In 1951, Charles Latino graduated from NYU as a Chemical Engineer, and joined Allied Chemical & Dye Corporation as an entry level engineer in Chesterfield, VA. He soon found himself in the Maintenance Department, trying to get the significant number of ‘bugs’ out of the plant equipment and processes. He couldn’t understand why their equipment and processes broke down so much. He often mentioned, “If airplanes were maintained that poorly, nobody would fly them”. It is at that point that Charles decided it was time to make his plant ‘fly’. In the 1950’s, he referred to this effort as ‘increasing uptime’.
Eventually he worked himself into the worst job in the plant, the Maintenance Manager!! A colleague of Charles’, Bill Salot,, said “As managers of big league baseball teams only have job security when their team’s are winning, Maintenance Managers only have job security when their equipment is running as well”.
Charles believed that uptime could be made through a more aggressive engineering approach to Maintenance. At that time, Charles established a new engineering group called Reliability Engineering. This group applied a combination of analytical tools, engineering technologies, economics, human performance principles, and salesmanship to drive a remarkable turnaround in equipment performance at his plant.
Meanwhile, equipment breakdowns at their local sister plant in Hopewell, VA were getting out of hand in 1973. It became so bad that top management sent in Charles and his team of experts to assess, analyze and improve their reliability. One of the recommendations was to establish a Reliability Engineering team at that plant as well. The result was another outstanding turnaround in equipment reliability. Even today, Reliability Engineering continues to thrive at this plant.
Following the successes at these two Allied plants, Charles rose to the Corporate ranks where he founded and directed first Corporate R&D Reliability Engineering Center, from which he and his team introduced and supported Reliability Engineering to other Allied plants around the world. Their R&D charter focused on Equipment, Process and Human Reliability principles.
In 1985, after 34 years with Allied (Allied soon after purchased Honeywell and took the Honeywell name), Charles retired and purchased his department from the corporation. He started his own company called Reliability Center, Inc. He was now able to apply his Reliability Approach to various industries around the world, and they lined up for that opportunity.
Charles passed away in 2007 leaving his company and his legacy to his 5 children to carry on. In 2019, 3 of his 5 children retired and they collectively sold their 34-year old international Reliability consulting firm. The remaining 2 brothers, Ken and Bob Latino then formed Prelical Solutions, LLC to continue to carry on Charles’ legacy and make the world a more reliable place!!
Check out more about Charles Latino on our legacy webpage.