Is the Internet of Things (IoT) the Answer? While our last few blogs focused more on problems that the lack of expertise in the skilled trades is causing us; in this blog, we [...]
“Earlier this year, Fluor opened a skilled craft training center in the Gulf Coast, stating that while the firm could not train its way out of the shortage, it hopes to alleviate the problem”. Increased training is a partial answer. However, in most skilled trades disciplines, it takes a minimum of four years to achieve a journeyman status. In some technical skills, the apprenticeship can take up to 6 years. Hence the quote “the firm could not train its way out of the shortage”.
In a recent Reuters news article “U.S. refiners face severe labor shortage for deferred maintenance” it was stated that US refiners have deferred routine work for the last two years while margins were high. However, now with an excess of global fuels, the refiners see an opportunity to undertake their maintenance shutdowns. However, there are multiple billion dollar projects that are competing for the skilled labor workforce. If the refiners do not start the needed work, the article points out that they run the risk of more unscheduled outages and safety issues. So with this in mind, US refiners are planning to spend $1.26B on planned maintenance in 2017. The article points out that refiners are going to have trouble finding skilled workers which is going to “complicate scheduling and even extend outages”.
Have we ever thought about career paths for reliability/ maintenance managers? How much does our executive management’s perception of us steer us toward a certain career path? How often are reliability/ maintenance managers perceived as technical wizards and their career path is to the top level of their department and it is at a “dead end”...
To understand how these four reasons impact asset management, we first need to understand why the EAM system is important to asset management. (For the sake of this blog, we will focus on physical assets.) In the ISO-55000 document, section 2.4.1 mentions the need for analytical approaches across the life cycle of the asset. The life cycle of an asset begins with the conception of the need for the asset through to the disposal of the asset...
“The past is the future; the future is the past: it all gives me a headache.”—This quote is taken from a Star Trek Voyager episode. Consider how Captain Janeway could apply this to reliability/ maintenance managers today. Consider this: How many “new” processes and procedures actually have been created in the area of maintenance and reliability in the last few years? Are the latest “buzzwords” simply new names for processes and procedures that have existed for decades? ..
Preventing human error will exist in at least two areas. The first to be considered is operations. If a piece of equipment is observed to be mis-operated, what really is the cause of the mis-operation?
Design weaknesses can be improved in the equipment by strengthening the various parts to extend component life. This may take the form of some type of wear resistance, where a material is changed in a high wear area to a material that has a higher wear rating than the components around it.
In this blog, we will discuss deterioration prevention which focuses on the equipment related maintenance issues. Deterioration prevention covers areas such as establishing equipment base lines, standardizing repair policies and procedures, and standardization of spare parts.
In the first step to Zero Breakdowns, we discussed Maintaining Basic Conditions. In this blog, we will discuss maintaining operating standards. Maintaining operating standards requires determining the design capacity for a particular piece of equipment. Once this is determined, the goal is to achieve this design capacity, not to exceed it, also not to fail to reach it. Unfortunately, many companies today believe that exceeding design capacity is good. However, as design capacity is exceeded, service life and reliability of the equipment is reduced. While the speed or the instant output of the equipment may look good, the resulting downtime impacts negatively the overall capacity.