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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/23/2020 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    As Maintenance and Reliability professionals, we all have seen many different failure events happening over the years. Although we do not want them, they are there to say hello to us. Even when we try to avoid their occurrence by using proactive Reliability techniques, like FMEA or RCM, some failures will still happen, and that is totally fine. Having to deal with one problem is fine, but there is something that always annoys every one: dealing with the same problems over and over again. Right? Due to this fact, we have an important stage in the Road to Reliability, which is named Defect Elimination. This is how we can improve our results and stop the fire fighting of fixing the same pieces of equipment hundreds of times. But, what is defect elimination? In short, defect elimination is the process that involves Root Cause Analysis (RCA) techniques and triggers for such analysis. For instance: - Scenario 1 - Imagine yourself working on a very unreliable plant, with failure events happening once in a while. You don’t have an established defect elimination process, so you don’t analyse the causes of the failures. Eventually, as the plant and the asset age, those failures are still happening and new ones are happening as well. In the end, the fire fighting will grow more and more. - Scenario 2 – After huge revenue losses due to those failures, your company decides to implement a defect elimination process. Basically, you, as the Engineer, will have to analyse every single failure event that occurs, even if it resulted in only 15 minutes of downtime. Would you be able to study all the root causes and implement actions that would tackle all of them? Probably not. - Scenario 3 – As the plant is highly unreliable and many failures are occurring, you decide to implement triggers for the RCA’s. Basically, you will analyse only the major events, those that resulted in X hours of downtime, or could have resulted in a personal injury. As those failures are eliminated, the trigger gets more strict until you eliminate all the failures. When it comes to Defect Elimination techniques, there are several available that can help us on our way of eliminating defects. We will explain them in specific topics for each one, but three of them can be seen below (reactive analysis): - 5 Whys; - Ishikawa; - Fault Tree Analysis. By combining such defect elimination techniques with triggers, it is possible to understand the main failures of your plant and determine actions to eliminate them in order to achieve a reliable and safe plant. Now it is your turn! How do you eliminate defects? What defect elimination techniques do you use/like? What triggers are used in your company? Regards, Raul Martins
  2. 1 point
    Greeting Mr. Jim Thank you very much for your share as you are definitely a seasoned professional who most likely has forgotten more than I will ever know. I like this statement "obfuscation of truth" . It reminds me of my daughter when she was young or dealing with one';s wife... lol! From Scott Peck's books "The Road Less Travelled" and "Further Down The Road Last Travelled" ... "Life is difficult and complex" thus so are cultures. I could not agree more with you regarding efforts to make meaningful changes from within without soliciting outside sources. My experiences have been that we will all become a brick in the wall at some point in time. With this said, this one of the first statements I have made from the inception of my position with my present employer. If one realizes what I have stated and is strategic in thought they will use the leverage of outside resources to convey goals/objectives and needed resources with the audiences that can provide the support. Again, thank you for the share! Jim
  3. 1 point
    Greetings Raul, Senior management (i.e.: those with true P&L responsibility and strategic decision making authority) need to be made aware of the business impact of NOT acting and the costs associated with taking action. If there is truly a valid business case (and there often is), and the costs do not exceed their ability to pay (the company must have money or be able to find money to pay for it), then they will want to take action. Their next questions will be about "how to" do it. This where it pays to have some outside help. Internal resources are often inexperienced at managing changes of this nature. In many cases, they've been in one environment for a long time and haven't had to lead a change. They are managers (keep the boat steady), not change agents (rock the boat). Outsiders or new managers in the roles are often brought in with a mandate to rock the boat. In all likelihood, if the ones making the case are internal, they are in a difficult position to explain "how to". Consider that if they really knew "how to", then their bosses might ask, "why didn't you say so sooner?" or worse, "why didn't you do something about it sooner?" If the one raising the concerns is new, he has an opportunity. If it's someone who's been around awhile, then he may be fearful of making a career limiting move. This latter type is often in the way of change and is one of the reasons why the organization has a problem in the first instance. If I'm brought in by senior management (e.g.: executive branch, operations, finance types), then I often find this to be the case - the manager is part of the problem. If he can admit it to himself and get on-board, then there's some chance, but if not, he's probably not going to be around for long. Admitting one doesn't know and has now learned, is far superior to resisting change. Silos are a problem and often a hidden one. Again, outside perspectives are often needed. Silos are hidden by the very reports and KPIs meant to reveal how we are doing. Problems within a silo are usually well known within the silo, but hidden from outside view. Hiding them are reports and indicators meant to reveal problems so they can be acted upon. But by revealing problems, one risks appearing to be doing a bad job. Even if there is knowledge in-house that communications are an issue, there is usually little real knowledge of the impacts. Performance reward schemes often exacerbate the situation here. It takes a dispassionate outside perspective to look into this and highlight the flaws. It's very challenging for one who receives a bonus based on a performance measure that is flawed, to want to change it, especially if it's been good to them. I've experienced HR departments staunchly defending their reward / bonus schemes, even if they know it's not really encouraging behaviors that are desirable. They often don't have the insight into behavior at the more granular level to consider any other options, and they rarely have help from those in the other departments and areas where behaviors need to change. Silos produce reports - often looking good inside, but hiding what's really doing on inside. One thing that many senior managers know exists, but struggle to see clearly, is the obfuscation of truth in what is being reported to them. Reports and KPIs often show a somewhat sanitized view and since they are allegedly based on data, they become believable (or at least provide for plausible deniability). Data is often flawed though and anything based on what's in databases that is not truly fit for purpose, will be likewise flawed. Again, it's often not in the best interest of many managers to point this out. Imagine telling your boss, "here's your report, oh and by the way, I'm pretty sure it's fictionally based on what we have in our flawed data base". Reports might be one manager's responsibility, data storage another's, data input yet another's. Everyone owns it, therefore no one really owns it. I'm all for making evidence based decisions, but the data better be rock solid - and sadly, it usually isn't. I could go on about this one. Bottom line - unless you are brand new, have a mandate to rock the boat, have the cross-functional experience to see through all the elaborate smoke-screens, then get some help. I hope I've answered your question.
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