The hunger for reliability

With the turning of the economy many now have increased production demand. They have spent time focusing on safety and have great performance in that area. The only area they lack is reliability.


So summer is here in the US and when I think of summer I think of food from the grill, cold drinks and fun on the water around the Charleston area where I live. Just this last week I was out on the boat doing a little fishing after work. As I drifted down the river enjoying the water and the cold beverages, I begin to smell the third component of summer…grilled food. Since I had the first two I progressively begin to want the last one. Soon I was obsessed with the thought of ribs, hamburgers, steaks and BBQ. Can you relate? Have you ever had the intoxicating smell of the grill call you away from your afternoon activities?Image Courtesy: Brooke Lark on Unsplash

So what does this have to do with reliability? When I think about profitable manufacturing I also think of three things I enjoy: production demand, safety, reliability. With the turning of the economy many now have increased production demand. They have spent time focusing on safety and have great performance in that area. The only area they lack is reliability. We know that if we can get all three of these working together then we can enjoy a lower stress business profitability. In fact, one should expect to spend more time away from work not worrying about the day to day issues, the breakdowns, and the missed deliveries. Instead we can enjoy our version of summertime fun.

The problem is that if you have never witnessed reliability and you have spent your whole life in the reactive world then what would drive a desire for change? You become comfortable where you are. You can't imagine reliability much less have a hunger for it. To get past this you need to get a picture of it at least in your mind.

How are you communicating what it looks like to your plant and why it is so desirable? What are you doing to fan the flames and create the hunger for reliability? Below is a list of ideas that you might use to first create awareness and then demonstrate what’s in it for your people and why they should hunger for it. 

  • Invite your informal leaders on plant visits to world class sites; let them see what it is like in the less chaotic world of Reliability. Look locally and not just in your industry and you may be surprised how close world class can be.
  • Share best practices through pictures, stories, case studies, and single point lessons. I like to see them incorporated in the daily tool box meeting or kick off meeting. Many samples can be found on the internet via blogs and Linked-in.
  • Send individuals to conferences like the SMRP and IMC where they can talk to their peers in other organizations and bring back that excitement to the plant. Have them share what they have learned.
  • Create a newsletter celebrating your internal reliability successes.
  • Have guest speakers come to your site from world class plants and let them share their success but more importantly help your site understand how they can do the same.
  • Invite corporate leadership to share their vision for reliability, why they care about it, and don’t be afraid to pre-coach the leaders a bit if required to ensure alignment.

Two things you can expect to hear is: “Yea, but we are different” and “That will never work here” so make sure you are ready to answer why it will after each step you take. Without answering these questions and creating this desire or hunger the transition from reactive to reliable can be a long and slow process, that is good for pulled pork but not for corporate profits.

Shon Isenhour, content marketing, Eruditio LLC. This article originally appeared on Eruditio's website. Eruditio is a CFE Media content partner.

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
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.
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
2017 Top Plant winner, Best practices, Plant Engineering at 70, Top 10 stories of 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Setting internal automation standards
Knowing how and when to use parallel generators
PID controllers, Solar-powered SCADA, Using 80 GHz radar sensors

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
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 Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me