Asset Information is far more than just data, and it must be managed. We want to be informed, not distracted by our data. Our goal is to make “evidence-based decisions”. The “evidence” of what is going on can be very useful if it is accurate, timely, complete, and fit for its intended purpose. Increasingly, we are turning to our computers for that evidence. But do we find it? Or do we end up searching through data looking for that “needle in the haystack”? Do we spend our time making informed decisions, or seeking information from an increasingly large and confusing array of dis-organized, out-of-date, inaccurate, and incomplete data? Data must be fit for purpose.
Entropy and maintenance are more related than you might think. What happens in maintenance and many operations can be explained with this simple thermodynamic concept. Entropy is a concept that represents chaos and degradation. It occurs naturally in any physical system and will naturally grow (i.e.: the system will become more chaotic) if we don’t do something to arrest its growth. Doing something requires the expenditure of energy, so energy is what counters entropy. Read more “Entropy and Maintenance – Part 3”
You can wait for something to break, then fix it, or you can be proactive and manage the failure before it causes you problems. Being proactive is all about managing failures and their consequences before they occur. The failure itself, in some cases, is unavoidable, but how you manage consequences is entirely within your control.
You can reduce or eliminate the consequences of failure by forecasting what is likely to happen and deciding in advance about what to do about it. Major business impacts are the consequences of risks and those are manageable. Read more “Uptime Insights – 8 – Asset Reliability”
Reliable operations are far less expensive to maintain and operate and they produce more consistently. Yet most industrial operations are far from achieving high reliability. Getting there will require effort and that effort goes well beyond the maintenance department alone. They will need to change from reactive, break it then fix it thinking and un-informed cost-cutting measures that undermine reliability. They will need leadership, not management. Read more “Uptime Insights – 1 – Improvement Strategy”
Entropy and economics, like entropy and maintenance, are related. In part 1 there is a simple 3 legged stool model: design, maintenance, and operations being it’s 3 legs. It can deliver high performance at low cost and risk – i.e.: high productivity. It is important to keep the legs balanced and indeed intact! Doing so requires a bit of investment. In thermodynamic terms, we need to put some energy into the system to keep the entropy from growing. That energy is an investment in maintenance and the payoff comes in the form of steady, predictable revenues with a high margin for profit. Those words should be music to accountants’ ears. Read more “Entropy and Economics – Part 2”
These are challenging economic times and opportunities abound with many of our customers to add new business value. They are turning to us and asking: “You’ve brought great value to our Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM-R) program through knowledge capture, personnel education, laying the foundation for a ‘living’ maintenance program and so on. However, what additional value can you provide us beyond what you have already done?” One answer: “Focus on writing high-value, asset maintenance tasks. i.e. Tactical PM Program Implementations”. Read more “The Link Between RCM Facilitation and Effective Maintenance”
In traveling the world in search of excellence in MRO Materials Management (indirect materials / spare parts), I noticed two curious facts. First, even in developed countries, both the industrial companies and providers of ERPs (enterprise management systems) are often technologically quite backwards outside the realm of their product specialization. Secondly, those typically smaller companies or subject matter experts who have developed differentiated technology, tend to keep it as a safe and guarded trade secret, failing to commercialize their brilliance. Read more “Increase Productivity and Competitiveness”
If you can’t sell all you can produce, then reducing costs is often the only way to improve margins, but that simplistic accounting perspective is not always the case. Cost control is often thought to be key to attaining profitability but it the case of maintenance it can get you into trouble. Cost control can have a big opportunity cost if you don’t take advantage of the opportunities you have. Consider that what you might really want is greater value – more for less, no just less. Read more “Trick question: Do you want value or low costs?”
There are two things you must do in a successful maintenance program: be good at doing your work, and only do the right work. Both are needed to deliver asset reliability – the cornerstone of sustainable, safe and quality production levels. In chasing reliability many turn to programs for defining the right work, yet many of those efforts will fail. Why? Poor or ineffective planning. The greatest benefits come from defining the right maintenance program using RCM and then implementing with quality work and on schedule. Read more “Planning for Results”
Outsourcing is a form of alternative service delivery where one company hires another to perform some of its functions. It’s fairly common in some fields, such as accounting, manufacturing, human resources, procurement and IT, but not as common when it comes to maintenance and asset management. It has it’s advantages and risks and must be approached carefully.