The amount of time and effort required to embed reliability and maintenance best practices into an organization entirely is substantial. Although it’s a long-term commitment, it’s still crucial to keep delivering short-term positive results along the way of achieving maintenance and reliability excellence.
The following practices, when appropriately implemented, can help improve your plant reliability and maintenance:
Adequate lubrication is essential to have for plants that operate rotating tools. Although it represents a relatively low percentage of what’s usually spent on equipment conservation, it can still result in unfavorable consequences if not appropriately managed. Resultantly, the return on investment ROI for lubrication enrichment is very high.
Enhancing lubrication cleanliness can result in doubling the useful life of your equipment. It can even have a more significant impact on increasingly complex rotating machinery. It’s better to start with the bulk oil storage practices as lubrication storage and transportation often increase the chances of contamination.
Utilizing appropriate dispensing filtration, color-coding of lubrication types, and use of desiccant breathers are all considered as good practices. Portable storage units having color-coded tanks and dispensers help in protecting crucial lubrication from ambient pollutants, besides avoiding human error while dispensing.
Filtration for both in-service as well as the stored lubricant is another critical area of focus with high return. The state of cleanliness of purchased oil from its manufacturer can significantly vary. There are high chances of contamination of lubricants between its processing, packaging, storage, transportation, and delivery to your facility.
It’s vital to filter the oil properly before putting it in a machine for use or in a bulk oil storage system. For critical in-service lubrication processes, utilizing portable kidney loop systems can more than double the useful life of a component.
Last but not least, combining a robust lubrication program with an oil analysis system can further enhance equipment life and lubricant life while predicting impending malfunctions. Monitoring lubricant conditions carefully can help in optimizing replacement intervals and decreasing expenses resulting from unexpected equipment failures.
Root-Cause Failure Analysis
Root-cause failure analysis RCFA is the basis of any business reliability program or enhancement. It serves as an essential tool to shift a company’s culture from reactive to proactive. It also provides a considerable amount of return on investment. Managers, engineers, operators, shop floor crafts can all carry out this investigation.
The returns of this analysis are not limited to equipment failures only; it also identifies the latent, system, or organizational roots of the problems. These roots are systematic to the plant; the correctional actions and related returns are not restricted to the focus area of the analysis. That’s why RCFA can be a useful tool to address defects across the entire plant using minimum resources.
Preventive Maintenance Optimization
Preventive maintenance PM hours usually takes up a large portion of maintenance time, resulting in overtime or necessary emergency work through contract labor. The original PM work may not be value-added if failures are experienced between PM intervals.
Preventive maintenance optimization is a systematic process to review PM tasks to make sure that each job is useful and addresses a particular problem. Usually, opportunities are classified to substitute condition-based maintenance for time-based maintenance.
PM tasks may also be streamlined and organized to decrease the required staff-hours to accomplish them during the evaluation process. It helps in establishing a data-driven PM program, providing a clear return on investment ROI. An effective PM plan will free up technician time to help focus more on proactive work.