As I visit with many sites across all industries around the country, I continue to hear folks say that they have to fix their planning, scheduling and work order data collection systems before they can go after driving improved reliability. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth.
Most organizations today do a poor job of writing out work orders for tasks being done and then providing the needed data after job completion to build a healthy history base. If you think about how long it would take to build a meaningful database, it would take forever to get a solid initiative in place. This is time that most organizations simply do not have.
I believe the key to getting a reliability program underway is to first determine baseline performance data for your most critical equipment that will be key to determining when an asset is starting to function outside of its acceptable boundaries. There are different processes such as Maintenance Task Analysis (MTA) that allow you to determine this in a very credible way. Once you know what data needs to be looked at, you can then decide how you want this information collected and processed. It can run from simple check sheets done manually or automated using handheld devices all the way up to online data collection and automated condition based monitoring to capture the necessary readings. The trick then becomes how to best analyze, correlate and act on all of this data, often being summarized from of thousands of data points. If you are able to look only at the data that falls out of acceptable limits, then it is a lot easier to manage. This is where technology like Ivara EXP comes into the picture.
EXP filters the data and calls your attention to the readings only when necessary and only to those readings that require attention. This in itself is an amazing aid and can save tons of time and resources. With this kind of information being conveyed close to real time to whomever needs to see it, will allow for proactive steps to be taken prior to failure taking place. Hence you have just caught a potential failure prior to it occurring and causing all the time and heartache that goes along with unplanned downtime. The key to remember is that all of this can be done on your most critical assets in fairly short order. The recorded information that helps you spot and resolve the potential failure also is applied to that historical database (that we started out talking about wanting at the beginning of this posting).
You can and, in fact, should give serious consideration to this approach if you’re looking for timely improvement without taking forever to get started. Improved RELIABILITY can be yours and the gains it brings shared with everyone in the organization in weeks and months, NOT years.
Good luck and enjoy the journey.