12 Ways to find Time for Maintenance in 2016

January 5, 2016

Guest post by Jeff Shiver, Founder of  People and Processes, Inc.

As a maintenance planning and scheduling professional, I am often asked how to schedule maintenance activities when production is 24/7 or 24/6. An important question is whether the 24/7 operation is driven in part by a lack of reliability or if the organization is proactive and actually capacity constrained. In either case, the challenge is finding windows for work with the equipment stopped or shutdown.

  1. Failure to identify smaller windows for work
  2. Give work to operators
  3. Lack of partnership between the operations and maintenance group
  4. Get the work done right
  5. Make resources available
  6. The right focus on preventive maintenance (PM)
  7. Identify failure
  8. Act, don’t react
  9. Don’t defer PM tasks
  10. Failure to take advantage of unplanned downtime for proactive work
  11. Manage the backlog
  12. Lack of effective coordination between the crafts

For more details, please read the full article.

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What is your company’s definition of “Maintenance”?

December 29, 2015

Have you ever considered what your company’s definition of “maintenance” may be? Unfortunately, within many organizations “maintenance” is simply synonymous with “fix-it”. Maintenance is derived from the word “maintain” and that concept is critical for equipment reliability. Basically, your goal should be to maintain your equipment to some standard and functional ability. When equipment is allowed to reach a point of breakdown, then we have actually failed to maintain it.

How do we maintain our equipment to standards for performance, safety, quality, etc.? First, is design. Second comes proper installation. Thirdly, good operation. Improper operations can result in breakdowns and inability of a machine to meet the defined standards. Fourth, precision maintenance skills, condition monitoring, planning & scheduling and execution of the foregoing are required to maintain equipment and ensure it can meet functional requirements upon demand.

Always remember your maintenance department cannot overcome poor design, improper installation, incorrect operation of the equipment, improper maintenance execution (poor craft skills, bad planning and scheduling, and so on). These things will result in repeated repairs (“fix-it”) and extra costs to meet the desired standards (operation, safety, quality, etc.) Properly maintaining equipment requires the involvement of many individuals and groups within your company.

Perhaps some discussion about the definition of “maintenance” may create opportunities for improvement within your company.

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A Successful Cardan Shaft Alignment on a Boat using Multipoint Measurement

December 22, 2015

I recently participated in an alignment done on a boat. The alignment was between a diesel engine and V-transmission connected by a cardan shaft.

The Challenges:

  • The offset between the gearbox and motor was a little over 1 inch.
  • Aligning the engine to the transmission without removing the cardan shaft.
  • Alignment is difficult because it has to be done while the boat is in the water, which means conditions can vary as the job is being performed.

The Solution:

  • Use a ROTALIGN ULTRA laser alignment system with compact magnetic brackets, which allow mounting the components even in very tight spaces. See Figure 1.
Figure 1

Figure 1

Using the Multi-point measurement mode allows measuring accurately even with the waves affecting the stability of the boat. This measure mode allows us to increase the number of points collected at each arbitrary measurement position. Multi-point also lets us use of the “InfiniRange” feature which allows extending the measurement range of the detector during a set of readings, thus making it very easy to cope with the large misalignment across the cardan shaft.

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Four Leading Indicators of Equipment Maintenance

December 15, 2015

Have you ever been asked “How much longer will it run” or “Can we make our production schedule” or other ‘crystal ball’ type questions? These types of questions can be very difficult or virtually impossible to answer. They often place a reliability professional in a difficult position.

Some future indicators are (or should be) available to your organization that will help you answer the above questions when asked. Four of those indicators are:

  1. Preventive Maintenance (PM) Completion Rate
    Low PM completion rates directly correlate to increased future equipment maintenance work. High PM completion rates mean that needed equipment maintenance is being completed and future maintenance issues will be avoided.
  2. Ready to Work Backlog
    This is an indicator of preparedness and efficiency to complete maintenance work.
  3. Outage Schedule Compliance
    This is a very important metric to track and is an indicator of future maintenance work. A lack of adherence to outage schedules creates deferred equipment maintenance. This results in increased risks and likelihood that equipment performance will decrease at a future time, leading to lower capacity, increased downtime, and greater expenses.
  4. Equipment Asset Health Reporting
    Proper utilization of condition monitoring technologies like vibration analysis, IR thermography, lubrication analysis, ultrasound and others are a proactive strategy to ensure that hidden failures become known and corrected before they result in equipment downtime or other unwanted consequences. Tracking these indicators together can provide insights into future asset health. A lot of “red” assets from these technologies will result in future unwanted equipment maintenance and unwanted downtime if corrective action not taken. Additionally, this can be used to help prioritize equipment maintenance efforts if a good critical equipment ranking system is in place.
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The Benefits of Performing Bore Alignment on Large Turbines using a Fixed Control Sensor

December 8, 2015

The need for bore alignment applies across a wide variety of industrial sectors including the marine industry, energy, oil and gas, chemical and service companies. It is used to determine the centerline of a series of bores, and setting the centerline relative to any fixed reference, or aligning the bores to a rotating shaft, and/or determining out-of-roundness of bores. One common example is the alignment of large gas and steam turbines. However, one problem often encountered with performing laser alignment on large turbines is that over long distances and long measurement periods, laser stability is subject to be impacted by variations in air density, temperature or light, the cumulative effect of which is often referred to as “laser drift”. To ensure measurement accuracy, an additional fixed sensor, called a control sensor, can be installed to monitor the amount of laser drift at the far end of the turbine. When used with the CENTRALIGN ULTRA EXPERT application, the laser drift data from the control sensor is automatically applied to the bore measurements taken by the measurement sensor to provide true bore center measurements under any conditions over longer periods of time.

Figure 1: Control Sensor being used at a recent CENTRALIGN ULTRA Expert Training

Figure 1: Control Sensor being used at a recent CENTRALIGN ULTRA EXPERT Training

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Who is most passionate about maintenance and reliability within your organization?

December 1, 2015

Everyone within your organization should be passionate about improving and maintaining equipment reliability. However, some groups have more or less to gain from that.

Unfortunately, skipping or moving planned work outages, rushing equipment repairs, not allowing proper maintenance activities to occur, and other disruptions are commonplace within many organizations. These are often influenced or controlled by the Operations Department.

The Operations Department within your organization should be extremely passionate and focused on ensuring that proper maintenance and reliability efforts are implemented and maintained. Why? This group has a tremendous amount to lose or gain from asset performance. This group should be an active part of all reliability efforts. The Operations Department should insist on activities like:

  • Preventive Maintenance (PM) Optimization
  • PM Compliance
  • Precision Maintenance
  • Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCA)
  • Proper Planning and Scheduling (PS)
  • Critical Spares Analysis
  • Operator Care Activities

You must be a reliability evangelist and constantly provide education and awareness to help the Operations Department and others understand what they have to gain by promoting and insisting on reliability practices. This will help you lead your organization to improved and sustainable equipment reliability.

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