As a part of a reliability improvement programme, many process industries assign the losses resulting from each downtime or lost production event to the department “responsible” – usually operations, mechanical or electrical (and perhaps others). Frequently this allocation is based on someone’s perception of who is to blame, which can have significant negative effects.
Operations & Maintenance
Supervisors make things happen on the shop floor and are the primary salesperson for new changes that will affect the front-line workers. Effective shop floor management is essential to the success of any corporation. Communication makes shop floor management effective and fluid. If all of the levels communicate on a normal basis changes will happen more efficiently and effectively. The main point to remember is that the supervisor is the first line in the training of tomorrow’s shop floor leaders.
We know that we need the support of operations in order to reach top-notch reliability in our plants. But does your operations manager know exactly what your expectations are? Have you identified, communicated and agreed upon exactly what you need operations to do? This exact question came up at a plant in Chile.
Equipment inspections is key to keeping your production running but many plants don’t tap into all the resources available. IDCON Reliability and Maintenance Management Consultant, Michael Lippig has a simple decision chart that will help you decide what tasks can be done by what roles.
Few areas of a plant provide as much opportunity for the spread of bacteria, mold, fungi, and dust as the floor. Hazardous materials from a contaminated floor can easily be spread from worker’s shoes and mobile equipment. Food processing plant hygiene presents a unique set of challenges that require careful consideration of floor properties and installation.
Picture this. Personnel from a plant are driving along a road in an automobile. The maintenance manager is driving blindfolded. Sitting beside the maintenance manager is the mill manager who is peering in the rear view mirror. In the back seat, the production manager is urging the maintenance manager to proceed at top speed while simultaneously warning him about a flat tire.
Some of the common measures – besides outsourcing – taken when an organization decides they need to improve maintenance performance include moving all maintenance resources to area operations managers. I often get calls from organizations that are contemplating to take this step towards improvements. I always ask why they would do that, what are the perceived benefits?
In best practices, a closeout review or critique meeting gathers all the information from the last event and uses it to prepare for the next event. It is the ammunition your organization can use to either support the current Shutdown/Turnaround/Outage process as cost and safety effective or to challenge how the process is currently performed. Unfortunately, many organizations either don’t do the review or have the meeting and do not use the information to impact the next shutdown cycle.
If you’re getting comments like these, you’re not alone. For those in the reliability field with a technical background, it can be frustrating. Your response might be, “The numbers in the spreadsheets are clear. Why is it so hard to get support from the executive team?” Although your work is backed by hard science and a solid body of work, the fact is many others in the company may not have a good picture of what maintenance reliability professionals do to contribute to its success.