Effectiveness. Efficiency. Reliability. Accountability. Sustainability.
The demands being placed on maintenance departments are changing. Maintenance is expected to be more strategic and contribute to the business goals (production performance, quality, safety and environmental integrity. No longer is maintenance seen as just a cost center. As equipment has become more automated, more costly and more complex, the needs of maintenance have changed. We can’t afford to have machines break down.
The traditional belief was that the conditional probability for failure of equipment increased as equipment aged. As an asset got older we believed it was more likely to fail. We also assumed that similar equipment failed or wore out at about the same age. Knowing that equipment failed over time, we initiated preventive or time-based maintenance to prevent the failure. So, rather then waiting for the equipment to fail and being reactive, maintenance organizations believed they were being proactive and doing the right maintenance by periodically overhauling working equipment.
The interesting thing discovered was that the PM did not necessarily extend the life of the asset but in fact the intrusive maintenance could introduce infant mortality and cause failure earlier in the asset life cycle. Several studies done over the past 30 years tell us that there are in fact six failure patterns. There are several reasons why the majority of failures are random. Loads, stresses, conditions, etc. are not consistent and this variation over time will result in equipment appearing to fail randomly. In the case of electronic equipment, failure is not predictable and there is no traceable indicators that will show equipment is going to fail. Finally, some equipment has many components that can fail at different times and this gives the appearance of random failure. Defining the right level for analysis of failure can prevent this apparent randomness of failure, but we still need to track the indicators of impending failure.
Now with a better understanding of equipment behavior, and because we know that the majority of equipment failure is not time based, maintenance and reliability organizations are employing mechanisms to predict potential condition based failures. With the right combination of technologies and best practices to predict potential condition based failures, we become more effective, able to extend asset life and improve productivity.
The Right Combination of Technologies and Best Practices
Ivara customers utilize a combination of human senses inspections conducted using Ivara Mobile on handheld devices or Ivara Remote on Tablet PCs. Also, condition based monitoring technologies like thermography, oil analysis, and vibration analysis collect data, and online data including data historians is also factored in. They use Ivara EXP Enterprise software to consolidate and analyze all this data to make informed decisions fast. Comprehensive reliability strategy development methodologies like RCM and MTA are used to develop reliability programs.
Where to Start
There are many reasons why we still live in a highly reactive world. Our limited maintenance resources (people) are working 12 hour days fighting fires, so there’s little time for proactive work. We have to break this cycle and the only way to do it is to set a group aside that only does proactive maintenance. Start by taking a small group out of the maintenance labour pool and start with a program for one machine or line. Make that line your most critical resource. The key is to take resources out of the reactive cycle that is causing you the most reactive work. That will free up another group of people to start working on a predictive program for another resource, and so on. It’s true that it will hurt to take this first step to proactive. The first group you take out of the pool of labour will hurt since everyone is working overtime, but this will quickly lead to reducing the impact of reactive work, so it’s worth it.
After doing this for the bulk of your critical equipment, you will find that the reactive work will shrink. Overtime will shrink and your maintenance personnel will have time to think rather than just react. Your spares inventory will shrink as well, because you’ll need fewer “just in case” spares as failures become more predictable.
The right work at the right time. Ask us how today. Call Ivara at 1-877-746-3787.