Too often management remembers the unanticipated machine failure of three years ago rather than the dozens of prevented failures that did not occur since that event. The challenge to maintenance and reliability teams is how to keep their successes at the forefront of management’s mind. I have visited a large number of plants and factories over the years and one of the most effective tools I have ever seen is a trophy case. These display cases are most often located in hallways where plant personnel walking by can see the displayed saves. Often they will show a cut-away of a bearing or gear showing slight damage. The background often includes graphics indicating the amount of saved production time or saved cost when compared to breakdown maintenance.

One paper mill had a cutaway of two bearing raceways that both appeared to be normal. The accompanying background included pictures of the raceways taken with a stereomicroscope. It showed a magnified picture of the good bearing in contrast to the bad bearing,  which had looked good to the naked eye. The differences in the pictures were striking. The message was, that we know what we are doing and this is real science, not guesswork, thereby proving that we provide value. Displaying your SUCCESS stories where everyone can see them will help paint a positive and progressive image of your reliability team. When they think of your program, they should think of SUCCESS!

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by Greg Lee