Setting up industrial operations is part of the capital expenditure a business has to undertake. Businesses now analyze the lifetime cost of any capital expenditure before making a decision. This includes the inventory cost, labor expenses, maintenance costs, cost incurred due to expected downtime, and expenses for upgrades. This tilts the decision in favor of options that provide long-term machine reliability and reduced maintenance.
Maintenance of different equipment within a facility remains a core enabler of improved productivity and efficiency of plant processes. Poor maintenance practices lead to machine downtime, increased operational costs, and increased maintenance workloads.
Reducing maintenance workload can’t be done overnight, but it is a goal worth pursuing. Less maintenance work performed (without an increase in reactive maintenance work) means less resources spent – fewer spare parts used, less overtime work, and improved employee satisfaction that can actually increase the average quality of performed maintenance work.
The biggest change in asset management practices and maintenance models in the coming years will be the shift from corrective and preventive to predictive and condition-based maintenance that is built on real-time as well as historical data.
With emerging new technologies like IoT (Internet of Things) and easy access to the Internet and cloud storage capabilities, accessibility to information and remote monitoring of assets can be done anytime and from any location and device. This calls for a reliable remote monitoring setup accompanied by a robust and proven management system to track and manage all that data. And it is this combination precisely that can elevate your business to a world-class maintenance program.
With industry statistics like the one from a joint study by the Wall Street Journal and Emerson, it’s no wonder that more manufacturers are looking for ways to proactively handle unplanned machine downtime. Among several issues discussed, the study states that unplanned downtime costs manufacturers about $50 billion per year. Furthermore, it mentions that outdated maintenance programs waste resources and potentially expose staff to higher safety risks.
Why Preventative Maintenance Alone Will Not Drive a Step Change in Your Plant Performance and What You Can You Do About It
Many organizations try to improve performance by just creating PM routines and letting the technicians loose to perform the work. This often has negative effects on plant performance. This has been proven through studies conducted by Ledet at numerous DuPont sites. This study looked at the impact of Planning, Scheduling and Preventative Maintenance on Plant Performance.
Ledet had found that by just implementing a PM / PdM program, organizations lost 2.40% of uptime (on a baseline of 83.50%). Not quite the results to expect when implementing a strategy to improve plant performance. When the PM / PdM program is implemented with Planning & Scheduling, the plant saw an increase of 5.10%. Now that is an improvement.
But what about the remaining 11.40% of uptime? How does one address the remaining downtime?
A Question & Answer Period with Fred Schenkelberg
on the what can be done to improve the reliability of your operation.
So far in this series, we have had the opportunity to discuss the role of reliability engineering in today’s maintenance environments. In this final post of the series, I had the opportunity to ask Fred Schenkelberg some questions related to this very topic. Fred, with his years of experience, was able to provide some great insights to the role of reliability engineering, and what those in the maintenance department can do to improve reliability.
Even if you don’t have a reliability engineer in your organization, you can implement a few basic reliability engineering techniques to make a sustainable difference in your operation. [Read more…]
The practice of maintenance has been developing for the past 300 years. Since the start of the Industrial Revolution machinery and their control systems have played a critical part in our ability to produce consumer and industrial goods. Over that time different maintenance philosophies have developed in response to changing technology and increasing costs.
The progression in philosophies started with breakdown maintenance (BM), then to time-based maintenance such as preventative maintenance (PM) and shutdown maintenance. More recently condition-based maintenance (CM) has become significant. The next step is predictive maintenance. [Read more…]
Having visited hundreds of manufacturing plants in the last 15 years, someone recently asked me if there were any traits the most reliable plants all had in common.
I have listed below the top 5 signs of a reliable plant.
Sign 1 – The plant is clean!
The plants that are top performers are clean all of the time, clutter is unacceptable, and the tasks required to keep the plant clean are routine business. [Read more…]