One of the first rules of good engineering practice is the KISS principle. KISS is an acronym for “Keep it simple stupid”. Basically, this means that most things function best if they are kept simple. It is often believed that expensive complex activities/functions are required to improve equipment reliability. Improving equipment reliability can be complicated and expensive in certain situations. Thankfully, this can be the exception and not the rule within your facility. Don’t focus excessively on the complex and expensive reliability functions you cannot complete and thereby overlook the fundamental things that are required to keep your equipment reliable.
What reliability improvements can you make in your facility that do not require expensive or complicated actions? Start with the “basics” such as:
- Align (shaft, coupling, etc.)
- Balance (rotating components: fan blades, impellers, rotors.)
- Tight (eliminate looseness and excessive vibration.)
- Lubricate (correctly—not too much or too little!)
- Apply condition monitoring
- Understand where your efforts should be focused
Don’t wait until the equipment has been installed and is operating. The basic functions listed above must be included in the specification, design, purchase, and routine operation of your equipment. Failure to address these vital aspects from the beginning through the operation of your equipment will result in higher maintenance costs and reduced equipment reliability.
Often fundamental reliability functions are not completed due to a lack of resources, understanding, time, funding, etc. Ensure that your engineering, maintenance, production, purchasing, and management teams understand and routinely employ these fundamental maintenance practices to keep your equipment reliable from the beginning.
Reliability by Trent Phillips