From maintenance to stewardship

One of the problems with industrial maintenance these days is that it's, well, maintenance. Maintenance by definition means keeping things the way they are (or in original condition), and that won't hack it any more.

05/01/1998


One of the problems with industrial maintenance these days is that it's, well, maintenance. Maintenance by definition means keeping things the way they are (or in original condition), and that won't hack it any more.

This was brought home for me as I listened to the presentations at DuPont's "Asset Productivity Conference" last month. The company brought together some 200 managers from around the world to discuss and learn about improving asset productivity. It was a fascinating and exhilarating meeting that explored how asset productivity -- the productive use of facilities and equipment -- is key to shareholder return and how that return can be increased.

The program at DuPont moves beyond maintenance excellence to production capability. It involves the efforts of operating, engineering, and other personnel in addition to maintenance. The goal is to tap into the "hidden plant," as DuPont calls it, by reducing outages and defects of all kinds and ensuring maximum output from available facilities.

DuPont is right on with its new emphasis. More companies, I believe, need to recognize the important relationship between their facilities and their profitability. And plant engineers have a responsibility to point the way.

Simply pushing for better maintenance falls short of the real goal, a higher level of asset effectiveness. Of course, topnotch maintenance is right up there near the top of the list of priorities. But maintenance alone isn't enough. Maintenance, remember, is a status quo kind of thing. And what's needed is a concerted effort to improve, to go beyond good maintenance.

What's needed is stewardship. Stewardship is more than just maintaining. It includes an obligation for growth and improvement. A steward not only cares for the assets he is charged with, he also seeks a return on those assets.

Now, I'm not proposing that we replace the maintenance department with the stewardship department. That name just doesn't seem to have the right ring to it. But in all seriousness, it is time to expand beyond the limitations of maintaining. In today's world, not gaining is tantamount to losing. Because, if you're not moving ahead faster than your competitors, you're standing still.

DuPont's initiative rightly recognizes the effect of asset productivity on profit and the opportunities for improvement. And while they don't call it stewardship, that's what I would say it's all about.





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.
October 2018
Tools vs. sensors, functional safety, compressor rental, an operational network of maintenance and safety
September 2018
2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
July/Aug
GAMS preview, 2018 Mid-Year Report, EAM and Safety
October 2018
2018 Product of the Year; Subsurface data methodologies; Digital twins; Well lifecycle data
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
October 2018
Complex upgrades for system integrators; Process control safety and compliance
September 2018
Effective process analytics; Four reasons why LTE networks are not IIoT ready

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.
Material Handling
This digital report explains how everything from conveyors and robots to automatic picking systems and digital orders have evolved to keep pace with the speed of change in the supply chain.
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.
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.
Design of Safe and Reliable Hydraulic Systems for Subsea Applications
This eGuide explains how the operation of hydraulic systems for subsea applications requires the user to consider additional aspects because of the unique conditions that apply to the setting
click me