Who owns equipment reliability in your plant? The answer may surprise you. It is commonly thought that equipment reliability is owned by the maintenance staff in a facility. Is this true? Let’s look at all of the owners of reliability in your plant:
Engineering is responsible for the design of (and often oversees) the installation of new equipment. Your maintenance team cannot overcome poor design and/or poor installation of equipment. They will be tasked to routinely fix the issues that result from improper engineering efforts.
Sales and Marketing have a certain amount of control over equipment reliability. They can affect maintenance schedules, operational schedules, etc.
Purchasing and the storeroom contribute to equipment reliability by ensuring that proper parts are available and kitted when maintenance work is scheduled. Cheap parts, no parts, wrong parts, no kitting, etc., all contribute to maintenance and reliability issues in your plant.
Proper planning and scheduling are critical for equipment reliability. Otherwise, efforts can be misdirected resulting in reactive efforts and reduced reliability.
Operations can do certain maintenance tasks (operator-driven reliability) that allow the maintenance team to focus on more complex tasks and efforts that improve reliability. Operations may not allow proper time to complete required maintenance tasks and drive equipment to the point of failure through poor operation and contribute to reduced equipment reliability.
Management must set the direction and reinforce the achievement of reliability goals. Otherwise, equipment reliability will never be sustainable.
Maintenance staff must ensure that the work is done correctly (within specifications), on time, and with the correct focus. Efforts should be placed on identifying the correct work through Condition Monitoring and proper PM activities. RCM, FMEA, and other activities should be utilized that identify and drive out failure means and truly improve equipment reliability.
So, who owns equipment reliability in your plant? The answer is: Everyone!
Maintenance Tips, PDM, Reliability by Trent Phillips CRL CMRP - Novelis