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As Published by Maintenance Technology Magazine September 2017 issue

If greater reliability and uptime are of any concern to you, then precision maintenance is a key component in achieving it. This means having clear and simple, yet meaningful, procedures in place for the different tasks involved. Two such tasks are precision alignment and balancing. LUDECA’s  5-Step Procedures will help guide your facility and maintenance staff to achieving precision maintenance.

Get your own copy of these 5-Step Procedures:

Download 5-Step Shaft Alignment Procedure

Download 5-Step Balancing Procedure
Why is precision maintenance so important?  The reasons are clear:

  1. Safety
    The alignment and balancing procedures lay out the basic steps required to align and balance machines safely, reducing risk of injury and increasing likelihood of a quality outcome. Checklists simplify the workflow and serve to remind employees of the processes required to consistently and safely perform the precision maintenance task.
  2. Reliability
    Well-aligned and balanced machines run more reliably, with a greatly reduced probability of failure. This allows for better maintenance planning, greatly reduced repair and maintenance expenses, increased uptime and more profits.
  3. Efficiency
    A good alignment procedure ensure that machines are aligned to the proper tolerances for the running condition of the machines, taking into account such things as thermal growth and anticipated positional changes. This ensures that the greatest efficiency is achieved in your running machinery, prolonging their health and reducing power consumption. Studies have shown that well-aligned machines result in a 3% to 10% reduction in power consumption. Noise and heat generation is reduced, producing a safer work environment.
  4. Production Quality
    Good alignment and balancing result in better product quality since vibration is minimized, resulting in a more uniform and higher product quality. Unexpected breakdowns in production machinery may lead to costly waste from scrappage and high restart costs for the production line.
  5. Training & Procedural Consistency
    Once implemented, a procedure ensures all employees involved in the activity face clear and consistent expectations and processes, leading to a better understanding between all staff in the facility. Training expense can be reduced since often only refresher training is required to update understanding of the technology utilized as updates are rolled out. Records should be kept that document employee training.

The next step in precision maintenance and reliability is the Implementation of formal specifications that detail every step in a task from safety to activity process to documentation, to ensure that anyone involved can follow the procedures and guidelines without confusion, and reach the desired outcome for all machinery types in the plant. Such specifications typically take from two to three months to develop and a further two to three months to roll out and fully implement. LUDECA has written a number of these specifications for customers worldwide. Let us help you as well.

by Alan Luedeking CRL CMRP

Guest post by Brandon Weil, CMRP at Eruditio LLC
Belts, chains, and sprockets, chances are you have at least one if not all of these in your facility, and chances are you’re relying heavily on experience and judgment instead of quantitative inspection criteria. All too often the importance of proper inspection techniques and defined replacement criteria for these critical parts are overlooked. Don’t believe me? Just pull up some of your PM inspection procedure, discuss the topic at a tool box meeting, or observe someone performing the inspection, you might be surprised at the range of answers and opinions. If there isn’t a specific measurement or min/max criteria, then you’re leaving the inspection up to chance. Another thing to consider is if these parts aren’t being installed properly in the first place you will undoubtedly see premature failures and reduced operational life. Precision maintenance installation tools such as laser alignment for shafts, pulleys, and chains make a world of difference in preventing the introduction of infant mortality related failures like premature bearing failures, belt and pulley wear, etc.

The good news is that you can start improving the quality of your preventative maintenance inspections almost immediately; all you need are a few basic low-cost tools [Click Here] and you will find a document with inspection criteria for these three parts to get you started. Improving your PM inspection procedure, putting the right tools in the right hands, and setting quantitative standards for your inspection is a very low-cost high-return activity that can start paying dividends today.

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL

Guest post by Shon Isenhour, CMRP, CAMA, CCMP, Founding Partner at Eruditio LLC
So if you could sum up the common areas of focus during reliability improvement efforts what would they be?
The thought behind this blog post was if someone ask us what we are doing or what all is involved in a reliability improvement effort, how can we give them the scope in a concise, and memorable way. This could be used early on in the discovery or kick off phase to outline without overwhelming.
I have listed nine things that I would focus on and they all start with P for ease of remembering.
Predictive Maintenance
Using technology to understand equipment condition in a noninvasive way before the functional failure occurs
Example: Vibration, Ultrasonic, Infrared
Preventive Maintenance
Traditional and more invasive time based inspections which should be failure mode based
Example: Visual Inspection of gears in a gear box
Precision Maintenance
Doing the maintenance craft to the best in class standards to prevent infant mortality
Example: Alignment, Balancing, Bolt Torquing
Process
Clear series of steps to identify, prioritize, plan, schedule, execute, and capture history with who is responsible for each
Example: Work Identification Process, Root Cause Process. Work Completion Process
Problem Solving
The process for understanding the real causes of problems and using business case thinking to select solutions that reduce or eliminate the chance of recurrence
Example: Root Cause Analysis, Fault Tree, Sequence of Events
Prioritizing of Work
The process of determining sequences of work as well as level of effort using tools like equipment criticality and work order type
Example: RIME index
Parts
These are the processes required to have the right part at the right time in the right condition at the right place for the right cost
Example: Cycle counting process, proper storage procedures, kitting process
Planned Execution
This piece is about taking the identified work and building the work instructions, work package and collecting the required parts and then scheduling the execution.
Example: Job Packages, Schedules, Gantt Charts
People
This is where we deal with the change management and leadership portion which is required in order to truly make a change to the organization
Example: Situational Leadership, Communication Planning, Risk Identification, Training
So here are my nine “Ps” that you can share as early communication to get your organization on board with your reliability efforts and develop the Profit we all want.
What would you add?

by Yolanda Lopez

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.

by Trent Phillips CRL CMRP - Novelis