Machine Reliability about More than Maintenance

Machine Reliability about More than Maintenance

Keeping equipment up and running on a day-to-day basis to support productivity requires careful planning. You must ensure that your maintenance professionals have time to perform work on machines before failure events occur and respond quickly in the event of an emergency. As such, it’s understandable that manufacturers tend to focus almost exclusively on maintenance when it comes to improving machine reliability. However, maintenance is not the only issue impacting reliability, and organizations must consider alternative factors that affect uptime.

This is not to say that maintenance does not play an instrumental role in reliability. Instead, a ReliabilityWeb report explained many problems that end up blamed on maintenance are, in reality, tied to other organizational problems.

Underlying issues that fuel reliability issues

According to the news source, instability as an organization is among the greatest barriers to reliability. Instability often leads to environments where machines are changed and modified without documentation, engineers and vendors tend to ignore inherent weaknesses in equipment or a formalized change process hasn’t been put in place. These problems all lead to less predictability within production environments and can add unnecessary complexity to maintenance operations. The report identified some other underlying problems that have an adverse impact on reliability, including:

  • Operational inconsistency that leads to frequent startups, changeovers and shutdowns, having an adverse impact on everyday output creating potential losses.
  • Sales and marketing promises that create a backlog for production workers, limiting their ability to maintain day-to-day operations and impacting reliable production.
  • Failure to create and establish consistent processes and procedures to ensure operations remain in line with standards and best practices.

All told, the report said that maintenance is only responsible for 17 percent of reliability problems, with production (23 percent), engineering (22 percent) and marketing and sales (15 percent) all being major contributors to reliability issues.

Ensuring operational consistency

Cohesion across the entire organization is essential in improving reliability, and effective industrial training positions your staff to gain a complete picture of how their actions impact reliability.

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Source:

http://reliabilityweb.com/articles/entry/maintenance-is-really-not-the-problem