Best Practice Maintenance Requires Top Class Work Quality Control Embedded in Work Procedures and the Crew Trained to Do the Work Expertly
To get outstandingly reliable plant and equipment, embed work quality assurance into job tasks that ensure only top class maintenance work is done
In our industrial maintenance structure, many problems recently appeared related to the realization of the general scheduled revisions of rotating machines by the intervention group for the three trade bodies (mechanics, Instrumentation and electricity).
Although all the means are available human and material and that the management is tolerant to the maximum with the workers on the regulations side, but there are the following problems:
- Very important lead time (planned is 35 days, the actual is up to 75 days sometimes).
- Resumption of maintenance work which has become frequent after finalization of the general overhaul on such machine may be following the quality of service of the intervention group.
- Most important of all is that there are those who sometimes from most of the members of the intervention team refuse to carry out the work entrusted to them indirectly on the pretext, for example, that the responsibility of the work team leader is not assigned to him, or has become unable to work due to injury or is fed up with frequent trips to the location of the machines, where the work is done, etc.
This is why I needed your advice so that the performance of the work becomes of quality, on time and that the group works comfortably and without discontent.
I will be very grateful for your advice.
It is sad to learn of the difficulties you are experiencing at your operation with equipment reliability and the positive motivation of the maintenance personnel. I cannot give you specific advice to follow, as I know nothing about your organization and its equipment. What I can do is give you some basic work management and work quality control principles to use. In the end, you will need to embed work quality assurance into your work processes and procedures so your people have a sure path to follow to get outstandingly reliable plant and equipment.
1. Equipment becomes unreliable because its parts fail. If the parts are kept reliable so will the equipment be kept reliable. It is necessary to specify in writing how each part that could fail is kept reliable. Including the conditions required for the local environment surrounding the part (such as lubricant health, balance, contaminants, etc.), and limiting the microstructure stress level each part will suffer during its operating life (such as equipment distortion, misalignment, component distortion, overload during operation, etc.). You need to specify the engineering standards for each part that will make it reliable. Those standards are what the operations and maintenance crews need to achieve when they use and care for the equipment.
Once you have set the engineering standards you can then look at how to improve the workmanship quality to achieve all standards. It is likely that training will be needed to teach people how to do the necessary quality of work. It is also likely you will need to have measuring equipment to confirm the necessary quality standards were attained in the equipment during the job.
With regards engineering standards for delivering reliable rotating equipment and machinery, a good place to start your research is the range of standards used in Precision Maintenance. There is much valuable information in the materials you can buy at our online store regarding Precision Maintenance and Machinery Health which will help you. There are also international standards covering machinery vibration, lubrication health, equipment distortion, fits and tolerance, and other factors affecting machine reliability that you ought to research.
2. Back in the 1980’s the late, great quality guru, W. Edwards Deming (who helped Japanese industry to do high quality manufacturing that let them dominate their markets), identified that 19 out of 20 problems suffered in a business were organisational system and business process related. In other words, businesses are using organisational structures, processes, and procedures that cause 95% of the problems they experience. The reason it takes your operation up to 75 days to do what ought be done in 35 days is due to the processes and practices your company uses. You need to design, build, and teach people to use processes and procedures that are sure to deliver the outcomes required from them.
One process change you will likely need is to introduce a new process specifically aimed at making your equipment highly reliable and keeping it reliable. This process is separate to the maintenance and care of equipment. The new ‘Reliability Group’ will comprise people with the technical knowledge to understand how to make your equipment reliable, and what methods and practices need to be used by the operations and maintenance crews when they do their work with the plant and equipment.
The topics of Business Process Management (BPM) and Business Process Engineering (BPE) relate to designing and creating processes. There is much information about them available online and in related books. We also have useful materials on work process and quality management for sale at our online store. International standards ISO 9001 and ISO 55001 have useful content covering, respectively, business processes and maintenance processes.
If you want to use a powerful work processes management methodology to design and build effective physical asset management and maintenance management processes, then look at PWW EAM System-of-Reliability.
3. With regards maintenance crew discontent and lack of cooperation. Meet with them and ask them what are the problems they are unhappy about. Then ask them what they think are good answers to each problem. Agree to review the whole situation and any proposed solutions. You cannot promise to fix things, but you can promise to investigate what improvement options are possible to implement.
I hope the above suggestions help you to plan a way forward through your problems and to embed work quality assurance into your maintenance practices that ensure your maintainers’ success.
All the very best to you,
Lifetime Reliability Solutions