When the breakdown/repair cycle becomes routine, you can bet money is being wasted. The psychology of manufacturing (if we can call it that) is very much overlooked.

Q: What if it was a personal affront to everyone in the plant, management, production and maintenance, for a machine to break down? Seriously. What if everyone viewed it as a personal failure when a machine failed unexpectedly? Do you think the necessary attention would be given to it? That might be revolutionary.

Of course, if too much time and effort is put into something, the cost will exceed the return, but if the necessary serious attention is given to an operating asset by EVERYONE, the next excellent idea that improves reliability could come from anyone.

“Ownership” is something we know to be beneficial in a manufacturing facility. We know that the more “personal” everyone feels toward the assets, the better they take care of them and the more creative they are about caring for them. When we feel that personal attachment of ownership, we are more forthcoming with our efforts and supportive of the efforts of others who share our valuation of the assets.

With this in mind I offer the following suggestion in order to tap into that inherent pride of ownership and personal attachment that many have to the company and assets of their occupation: LET EVERYONE SEE HOW UGLY IT IS!

Hang a sign on a machine that failed and shut your plant or process down. The sign should read,

This machine FAILED and shut our plant down:
Failed: August 30th 2011
Failed: May 4th 2015
Failed: January 19th 2017
Failed: August 11th 2018

And keep adding the dates. This way the bad actors become obvious to everyone, and even the MTBF will be obvious. The absence of a sign on a machine could then be as informative as the signs with dates.

If you can succeed in creating an ownership of reliability that cuts across department lines, the benefits could be enormous. Failures come from all directions: Operations, maintenance, engineering, management, procurement. Let everyone see the ugliness of it and encourage everyone to pull together to make it beautiful (or at least more attractive.)

by Yolanda Lopez

Do you know when your machinery will fail? The answer may surprise you:

  • 6% of machines fail during the infant mortality period (startup)
  • 11% of machine failures are due to age
  • 89% of machinery failures are random

[Source: United Airlines Study]
This means that your equipment is as likely to fail after a few months of operation as it is after longer periods of operation (many months,  years, etc.).
Machines usually give some type of indication before failing.  Condition Monitoring techniques like vibration analysis can help you become aware of the changes in machinery condition that lead to failure.  This knowledge will lead to benefits such as:

  • Reduction in machinery failures
  • Fewer catastrophic failures
  • Increased production
  • Better maintenance planning
  • Better maintenance scheduling
  • Greater control over spare parts
  • Reduced costs
  • Increased uptime
  • Increased equipment reliability
  • Increased equipment life
  • Improved profit
  • Reduced risk
  • Many more…

After this reading post, you now do not have to 89% of the time wonder what is going to happen next with the equipment in your facility.

by Trent Phillips

In a sense, this post is about one, and only one topic: MONEY. If alignment can be improved, machinery failure rate drops dramatically. Equipment failures are a major maintenance expense and have numerous incidental or associated costs. In fact, the cost of parts and labor to repair the machine can be one of the smaller costs. Lost production, contractual penalties, consequential damages, and liability for injury can all be much more expensive than the repair itself.If half of the alignments in your plant are done with a straight edge and the other half with dial indicators, our experience tells us that the average misalignment in the plant will be about 15 mils (offset and angular misalignment, where the angular misalignment is expressed in mils/10″). This misalignment will create an average power loss of 0.842% (please note that this is a very conservative figure: there is a high likelihood of this value being significantly higher.)
For machines operating 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, at an average cost of energy of $0.06 per Kilowatt hour, the Total Cost of Lost Power (TCLP) for a small industrial plant running up to 150 small to medium-sized machines (average of 35 HP) can be determined to be:
TCLP = 150 machines × 35 HP/machine × 0.7457 Kw/HP × 365 days/year × 24 hours/day × 0.00842 × $0.06/KwHour = $17,325.70 per year.
With precision alignment it is possible to achieve an average misalignment of just 2 mils. This misalignment creates an average power loss of 0.041%. Thus, the new TCLP will be:
TCLP = 150 machines × 35 HP/machine × 0.7457 Kw/HP × 365 days/year × 24 hours/day × 0.00041 × $0.06/KwHour = $843.65 per year.
Therefore, the reduction in Cost of Power is: $17,325.70 – 843.65 = $16,482.04.
These savings easily pay for a new laser alignment system in one year, without taking into consideration all the other attendant benefits from the reduction in misalignment, such as reduced vibration resulting in improved product quality, greater manufacturing output efficiency, and reduced wear and tear on the machines with the consequential reduction in labor, repair and spare parts expenses. Add to this the reduction in unscheduled downtime and the savings become almost incalculable.
Download Why Alignment white paper

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL