, at least, estimate the return on investment.  But, even if you or your business “knows” the right answer, the strategy still needs to be executed.

First ask the question: what do you expect of your supervisors? Drilling down, do you expect them to be at every meeting, and rapidly answer every email, or do you expect them to be actively interacting on the shop floor?  If you do expect them to spend the majority of their time outside of the cubicle, what does that interaction look like?  Are they deeply involved in maintenance actions, or rabidly chasing down urgently needed parts?  If you expect them to be office-centric, how do they maintain a finger on the pulse of the shop floor?  Are those communication paths formalized and reliable?

Taking an introspective look at how our front line supervisors spend their time is an important first step.  And the best part is that it costs nothing.  We’re taking a look at processes already in place – good, bad, or indifferent.  Depending on our findings, though, what should our supervisors be doing?  Every business has its own challenges, but the presumption is that our supervisors (regardless of industry) earned their positions based on certain elements of technical prowess, experience, and people skills.  Our expectation should be that they bring these talents to bear on the shop floor by mentoring and overseeing, not by becoming distracted with administration or allowing themselves to become deeply and personally involved in any distinct maintenance action. 

As standards and expectations are set at the strategic level, we need to recognize that we get what we inspect, not what we expect, at the tactical level.  Whatever it takes, we need to ensure that supervisors maintain the overarching, birds-eye view of their respective work centers.  If they are getting sucked into maintenance actions, we have to figure out why.  Are their crafts trained well enough to function independently? Is the mentorship/apprenticeship learning progression functioning correctly? Are job plans sufficiently developed and detailed appropriately?    

Bad things happen when “parental supervision” is lost.  When supervisors leave their (sometimes) uncomfortable position of being the man-in-charge to become the most experienced craftsman on the job, a dangerous void of leadership forms.  The big picture can be lost; jeopardizing personnel and equipment safety, and opening the door for additional maintenance-induced defects.  Understanding the demands on our supervisors, and enabling them to maintain the higher level perspective, doesn’t require a massive capital investment. In fact, it costs nearly nothing.  But it does require a change in expectation and a threshold for pain as we may have to operate outside of normal comfort zones.

You can see the original article here. Eruditio is part of the content partner program with CFE Media. Edited by Anisa Samarxhiu, Digital Project Manager, CFE Media, asamarxhiu@cfemedia.com



Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me