WIP your maintenance program into shape!

February 2, 2016

WIP is an acronym for “Work In Progress”. An example of WIP is when the widget must progress through different production processes that change fit, form or function before reaching a stage of final completion and readiness for shipment to the end user. Work management is required to ensure the widget moves through these stages at the proper time and under the correct conditions. Most production facilities have some type of WIP that is followed.

Maintenance activities must follow a WIP process to ensure success as well. As the graphic below illustrates, maintenance work should start out as a maintenance request and progress through the critical stages shown below before competition. Each stage must be closely monitored to ensure that bottlenecks do not exist or stages bypassed as the work is started and executed.


The goal is to ensure that the Right Work is done at the Right Time and in the Right Way. Feedback and work history make the final steps in the execution process to help ensure any improvements are known and implemented.

Do you WIP your maintenance process to ensure proper execution of work?


Infographic: Field Balancing in 5 Easy Steps

January 28, 2016

Precision balancing is an essential part of a proactive reliability program as it can eliminate many machine failures and defects. This Infographic outlines an easy and effective way to balance your rotating equipment.

Ludeca 5-Step BalancingInfographic

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Why is the condition monitoring analyst sitting in the office all the time?

January 26, 2016

Management and co-workers do not always understand why Condition Monitoring (CM) Analysts spend so much time in an office looking at a computer screen. What are they doing? What does that have to do with condition monitoring activities, equipment repairs and reliability efforts? Why are they not in the field collecting data? Why are they not working on equipment maintenance? Unfortunately, these misconceptions often result in a perception that CM Analysts are not doing their job and they are pulled back into routine maintenance activities or assigned other work tasks.

The reality is that four critical steps must be consistently completed by a CM Analyst for the program to be successful. First, valid data must be collected with the CM technology at proper measurement intervals. Second, the collected data must be properly analyzed. Third, the findings must be promptly reported in a meaningful way to those responsible for planning, scheduling and completing the CM results. Fourth, the database(s), measurement methods and equipment information must be constantly updated. Additionally, routine research is required to ensure that proper measurement and analytical techniques are being applied, needed information is available, etc.

Successful completion of the critical steps outlined above requires time in an office environment using a computer. Not allowing your analyst(s) this necessary time will ensure failure and result in needless reliability issues. An old rule of thumb is that for every hour a CM analyst spends in the field it will require an hour in the office processing that data, reporting the findings, etc., as explained above. The time in the office can vary depending upon how well the CM database is setup with proper alarms and measurement criteria. In addition, the analysis software, CMMS software, and other resources can be a critical factor determining how much office time is required.

The point is that an analyst requires office time to properly process, report and maintain his CM efforts. Otherwise, the CM program is certain to fail. Provide time for the analyst(s) to do the job being asked of them or don’t be surprised when these efforts fail.


Reliability workflow @BICMagazine

January 19, 2016

As Published by BIC Magazine December 2015 issue

A world-class reliability program is not achieved overnight, yet you must start somewhere. Your first step is to vest your entire human capital in its success. Reliability is a culture, not a goal, and it flows from the top down. Therefore, executive sponsorship with integrity and enforcement is a must. Obtain buy-in to the culture of reliability from everybody in your organization, or the effort is doomed to fail. Start with this realization, and your reliability effort will ultimately succeed, and you and your stakeholders will reap its rewards.

The reliability workflow must be well organized and underpinned by a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). Let’s look at how it works in a world-class program.

Ultrasound analysis detects a bearing fault in a critical motor early in the P-F curve. The analyst enters this data in the CMMS and trends it. The analyst decides to request a work order with recommendations. This is Stage 1 in the work order process.

The work order is now reviewed by both maintenance and operations, thereby ensuring buy-in from operations as well. This is Stage 2. This review process ensures only truly needed or valuable work is approved. Also, older open work orders can be combined with this one to further streamline planned activity on the asset. For instance, an earlier work order was created to align the machine, but the work was never carried out, resulting in the bearing damage the ultrasound analyst has now detected. The review process would catch the older open order and add it to the present order. This would prevent the millwright from going out to align the machine tomorrow only to have a repair technician go out the following week and repair the motor but do no alignment on it. This review process tries to eliminate inefficiency, duplication and detrimental work sequences.

Stage 3 assigns the work order to the maintenance planner for action. Only approved and truly necessary work enters the planner’s backlog. The planner ensures work is properly prioritized. Two things are needed: The criticality ranking of the asset (ascertained from systems’ criticality analysis) and its operational criticality. Both of these factors can be multiplied together to create a more accurate prioritization of the workflow. The planner creates a new work plan if needed and should consult with maintenance supervisors and technicians; valuable insights may be gained into what parts, tools and equipment should be specified in the work plan. Next, the planner orders the maintenance, repair and operating materials (MRO) spares and tooling required to complete the job and verifies the parts are available and kitted (best practice). The planner should not concern himself with scheduling.

Now on to Stage 4: assignment to the scheduler. The scheduler allocates the HR and necessary time to accomplish the task, with a cushion for unforeseen complications. He too should consult with the maintenance supervisor and technicians to obtain cooperation and buy-in to the schedule. Coordination with operations is crucial. Operations  “owns” the equipment and must sign off on the schedule to bring the asset down.

Stage 5 assigns the order to the appropriate maintenance and electrical supervisors, who in turn assign specific tasks in the work plan to their respective repair technicians, electricians and millwrights, and verify MRO spares has delivered the parts kit to the proper location.

Now the work order enters Stage 6: the work execution phase. Once the technicians have completed the work, they report to their supervisors, who return the asset to active duty status in the system. Operations is notified the asset is ready for service, and MRO spares is notified of any unused parts and supplies that should be returned and reintegrated into the MRO spares inventory. Technicians and supervisors should feed their observations and data into the CMMS system.

Stage 7 sees the ultrasound analyst performing follow-up data collection on the asset to ensure all is well. The work now goes back to the planner to be formally closed. This ensures all important data has been accumulated and distributed within the system, enabling key performance indicators to be updated.

As good data accumulates, reliability engineering will use it to improve the entire reliability and maintenance process, discover frequent failure patterns, identify training needs, drive out defects, streamline production and help to improve the design process. As the plant becomes more efficient and productive, greater resources can be allocated to defect elimination and strengthening condition-based maintenance technologies, further impelling the transition to a proactive, reliability-centered culture. Reliability is a never-ending journey of continuous improvement.

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LUDECA launches new microsite www.LudecaVideos.com

January 12, 2016

In today’s world, video platform is the way to accomplish effective visual knowledge and a learning mechanism in many organizations. With the use of video, one not only is able to promote products and services but one can also strengthen a culture and demonstrate how-to scenarios easily and quickly.

Video Library

Video Library

LUDECA believes in communicating visually to help customers educate and train their personnel on precision skills. For this reason, we are pleased to announce the release of our new microsite www.LudecaVideos.com, which features a Shaft Alignment Know-How series plus a Know-How series for Vibration Analysis and Balancing. The video site features basic terminology, fundamental concepts, advanced measurements as well as product demonstrations. The videos are indexed by category but also searchable by keyword.



We felt there was a need to go back to basics and help educate on precision skills and related technology to improve asset reliability. Following the Uptime Elements™ holistic approach to reliability, alignment and balancing are key components of your asset condition management (ACM) program. We are happy to offer these videos to our customers for their personnel to access and for use in their training programs. We hope this content assists them and others in either improving their reliability program or in getting one started and leads to world-class reliability programs,” —Frank Seidenthal, president of LUDECA.

We encourage you to visit www.LudecaVideos.com and see for yourself the value behind each video.

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What we learned about Reliability from Uptime Awards winners at IMC-2015

January 7, 2016

Every year Uptime Magazine recognizes organizations that demonstrate excellence in managing equipment reliability using advanced strategies and technology to determine potential failures and solutions. Last December during IMC-2015 in Bonita Springs, FL, I had the pleasure of attending not only the award ceremony but the presentations by the award-winners. It was fascinating to hear them share their pains, the evolution of their programs, their procedures and processes, and the role technology played in the success of their solutions, such as precision alignment and ultrasound, among others. It was personal and very inspirational. I walked away with a few quotes: “Vision without implementation is just a vision.”; “Unity is a powerful thing!”

The buzz word this year at IMC-2015 was “Reliability”. Everybody wants it, everybody needs it but it was made clear that it can’t happen unless we establish Reliability as a set of values, as a belief system for our organizations, remembering that Reliability comes from within, from the people! The award-winners were a testament of these principles with their commitment to Reliability and ensuring that their M&R teams are aligned with their goals and values.

IMC-2015 Uptime Awards

Congrats to all the winners and a very special thank you to our customers Bristol-Myers Squibb, Central Arizona Project, South Gardens Citrus, Merck & Co., Rahway and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for allowing us to be part of their Reliability Journey.

This is an exciting time for our industry and we can all take part in this adventure. It starts with you! Declare Reliability and be part of the culture change.

Some ideas to help you get started:

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