There are numerous issues influencing our economic engine-many real, many politic, and many mysterious. We could discuss capital formation problems, balance of trade politics, over-wary management, and so on. However, I want to focus on the part that professional development plays in this scenario. And more importantly-the role that professional development will play in the future performance of our economic engine.
Asset Management / Life Cycle Cost
Reducing Stores Cost and Lead Times through a Joint Supplier Venture Wayne Bru, Smurfit-Stone I shall start with an overview of why this program was
This column is likely to create a lot of reactions from the academia of reliability and maintenance management, and all comments are welcome. Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) has its place, but many times plants jump into training programs and attempt to implement RCM long before they are ready for it. This application makes RCM more of a trap, than a helpful tool to implement.
When a firm makes the decision to divest of a plant, management immediately begins to take actions to increase the perceived value of the asset. Just as an individual thoroughly cleans and details an automobile before putting it up for sale, plant owners want to make the plant look as good as possible to drive up the prospective buyer’s perceived value of the plant or to cover “warts” that suitors might view as liabilities – a practice commonly referred to as “window dressing.” Some of these window dressings can have an adverse impact on the reliability of the plant, thus reducing the plant’s true value, which, unfortunately, won’t be felt for months or years after you’ve bought the plant.
As many of us strive to improve the reliability of our plants, several comments bemoan how challenging that is to do in an era of continuous deep cost cutting. They say that in their operation, maintenance is seen as a cost, and is one of the first things to arbitrarily cut. Some think their operations have cut too far! What they seek is a way to justify a strong maintenance capability. I submit that one approach is to speak of maintenance as an “investment in capacity.” Use the language that plant managers, controllers and senior management understands: capital investment and return on investment (ROI).
The potential-to-functional failure interval (P-F interval) is one of the most important concepts when it comes to performing Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM). Remarkably, the P-F interval is also one of the most misunderstood RCM concepts. The failure mode analysis becomes even more complicated when you are dealing with several P-F intervals for one failure mode. This paper will help clarify the P-F interval and the decision-making process when dealing with multiple P-F intervals.
I use the term RCPE because it is a waste of good initiatives and time to only find the root cause of a problem, but not fixing it. I like to use the word problem; a more common terminology is Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA), instead of failure because the word failure often leads to a focus on equipment and maintenance. The word problem includes all operational, quality, speed, high costs and other losses. To eliminate problems is a joint responsibility between operations, maintenance and engineering.
The key to realizing greater savings from more informed management decisions is to predetermine the “True” cost of downtime for each profit center category. True downtime cost is a methodology of analyzing all cost factors associated with downtime, and using this information for cost justification and day to day management decisions. Most likely, this data is already being collected in your facility, and need only be consolidated and organized according to the true downtime cost guidelines.
In an ideal world, multiple components could be produced in a single piece, or coupled and installed in perfect alignment. However, in the real world, separate components must be brought together and connected onsite. Couplings are required to transmit rotational forces (torque) between two lengths of shaft, and despite the most rigorous attempts, alignment is never perfect. To maximize the life of components such as bearings and shafts, flexibility must be built in to absorb the residual misalignment that remains after all possible adjustments are made. Proper lubrication of couplings is critical to their performance.