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What Constitutes World-Class Reliability and Maintenance? (part 2)

by Christer Idhammar

Note: This column is a continuation of the January P&P maintenance column by Christer Idhammar. In that column, Mr. Idhammar asked readers to evaluate how well their mills had implemented the systems and practices required to become a "world-class" facility.

In this column, I continue discussing the systems and practices that indicate to me that a mill is "world-class." To evaluate how far your mill has to go to achieve this designation, I would suggest reading this column with a group of operations and maintenance employees that includes both management and craftspeople.

On a scale of zero to ten, rate your mill's use of the following systems and practices, with ten meaning that you are so good that it would probably not pay off to do more improvements in this area. A five indicates that you feel you do a good job, while a zero means that your performance is a disaster.

6. Our level of planning and scheduling is high. Whatever you call your maintenance program, and whatever improvement initiatives you implement, you will find that planning and scheduling are at the hub of cost-effective maintenance practices. Even programs like reliability centered maintenance (RCM), total productive maintenance (TPM), reliability based maintenance (RBM), or other three-letter acronyms for maintenance programs will soon discover this fact.

Before you rate how well you think you plan and schedule, it is necessary to understand the basics of these concepts. First of all, planning can be described as all work you do in order to prepare for a job. These preparations include the final scope of work, safety requirements, major steps of work, important clearances, spare parts needed and secured as available for when the job is scheduled, special tools, scaffolding, skills required, time needed to do the job, and so forth. Secondly, scheduling means to decide when the job will be done and who will do it.

The following are some effective guidelines for planning and scheduling. When evaluating how well your mill plans and schedules, examine how well you follow these practices:

A. Planning is done before scheduling.
B. Planning and scheduling are done before execution of the work.
C. Scheduling is done for the work that needs to be done. Then, you find and assign the right people to do the work.
D. When executing a planned and scheduled job, people are not interrupted to do other work.
E. A job is not finished before you have documented why the job had to be done.
F. You later find the root cause of any identified problems.
If you implement the above planning and scheduling practices, your results will show less use of outside contractors, less unscheduled overtime, increased overall equipment efficiency (OEE), less unscheduled downtime, and more free time to perform root cause failure analysis.

7. We correctly prioritize work. To prioritize work correctly, you must realize the consequences of not doing the work before a given time. Consequences include environmental damage/personal injury, high costs for lost production, and/or maintenance and asset deterioration.
In a plant with multiple product lines, it is necessary, at any given time, to know which line is the most important to keep running in order to deliver to the customer on time. It is also important to know what the added value is for the product. In addition, it should be very difficult to add a job to a closed schedule at your mill. As a result, you will have very few changes in your weekly/daily and shutdown maintenance schedules. Disciplined priorities will also lead to correctly performing planning and scheduling tasks.

8. Preventive Maintenance/Essential Care and Condition Monitoring (PM/ECCM) content is right. To have the right content in your PM/ECCM program, you must base it on the consequences of not preventing the failure as mentioned in the previous section. Also, the consequence of a failure must be more "expensive" than the cost of trying to prevent it.

The right content also includes using the right methods for basic inspections and condition monitoring. This means that you do not have "check," "inspect," or such as the only descriptions of inspections in your PM/ECCM program. Your methods and descriptions must be more precise. 

Most of your PM/ECCM should be done while equipment is operating. Very little should be done while equipment is not operating due to inspections, fixed-time maintenance overhauls and replacements, or other such tasks. Also, PM/ECCM frequencies should be based on failure developing time and failure distribution, according to results-oriented maintenance teachings. As a result, your PM/ECCM program will be very cost-effective. Also, you will do less PM/ECCM than before you implemented the above principles.

Part 1   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5   Part 6

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