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Raul Martins

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Posts posted by Raul Martins

  1. Hi all,

    Creating a Preventive Maintenance (PM) Program is definitely not an easy task. Yet, ensuring it will be a cost-effective program today, next month, in one year time, or maybe in ten years time is as challenging as creating one from scratch.

    Yes, that is correct. A cost-effective PM program today, may not be cost-effective tomorrow.

    This is because things change. For instance, a chemical company might introduce a new formula. A mining company might be getting older and its ore is getting harder. A new product has just been released to the market. And the list goes on and on...

    Yes, it happens. And when it happens, you usually will not have enough time nor information to ensure everything will be perfect.

    For this reason, one of the biggest challenges for any Maintenance and Reliability Department, is to ensure that they have a living PM Program.

    Implementing a living Preventive Maintenance Program:

    1- Formal process - establish a formal process to ensure your PM is both periodically reviewed and also reviewed based on triggers (operational changes, unplanned failures, equipment redesign, etc).

    2- Use data -   Data play a huge part on a reliability professional routine. On this topic it is not different. Use data available, such as increasing maintenance costs, production losses history. Use this data to create a theory.

    3- Gather feedback - Once you have created a theory, validate such with operators and fitters. Ask them how often failures have been happening, how the components replaced look like when they come out of the machines. A simple form could be handy on this one by asking your maintenance team to answer questions on this form with their opinions based on what they see when doing your PM tasks (how the components look like, can this maintenance interval be pushed out, what could be improved) and attach it to the work order as part of the history - photos are highly helpful as well.

    4- See with your own eyes -  In COVID-19 times this might not be easy. But in normal times, go out there and see with your own eyes what is being done, why, how and look for opportunities. When it comes to reviewing hundreds of maintenance plans at once it might be impossible. But if you keep an eye on those big ones and have a look at them periodically, you will be able to see new opportunities all the time.

     

    Your turn!

    When was the last time that you reviewed your PM program? What are the triggers used by your company or yourself? How do you ensure it is a living process?

     

    Regards,

    Raul Martins

  2. Hi all,

    Continuing our series of topics about condition based, this week we will discuss about another technique used as part of such strategy: Vibration Analysis.

    What is Vibration Analysis?

    It is a method of analyzing the performance of moving parts of a piece of equipment. The analysis takes place within the range of the change of dynamic forces that are continuously generated. Such forces will affect the vibrational level characteristic of each component (electronic or mechanical). Therefore, with the collection of these data it is possible to check anomalies on an online machine, such as:

    • Unbalance of rotating parts;
    • Misalignment of couplings and bearings;
    • Bent shafts;
    • Worn, eccentric, or damaged parts;
    • Bad drive belts and chains;
    • Damaged / bad bearings;
    • Looseness;
    • Rubbing;
    • Aerodynamic and other forces.

     

    What are the benefits of using Vibration Analysis as part of my strategy?

    By using an effective vibration analysis strategy, maintenance costs will be reduced. This is because it is possible to predict when maintenance intervention is necessary, extending components' useful life. Add this to the increase in the efficiency of maintenance interventions, increase in equipment availability and increase in operational reliability.

    Types of Vibration Analysis:

    Global level vibration meter without filter: they are instruments capable of measuring the overall value of vibration over a wide frequency.

    Frequency analyzers: used in cases where the filter width is very narrow, the frequency analyzer is capable of performing the Fourier Transform on a random, periodic or transient signal.

    Vibration meter with filter frequency analysis: Identical to the previous one, except that the measured level shows the vibration of the most important components to be monitored.

     

    How about you? Have you used vibration analysis before? Is it carried by your own team or a contractor?

     

    Regards,
    Raul Martins

  3. Hi @Superman,

    I totally agree! The whole process (lubrication, samples collection, samples handling, analysis and finally actions taken based on the analysis) needs to be properly established in order to ensure a positive outcome. In order to do that, having a good and engaged team is paramount.

    Yet, if such process is solid, the benefits can be extremely positive.

     

    Regards,

    Raul Martins

  4. Hi all,

    Recently we started a topic called "Using Condition Based Maintenance to Prevent Failures".

    Today, we will be discussing one technique that can be used as part of a Condition Based Maintenance strategy: Oil Analysis.

    What is Oil Analysis?

    Oil analysis is a predictive diagnostic to monitor and evaluate the condition of fluids and equipment. It allows you to maximize the performance and reliability of assets by identifying problems before they become failures. This tool generates assertiveness and security in daily decision-making, allocating resources, such as time and money, efficiently.

    What are the benefits of using Oil Analysis as part of my strategy?

    By analysing your oil, it is possible to detect if it is contaminated with water or fuel for example. In addition to that, it will check the wear of the components. Therefore, it is possible to take actions that aim to correct the origin of the contamination and to anticipate failures arising from wear and tear. By anticipating risks, oil analysis will support you and your organisation to reduce maintenance costs, prevent breakdowns and increase the life of machines. This is because the oil analysis makes a diagnosis of the physical and chemical conditions of the lubricants, being one of the only tools that allows anticipating machine failures.

    Types of Oil Analysis:

    Physicochemical: This indicates the insulating capacity and the state of the oil in the equipment. In this, the color and density tests are carried out, checking for possible changes in the composition.

    Spectrometry: It identifies the elemental composition of the particles in the samples. With spectrometry, the presence of metallic elements such as copper, aluminum, iron and chromium is identified.

    Ferrography: Evaluates the wear of the equipment elements by quantifying and observing suspended particles present in the oil.

    Contamination: It detects substances that should not be present in the oil, such as water, dust, particles from wear and tear, air, etc. It is fundamental for the performance of the equipment, since the contaminated oil represents not only a loss of productivity, but also shortens its useful life.

     

    How about you? Have you used Oil Analysis before? Has this been an efficient technique for you?

     

    Regards,
    Raul Martins

  5. Hi all,

    In May this year we discussed about a topic named "Using Time Based Maintenance (TBM) to Prevent Failures" (link here).

    Also, Erik is releasing a course and he sent a few emails last week discussing about how to increase your plant's reliability, in which he talked about the Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) approach on one of these emails.

    Personally, I am a big fan of this topic and would like to know your thoughts about it this week!

    Okay, but what is this "Condition Based Maintence"?

    For those who didn't get a chance to read his email, I will briefly explain here what that is:

    Differently from TBM, in which you change out parts based on a determined interval for their age-related failure nature, the CBM will change them out based on its condition.

    In other words, you will only replace your item if it displays signals of damage and a failure is likely to occur prior to your next opportunity (eg.: prior to the next outage). If such item does not show any damage signals or only minor signals that are likely to last until your next shut, then you simply keep it as is and start planning its replacement (more inspections might also be an option).

    When to use it?

    On his email, Erik gave an interesting example:

    "An example of condition based maintenance would be the brake pads we talked about in one of the earlier emails - you regularly check the remaining thickness and once the pads start to get thin you replace them."

    Basically, the brake pads are not overdue in 12, 24, or 36 months. However, their life is related to the way and how often we use them. In other words, if you brake abruptly you will see a faster wear behaviour, as well as if you drive 2,000km per month instead of 300km, you will also notice more wear.

    This causes a not age-related failure, but something more random. In this situation, having a 12 monthly plan to replace them would not be as cost effective and would not necessarily increase your car's reliability. An option here would be inspecting the brake pads every X months or Y mileage and replacing it once it reachs is minimum thickness.

    For random failures, the Condition Based Maintence is a more appropriate approach than TBM.

    Is Inspecting the only option?

    No. There are many options that can help you achieve a reliable CBM strategy. They can be inspections as mentioned, but also vibration analsys, oil analysis, ultrasounds and the list goes on and on.

     

    How about you? Do you use CBM on your plant? Have you noticed an better outcomes since using such strategy?

     

    Regards,

    Raul Martins

  6. Hi @Herr Schneider,

    To be honest, it is something that I have heard of, but never really worked with.

    A quick search on Google brought me the links below:

    https://becht.com/becht-blog/entry/risk-based-work-selection-a-process-focusing-on-turnaround-excellence/;

    https://roconsulting.biz/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/ROCo-RBWS.pdf;

    https://www.bicmagazine.com/magazine/risk-based-work-selection-pros-and-cons/

    http://www.bakerobrien.com/bakerobrien2/assets/File/APO - RAM Presentation 20081015.pdf

     

    Hope this helps you.

    If you find something, feel free to share here with us as well.

     

    @Erik Hupje, do you have any experiences using RBWS?

     

    Regards,

    Raul Martins

  7. Task prioritization is at the basis of productivity.

    Think about it: you can be agile, smart and really knowledgeable. However, if you don’t  manage your tasks properly by priority, you will run the risk of delivering poor results.

    That is the main goal of prioritisation tools: tackle time availability issues by focussing on what is more important.

    See below 3 prioritisation tools that can definitely help you to improve your productivity on your daily routine:

     

    1. GUT Matrix

    The G.U.T. Matrix is a tool that helps to understand what are the business priorities. Its done through the identification of the nature of the productivity problems, according to the three factors:

    G – Gravity - What are the impacts that this problem has on the business? Think about the use of financial resources, the waste of production, etc. Give a grade from 1 to 5:

    1. Nothing severe;

    2. Little serious;

    3. Serious;

    4. Very serious;

    5. Extremely serious.

    U - Urgency - How soon does this problem need to be solved? The score is:

    1. It can wait;

    2. Not very urgent;

    3. Urgent;

    4. Very urgent;

    5. It needs immediate attention.

    T - Trend - How will this problem evolve over time? That is, what is your development pattern? Analyze the scale and score:

    1. It will not get worse;

    2. It can get worse in the long run;

    3. It can get worse in the medium term;

    4. It can get worse in the short term;

    5. It can get worse immediately.

     According to the sum of the notes, you will be able to prioritize tasks to solve the most relevant problems.

     

          2. Eisenhower Matrix

    The Eisenhower Matrix is one of the most well-known and applied task prioritization techniques. The name of the tool is a tribute to the American general Dwight Eisenhower, recognized as a great military strategist, as well as an influential politician and diplomat.

     According to him, there are basically two types of tasks - urgent tasks, which have a tight deadline and cannot be postponed; and the important ones, which, even if they do not need immediate resolution, deserve attention because they are the ones that bring the most results.

    Therefore, we separated the tasks into four quadrants of a double nature, setting up a strategic plan for the execution of each category:

    Urgent and important: top priority, should be done as soon as possible;

    Important, but not urgent: they must not be postponed, but they can be done after urgent ones;

    Neither important nor urgent: they can be neglected or made in loopholes of routine;

    Urgent, but not important: they must be delegated or automated.

     

            3. Pareto Principle

    The Pareto Principle helps to prioritize tasks because it allows to identify the most productive efforts. Known as the 80/20 rule, the maxim of this concept is that 20% of the effort is responsible for 80% of the results.

    For example, from 6 hours of work a day, you have a performance that delivers 80% of your accomplishments in the most productive 72 minutes of the morning. Or, still, that 80% of its revenue is guaranteed by 20% of the business processes.

    The remaining 80% should not be overlooked, as they also contribute a fraction of the performance.

    However, by identifying which are 20% more efficient, the company is able to direct its strategies and investments in process management, further optimizing these key points.

  8. You are welcome guys!

    I will have a look at Udemy as well.

    My Excel skills are quite basic and it is something that I am looking forward to improving. Making Macros can be quite handy sometimes and that is something that I struggle with.

    Thanks for sharing @Hadwll!

     

  9. Hi all,

    For this week's topic we have something a bit different.

    Instead of a M&R related topic to discuss and share our thoughts, we will be sharing some free sources of knowledge.

    Developing skills is key in a globalized market, especially in crisis times, keeping an eye on what is going on can make a huge difference.

    For this reason, studying has become more important than ever. However, on tough times like this, budgeting money for a new uni degree, or that specific course that you want might not be an option for everyone.

    Thinking about this, I decided to share some free sources of knowledge that anyone can use to develop those skills that you want and/or need.

    Here they go:

    edX - It is an online platform for education and learning. Founded by globally known the Universities of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it is home of 2,500+ courses, offering free courses without certificate and paid options if you are looking for a certificate for you CV.

    Link: www.edx.org

     

    Coursera - Similar platform to edX, offering thousands of options of courses to develop skills in different areas of knowledge. It offers some free options without certificate, and scholarship programs depending on you financial situation.

    Link: https://www.coursera.org

     

    Harvard Online Courses - a specific Harvard platform with several free courses. You can filter by duration, difficulty, subject area and more.

    Link: online-learning.harvard.edu/catalog/free

     

    Have you guys used any of the platforms above? 

    Do you have any other free sources of knowledge to recommend?

     

    Regards,

    Raul Martins

  10. Hi @Hadwll,

    It has been really interesting to read your posts.

    In regards to the new FLOC structure, if your site has no interaction and there is no plans at all to have this interaction with other sites, then the site code is not necessary.

    Yet, if they plan to have one system for all of the sites, then I recommend using the site code and add the line ID. This would result in 5 levels on your structure, which is something very common in many companies.

     

    Kind regards,

    Raul Martins

  11. Hi @Hadwll,

    On ‎6‎/‎2‎/‎2020 at 2:20 PM, Hadwll said:

    CF34-2P-CP-002

    Site-2nd process-centrifugal pump-002

    I think that is fine.

    Also try to create detalied descriptions for those funtional locations. For instance:

    CF34-2P-CP-002 - Raw water pump from tank A to tank B

     

    This is really handy when doing failure analysis and understanding the process of your plant.


    Regards,

    Raul Martins

    • Thanks 1
  12. Hi @Hadwll,

    That is a really good experience and will definitely add a lot to you CV. It is quite rare to find people who have gone through this situation.

    I haven't implemented SAP anywhere, but I led a project that aimed at creating a standard system for different plants (standard FLOCs, equipment, BOMs, Datasheets, criticality and maintenance plans), which is not that exciting, but tought me a lot.

    You do have a challenge ahead, especially because you said you have just a few weeks. This sort of project requires a lot of attention to details, so try to plan every single step to ensure you will be able to meet your deadline with a high quality work. For instance, one single typo might be enough for a few hours of downtime as you could be buying the wrong part due to this typo, especially when you are creating the bill of materials for hundreds of pieces of equipment.

    In regards to the functional locations, I recommend using a detailed hierarchy. Try to use different levels when creating your FLOCs (Site-Process-Subprocess-Equipment Tag), this might mean more work now, but can save you a lot of time in the future when analysing improvement opportunities. There is a standard for this topic, but I cant remember now. I will have a look here to see what I can find.

    Also, if you allow me to suggest something, try to have a diverse team working with you. For instance, get people who really experienced on your plant that will have information about the pieces of equipment or where to find the information required, and people really good with this master data thing and spreadsheets. Those two sort of professionals working together will definitely be able to speed up and provide quality to your project.

    I do like this topic and I am looking forward to reading more about your experience.


    Regards,

    Raul Martins

  13. Hi @Andrej,

    That is correct. We started this discussion in January on the "MTBF: How have you been using the Mean Time Between Failures metric?". 

    The idea of creating this topic came exactly from that discussion.

    On 5/31/2020 at 5:05 AM, Andrej said:

    This is also the approach of the international standard EN 15341 Maintenance - Maintenance Key Performance Indicators, which I refer to very often. It proposes a huge number of KPIs, so it is absolutely necessary to selective and specific for the purpose.

    For monitoring the performance of the maintenance process(es) specifically, there is another useful standard, EN 17007 Maintenance process and associated indicators, which is a very thorough and systematic presentation of different (sub)processes in maintenance and associated metrics for each one of them.

    The reason one may want to consider using standardized KPIs is that the definitions are very clear which also makes potential benchmarking easier.

    In regards to these standards, I like them not only due to the fact that it makes benchmarking easier, but also it also helps avoiding KPIs that will mislead the team members when making decisions, as it is less likely that they have been wrongfully input. Unfortunately, it is quite common finding indicators that had their data selected so the results would "look better".

     

    On 5/31/2020 at 5:05 AM, Andrej said:

    Let me conclude with a suggestion that setting and tracking the KPIs should be encouraged even if they are not yet completely accurate. We can at least start observing trends and react on them with due caution.  In its essence, Maintenance Management is a continuous improvement process and KPIs can be a very useful tool. And, as any other tool -  it has to be repaired or changed from time to time... 

    Great suggestion. Totally agree.

     

    Regards,

    Raul Martins

     

    • Like 1
  14. Hi everyone,

    Peter Drucker, an Austrian management consultant, educator and author, who is also known as the founder of modern management, has a quote that says:

    “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

    In short, this is because if you cannot measure something, and know the results, you can’t possibly get better at it.

    For this reason, this week we will be discussing about something that plays a pivotal role by showing you and your team if you are on the right track on the road to reliability: Key Performance Indicators

    Also known as KPI’s, key performance indicators, as its own name says, are metrics that a team measures the performance of a specific area or process by helping us to make the right decisions to correct or to make improvements.

    However, it is important to mention that not choosing the right KPI’s or tracking them incorrectly, might be worse than not tracking any metrics at all. For instance, imagine yourself heading to North with your family and your GPS pointing you at the wrong direction. I can tell that your trip would take a bit longer in the best-case scenario.

    Having said that, which KPI’s should you track?

    To be honest, this answer varies from industry to industry, as well as how advanced your processes are. See below some metrics that should be a good option if you want to start measuring the performance of your maintenance department:

     

    image.png.317bef1c71953d878305105d461da576.png

     

    Now it is your turn! Have you used this KPI’s before? Which KPI’s do you track? Would you add any other KPI's to this list?

     

    Finally, I would like to say thanks to @Jim Vantyghem. He is a great enthusiast of this topic, as well as really knowledgeable and has been discussing it with us lately. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with our community!

     

    Regards,

    Raul Martins

  15. Hi @NikosPant,

    I also see the use of detailed work instructions and internal training are an excellent way to reduce rework levels at low cost, as well as an opportunity to recognize experienced technicians.

    Companies usually have several technicians are a cut above on specific tasks that could be training other technicians to improve their skills.

    In regards to the Smart glasses, the experts are staff members of the equipment supplier or engineers that provide such support?

     

    Regards,

    Raul Martins

  16. Hi @Jim Vantyghem,

    That is great news!

    Here in Australia the number of new cases has been really low over the last month (10 new cases a day on average). The restrictions are being eased in three stages. Here in Queensland, the first one was on May 15, when restaurants were allow to offer dine-in for up to ten customers at a time, beaches were re-opened and people were allowed to drive up to 150km from their houses. Then on June 12 more restrictions will be eased (up to 20 customers on restaurants, campings re-opened, etc.). Finally, on July 10, the third stage will allow gatherings of up to 100 people, interstate traveling and more.

    In short, slowly things are getting back to normal here.

    On the other hand, in Brazil the situation is out of control. Nearly 400k cases, more than 1,000 people died only yesterday and no signals of flattening the curve at all. 

  17. Hi @Engrjoe and @Andronica Kwapeng,

    Great replies!

    As you mentioned, in addition to training, it is extremely important to have specific information about the pieces of equipment easily accessible for the maintenance technicians.

    No one is required to have everything in their minds when they are assemblying an asset, so having solid work instructions, up-to-date drawings and bill of materials, detailing the steps of each task is a vital part on solving such issue.

     

    Regards,

    Raul Martins

  18. Hello everyone,

    As mentioned in the title of the topic, congratulations!

    You, as an experienced Maintenance and Reliability professional, were assigned to a new task:

         Reduce the assembly issues of a maintenance team.

     

    Unfortunately, as the world is going through tough times, which includes your company, your budget to invest in training and improvements is really low and you have to look for cheap alternatives that will bring a positive outcome.

    That being said, how would you tackle this issue?

    Improve the process? Work instructions? Internal training?

    Well, it is up to you. Just bear in mind that you need to be creative and really low-cost.

     

    Also, Don’t forget about explaining your strategy and how this would solve such issue.

     

    Regards,
    Raul Martins

  19. Hi @UptimeJim,

    I meant they would struggle considering small changes, such as changing a lubricant of a single piece of equipment. For this situation, you might have some success even without a senior sponsorship, although it might not be easy to convince the fitters and maintenance technicians.

    However, when it comes to bigger changes, especially cross departamental and process-related (how people do their jobs), I totally agree. Without that top sponsorship, there is no chance of success.

     

    Regards,

    Raul Martins

     

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