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January 15, 2017

Launching & Sustaining a Healthy Reliability Program

As many maintenance managers are aware, starting a reliability program can be very tough. Sustaining a reliability program can be even tougher. During this eMaint Best Practices Webinar, Tyler Evans, Business Unit Manager, Fluke’s Vibration and Alignment Products & John Bernet, Application and Product Specialist, discussed the foundational pillars to a healthy and sustainable reliability program from a real-world perspective as opposed to an ideal-world perspective.

A survey of the webinar attendees found that 56% of attendees describe their reliability journey from reactive to condition-based maintenance as “having some proactive maintenance scheduled on certain equipment.” The full survey results revealed that:

  1. 13% of maintenance is all reactive, and they have never attempted to move beyond reactive
  2. 17% have abandoned proactive in the past, but are starting again
  3. 10% have a well-developed proactive maintenance program

The other 56% of organizations who have only some proactive maintenance are missing out on the ability to leverage a CMMS to generate calendar and/or meter-based PMs and set up PM schedules, making it easy to prevent failures and reduce costs.

Evans and Bernet explained that these statistics are normal, and that most companies are at the very early stages of adopting reliability practices. They explained that any organization can develop and maintain a reliability program with the right framework and pillars for success.

3 Pillars to a successful maintenance program

Based on their experience visiting customers around the globe, Evans and Bernet noted that the three main causes of failure within a reliability program are poor program structure, poor technology selection, or poor data management. As a result, these are the three pillars they identified to help any organization see results, drive commitment to a reliability program and change culture.

1. New Program Start-up

  • The Criticality Dilemma
  • Tiered Maintenance

2. Technology Selection – what tools are needed

  • Tools for each tier
  • Tools that share between Tiers

3. Data Management – Is your Data Management Strategy helping or hurting

  • The “ACID Test” for Data Management

Program Pillar #1 – Program Start-up

The Criticality Dilemma
Asset criticality rankings are used to help prioritize maintenance work and to identify the most critical assets for an organization. Many times people find that there are so many critical items to maintain that it comes overwhelming. Traditionally, people think of their criticality list in one of four ways:

1. Binary – Create one cutoff line where everything above the line is critical and everything below the line is non-critical. – “If it isn’t a critical asset, don’t bother me about it.”

2. Dynamic – Force-rank every asset into a list where each asset is more critical than the one below it. Start at the top of the list and get as far down as you can in a given period. – “If I have time for 20 assets, I do the first 20. If I have time for 100 assets, I do the first 100.”

3. Every Asset on Its Own Schedule – Try to cover all assets by simply adjusting the frequency of inspections and maintenance tasks. Important assets get frequent maintenance, less important assets get less frequent maintenance, least important assets get the least frequent maintenance. – “I can maintain every asset on earth, as long as I can schedule it out far enough.”

4. Full Coverage – Scale up your resources, so you have full coverage on all of your critical assets – double your maintenance staff, send everyone to full cross-training and certification, and buy all new tools. – “Unless I have full staff and full budget, it’s not even worth trying to keep up.”

Unfortunately, all of these approaches are inflexible, unsustainable, and they all miss the deeper root cause: more assets than the maintenance team has the capacity to manage. In the outside world, healthcare workers have a similar criticality dilemma:

  • Everyone is EQUALLY important AND resources are limited.

What to do? Over multiple generations, Medical professionals have evolved a ‘tiered’ operating approach.

  • Tiered levels of training and certification.
  • Tiered levels of workers.
  • Tiered volume of visits/inspections.
  • Tiered amount of time spent on each person.

Tiered Maintenance in an Industrial Facility
The same concept can be applied to the maintenance world. With a tiered maintenance program, organizations waste less time analyzing healthy machines, reduce the number of work orders flowing through an organization and avoid deploying experts on simple faults. Here is an example of tiered maintenance:

1. SCREEN for potential problems
a) People – Entry level technicians
b) Tools – Simple screening tools
b) Assets – Looking at all assets

2. DIAGNOSE common faults and root cause
a) People – Experienced technicians
b) Tools – Tools – Full featured tools
b) Assets – Evaluating critical assets

3.ANALYZE complex faults and root cause
a) People – Expert analyst
b) Tools – Advanced analytical tools
b) Assets – Analyzing critical assets

Program Pillar #2 – Select Technology

Technologies Matched to Critical Failure Modes
All kinds of maintenance technologies can offer basic information or advanced information depending upon the skill and experience of the user. However, different assets require a mix of technologies: electrical, thermal and/or mechanical. Every link in the chain is a potential failure and some links lie outside the physical “machine”. For example:

  • Input Power Quality → Drive & Drive Output Signals → Motor Load/Wingdings → Motor Insulation → Mechanical Vibration & Alignment → Process Controls & Variables

New Tool Advances Enable a Tiered Maintenance Approach
Fluke has created tools that enable a tiered maintenance team structure with faster, simpler, intelligent measurements across the entire plant. These tools include:
1. Automated vibration tester

  • Fully automated machine conditions answers
  • Lower upfront costs, resources, and training
  • Easy to use

1. Vibration screening tool

  • 5 tools in 1 – overall vibration, bearing impacting, IR temperature, bearing health
  • Lower upfront costs, resources, and training
  • Fast machine health screening/li>

A Complete Maintenance Repair Workflow
1. SCREEN – First, screen machines to find out which ones are good or bad.
2. DIAGNOSE – Second, diagnose machine faults and determine repair recommendation.
3. CORRECT – Third, correct the problem.
4. VERIFY & REPORT – Last step is to check machine to ensure repair is good and return to service.

Teams that operate in a “tiered” structure across multiple measurement technologies need:

  • Real-Time Data Entry
  • Real-Time Issue Escalation
  • Collaboration
  • Comparison
  • Additional Context
  • Consistency / Repeatability

Program Pillar #3 – Data Management

Is your Strategy Helping or Hurting You?

  • How much data should be collected?
  • Which data is important to keep and which is not?
  • What to do with all of the data you’ve measured and how to interpret it?

Finding the answers and root causes amongst your data can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, because more data doesn’t automatically make finding problems easier. Maintenance teams need more of the right kind of data to make real change.

Does your current data management system pass the “ACID Test”?
The “ACID Test” for any Data Management Program

  • Enables Analysis
  • Includes rich Context
  • Preserves data Integrity
  • Allows all team members to contribute to and consume the data Democratically
  • And provides appropriate data Security

The Vision of Device and CMMS Integration
The vision at Fluke is to take data from hand held tools and devices and connect it to a central cloud, where a CMMS will be fully integrated. With this type of integration, when equipment condition falls below a specific threshold, a work order will automatically be issued to take corrective action. It will also become possible to seamlessly order all parts needed for that particular repair. Assets will be managed in one central place to make the information available to all members of the maintenance team.

All Three Pillars Working Together…

The End Goal Should be:

1. Program Start-Up

  • All of your maintenance people,
  • Working together in a “tiered” approach,
  • Basing the type of work on the “Class” of Asset being serviced.

2. Technology Selection

  • Prioritizing the tools and techniques that will prevent the most common failure modes,
  • Select tools that enable a tiered operating model and facilitate collaboration across tiers.

3. Data Management
Collecting and sharing information in a way that:

  • Enables Analysis
  • Includes rich Context
  • Preserves data Integrity
  • Allows all team members to contribute to and consume the data Democratically
  • And provides appropriate data Security

*These three pillars together will deliver results, drive commitment, and change culture!

Upcoming Live Best Practice Webinar – Register Now!

Topic: The Powerful Principles behind RCM
Date: Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Time: 11 a.m. ET
Presenter: Nancy Regan,  founder and president of The Force, Inc.
About: Even if you never intend to apply Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) specifically, the basics provide a wealth of knowledge that can be (and should be!) applied to just about any asset improvement initiative. Hear RCM expert Nancy Regan’s engaging presentation on what you need to know.