I’ve been told that humor, especially New York sarcasm doesn’t go over too well on LinkedIn. That as a regular contributor of articles, blog postings and hopefully useful updates one should try avoid attempting to use humor as a teaching tool.
Well those who know me well know I also don’t always follow the advice of those who somehow believe we all learn the same way, think the same way and therefore do things the same way. I’m a guy who believes that while common sense might not be that common, when you explain why something makes sense most of the audience will get it. For the others who still don’t understand I of course bring data.
As a Reliability Engineer and Practitioner of RCM (Reliability Centered Maintenance) I have spent the last couple of decades helping companies around the world develop maintenance strategies that when implemented and deployed will ensure the designed reliability of their assets. And when the company or companies I’m working with actually complete the recommendations suggested by their RCM team and recognize the results of their hard work I find I really love my job.
Happy clients = Overjoyed RCM Practitioner!
The truth however is like everything else in life we have to take the good with the bad. For every good client (Good clients are the folks who complete the RCM Teams recommendations and recognize the results!) I can almost bet there will be 1 bad client.
I hate to admit this because I have even gone to the extent of performing a RCA (Root Cause Analysis) on why a company would go through all the work to complete a RCM analysis and then not implement it. Yet it still happens.
What I have discovered about those who don’t implement the RCM Team’s recommendations is they all have one thing in common. They all look for ways to supplement their current Run to Failure Maintenance Strategy!
With this data driven fact soundly in place I will now present the 10 Best/Worst Ways to Supplement Your Run to Failure Maintenance Strategy.
- Attempting to use condition monitoring technologies to pinpoint how much longer we can abuse our asset while getting the most secondary damage our money can buy! (To my readers who may not understand the previous sentence is one great example of sarcasm.) This technique is applied when a Condition Based Maintenance Technician comes forward with some real data that shows one of your assets has entered the P-F curve and is in the process of failure and instead of planning, scheduling and replacing the asset you instead ask the technician to begin taking readings every day. Now you know the asset is going to fail. You just want to make sure you completely ruin it before you replace it. In doing so you have now enhanced your run to failure strategy with data that will clearly show the equipment condition was indeed really bad.
- Giving up on fault tree analysis and replacing it with whose fault was it analysis! This is done when we don’t care why something failed because it’s more important to determine who made it fail. The thought here is if we blame someone sufficiently and punish them for their error the failure will never occur again. Of course those of us who lead these types of exercises know any given failure will have multiple causes and unless they are eliminated the failure is likely to reoccur; supplementing your run to failure strategy is not about data or common sense. It’s about making someone feel important while someone else feels punished. This again enhances your run to fail effort because we now have ensured that no one will ever admit to making a mistake.
- Don’t ever think about maintaining a primary asset when you know you have a back-up! Think about it, isn’t that what the back-up is for? Why bother spending money on Condition Based Maintenance or Lubrication, when it fails just turn the back-up on. In fact, because we have a back-up we now know that neither one is a critical asset. That being said when the primary fails make sure the work order lists the primary asset as non-critical so it can go in at the bottom of the back-log work order pile thus ensuring total failure of the back-up as well and the subsequent submission of a real emergency work order!
- Lubrication is for dummies! Come on, let’s face it, nobody wants to be the Lubrication Specialist! Anyone can pump a grease gun or top something off with oil. In fact, those who have perfected the run to failure strategy will tell you that too many companies try to over complicate their lubrication program. Oil is oil and grease is grease. Just get one big drum of oil and one big drum of grease and when someone thinks something needs to be lubricated tell them to get one of the grease guns or buckets and get er done! Oh, and make sure to store these outside behind the building. Nobody wants to contend with that mess inside!
- Precision Maintenance is for NASA and Maintenance Techs looking to get fired for wasting time! Listen, you don’t need an MBA to understand we only make money when the equipment is running and while one can appreciate that things installed level and plumb look nicer when I look at that pump shaft and motor I can’t see if the shafts aren’t perfectly aligned unless it’s a ¼ inch or more. “Slap that stuff together Junior, we got product to make and put those shims away! Those things are for carpenters installing windows and doors and the only door I see is the one you’ll be leaving if you don’t but that stuff away!”
- Drawings, who needs drawings! Drawings are for Engineers and others who are afraid to walk around the plant and see what we actually have here! Drawings are what keep good fire-fighters from getting more things fixed. We waste time looking for them and when we do find them they haven’t been updated in 20 years so they’re useless.
- Management of Change? That sounds like something a Bank Teller or Cashier at McDonalds should do. “Is that where you want to work? If it is let me know because all I need to do is call Ted’s Temps and I can have another Engineer or Technician here in the morning. Management of Change, as if we have the time to let every Tom, Dick and Harry know you put a jumper on that high level switch until the new one shows up!”
- We Plan to Schedule- The reality for those looking to perfect their run to failure strategy Planning and Scheduling are things people like to talk about at those fancy Maintenance Asset Reliability Integrity Conferences. “You know the folks who like to have a bunch of fancy capital letters after their last name give those presentations. Planning and Scheduling works for companies who don’t make anything. If they did they would know that stuff breaks down when you’re trying to make stuff therefore you can’t plan or schedule anything.”
- Breakdown = Make-Up This is a simple concept really, if your equipment breaks down today, once you get it back up and running make sure you run it faster because we need to make up for the time we lost when we were broken down. Look, it’s just like you’re on vacation and you head out on the road to go to grandma’s house. You get 8 or 10 miles on down the road and that tire you been meaning to change because you can see the belts goes flat. By the time you get your suite case, the golf clubs, the beer cooler and finally the spare tire out of the trunk and get it changed you lost 40 minutes. When you get back out on the road on that doughnut tire now you gotta make up that time and drive faster!
- RCM = Resource Consuming Monster! We don’t care about what everyone says on LinkedIn, those maintenance folks in the airline business got all night to work on airplanes when they are sitting at the airport. And the folks from that other plant like ours that gave that presentation about how they improved their output by 30% and lowered their maintenance costs by 25%.. well they are just opportunists looking for a promotion.
hu·mor ; the quality of being amusing or comic, especially as expressed in literature or speech. Unless of course you plan to publish your post on LinkedIn where it is frowned upon.
I really hope most of you enjoyed my sarcastic humor for the day. More important I hope some of you can recognize some point in your career you worked with someone who was an expert at supplementing a run to failure maintenance culture. I would love to hear the stories!
Doug Plucknette is the creator of RCM Blitz™ and World-Wide RCM Discipline Leader for Allied Reliability Group.