Welcome to "Asset Reliability Advice"

Reliable Machine and Production Output is our Passion

On this page some more details on the Home Page items.

Business Plan

A clear Company Business Plan is the basis for all steps to be taken on production, safety, environment and customer impact.

In other words: 
"All processes must be aligned and contribute to the Company Business Plan"

This means to have the right tools, resources/people and procedures available, e.g. a CMMS, task procedures, roles and responsibilities, right people with the right skills, training options and involvement/support from management at all levels.

In this step is also important to define the "Budget" process correctly, which cost are under which budget, how is it split-up and who is responsible for expendiature.
Next to the usual CAPEX (capital expenses) for projects like new assets or process improvement/expansion and  OPEX (operational expenses) to maintain the assets in the condition they are supposed to be it is important to separately budget for main (one-time) activities to structurally improve overall reliability to a higher level and avoid functional failures and optimise processes.

 

Roles, Responsibilities and Processes:

Typically it is considered "Production runs the machines" and "Maintenance repairs the machines"
However in present both cannot be seen as separate tasks, production output is a combined task between production and maintenance people. In short:

  • Production is responsible for an optimal machine production output.
  • Maintenance is responsible for an optimal machine availability.

This requires cooperation and clear rules, e.g. via a workflow management process with stops and feedback loops.


Asset information:

Asset information is crucial to correctie maintain, solve or better to avoid failures, keep the right spare-parts in store and setup improvement steps.
Part of this technical information are machine details like perdominant fail modes and spare-parts lists.


Risk Assessment

In principle the probability and consequences of a failure of process or asset indicate the risk and dictate the reliability or maintenance precautions. Can the total risk be eliminated completely, can the consequences be reduced to an acceptable level or is a partial or complete redesign required?

For a proper Risk Assessment is important to have a multi-disciplinair team with knowledge on Process (process conditions, what can go wrong when a process fails), Engineering/Maintenance (what are the possible machine failure modes and what is the impact on production), Safety and Environment (what are possible consequences when a process fails).
Other functions can be requested for specific info, e.g. what is the financial or customer impact on process failures and interruptions.


Definitions and assignment of reliability/maintenance strategies.

After above mentioned steps an evaluation can be done for every process or machine to define and assign the most efficient reliability or maintenance strategy. The assigned strategy must at least cover the predominant failure modes for the process or machine and reduce or eliminate the unacceptable consequences. 

The chosen strategies should preferably introduced in a CMMS to ensure proper intervals and documented work orders. This will ensure the possibility of feedback and cycles of improvement. 

Also important to evaluate these strategies on a regular basis and to add a review of the risk assessment database incase of Management of Change.


Work Flow Management:

A visual "Work Flow Diagram" contains all steps and involved functions with a clear relation between the steps and show roles and responsibilities through the whole process.

 A work flow contains:

  • How is work requested,
    - all repetitive work e.g. maintenance PM/PdM intervals can be from a CMMS (or comparable program). 
    ad-hoc or onetime requests, e.g. observations, from safety, environment or heath reports
    Preferably all should be collected in a CMMS or comparable system
  • All requests have to be approved before further action. For PM and PdM work typically at the creation of the task or after review/update. For ad-hoc or one-time requests need the asset owner to approve.
    For both the approval process must review and evaluate basis: correct information, added value of the request and a priority setting.
  • Planning, approved requests (now work orders) are to be prepared, an estimate of time and resources required, a list of required materials (BoM) and possible prepared work steps or task details. The planner will add information based on history and known technical issues.
  • Scheduling, to add a work order to a schedule, in this case there must be alignment between production schedules (machine availability) and maintenance/stores schedule (resources and materials availability).
  • Execution, to ensure the tasks can be executed in the most efficient and effective way it is important that any deviation of the schedule is handled and the most important tasks are executed as scheduled. Also to ensure resources, materials, work instructions are available when needed.
    The last step of execution is always a quality check, machine safety, clean environment and correct execution of tasks?
  • Feedback, after work execution it is crucial to communicate and document experiences and possible comments. Even though a task can be executed as planned and scheduled there could be recommendations for improvement that will improve next time this, ir similar, tasks are executed.
    For example proper feedback can help:
    - the planner to improve estimated duration or materials to be used,
    - scheduling in combining tasks for future use or better ways to deal with materials or techniques,
    - stores to improve the way materials are made available for execution and
    - engineering/maintenance to evaluate and deal with repetitive failures. 
  • note: A proper Work Flow Management schema will contain a separate route for urgent or emergency work, in this case some steps will be by-passed. However also these work orders must be entered in the CMMS system to ensure not to loose history data.

Technical Inventory (Spare-Parts) Management

A technical store typically contains quite a lot of spare-parts, a number of specific machine parts (OeM parts) and standard spares like common bearings, seals, bolts and nuts.

In any case, the value of spare-parts instore cannot be used to invest in other company goals, therefor it is important to ensure all partus in store have an added value for the total site performance and production processes.
It must be evaluated if and which parts in store (as wel as the quantity in store) contribute to this added value.

Examples:

  • Standard parts like common bearings, seals, v-belts must be evaluated, are they readily available from suppliers, can we predict a possible failure where these parts are used. Goal is to only have the minimum of these items in stock. When needed also need to evaluate quantity, in particular for parts that can degrade like rubber seals or gaskets a long shelve life is not acceptable.
  • Critical parts, e.g. non-common parts for specific machines or parts with a long delivery time must be available in stores, however also in this case it should be investigated if suppliers can hold parts in stock (particular when the supplier has more of these in the area).
    These parts require regular inspections (as in a PM plan) to ensure they are in good working condition when needed. Also require good storage practices, e.g. large electro motors with heating elements to avoid cortison inside, rotating bearings and shafts on gearboxes.
  • Free-Issue parts, e.g. bolts, nuts and gloves, typically low value and fast consumption, nevertheless need to be monitored and evaluated overtime. Possibly organise as VMI (vendor managed inventory) where the vendor keeps track of quantity and delivers when set low level is reached.
  • Some tips (but there are many more):
    - check parts that can degrade, e.g. parts with rubber seals, gaskets, etc to ensure still useable
    - perform regular cycle counts (1x jaar, most likely als a finance requirement)
    - keep the stores area clean, dust free, moisture free
    - keep electronic parts, like circuit boards in their anti-statische package
    - lubricants (oil and grease) also have an expiration date, especially in drums, try cartridges.