Archive | 2007

252

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December 1, 2007
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Maintenance Quarterly: Do You Really Know Where Your Machines Are?

Becoming a “Reliable Plant” and staying there requires keeping abreast of constantly changing and improving technologies and practices.

In today’s leaner maintenance departments, companies rely heavily on the reliability of their machinery. While the practice of reliability engineering has been around for many years, it has never been focused on as much as it is now. In today’s maintenance world, reliability engineering positions—not to mention entire departments—have been created to put 100% of their time and effort toward the prevention of unscheduled machinery downtime and critical failures.

Even though the goal of a “Reliable Plant” remains much the same as it has for years, methods and practices for getting to that state are constantly changing and improving with the development of new technologies and practices. A case in point is proper shaft alignment of rotating machinery in the running condition, through the derivation and application of proper coupling target values.

With today’s laser alignment tools and proper training, alignment of machinery has become an easier task than in years past. However, in some cases, companies are finding that even while machines are within excellent alignment tolerances, they still have problems associated with misalignment. This often is a result of thermal growth issues with the machine, dynamic loads, downstream (or upstream) piping movement and other variables.

Many manufacturers supply their equipment with thermal expansion data and recommended alignment targets. The idea is to purposely misalign a machine when the alignment is done “cold,” or offline, so that when the machine reaches its normal running condition the machine is aligned. Compensating with target values is one step closer to proper alignment, but often these values are not as accurate as they were originally intended to be, due to flaws in the methods of their calculation.

Hypothetical applications
Two identical steam turbine-hot water pump machine trains are sold and supplied with factory-calculated target values. It is late October. One unit is installed in a Louisiana refinery at 90 F, the other in an identical plant in Washington State at 40 F. Both operate at the same temperature, but which machine will be in alignment when it reaches its normal running condition? Consider that the factory calculated the target values using an arbitrary cold temperature of 70 F. Because of the temperature differences, it is possible that both units may be out of alignment at running condition using the factory supplied alignment targets.

1207_mq_machinesare_fig1

Using the “TLC” thermal growth calculation method we can see how much the growth can differ depending on what the ambient temperature is when the alignment is performed. The TLC method is the product of the change in Temperature, the Length of material from base of machine to the centerline of rotation and the Coefficient of expansion for the material involved. Each support foot of each machine needs to be calculated. The calculations for one of the feet at each location are shown in Fig. 1.

1207_mq_machinesare2

These variations at the feet could mean an even greater misalignment at the coupling center, or point of power transmission. The graph in Fig. 2 is based on the thermal growth values shown in Fig 1. It illustrates how these growth values could result in even greater misalignment at the coupling center.

Dealing with “problem” machines
Many companies seem to have some “problem” machines that they too often accept as being uncorrectable. Extra spare parts become part of the yearly budget and it’s no surprise to anyone when those particular machines break a bearing or lose a seal every few months—while similar machines run without a problem for years.

This type of situation became clear for a South California refinery several years ago. As part of its growing reliability program, the refinery decided to do something about the site’s “problem” machines, as well as those machines without accurate target values. The company utilizes the best laser alignment tools and trains its employees to do correct alignment incorporating target values wherever necessary. Even with these good practices in place, however, some of the machines still have high-failure rates.

1207_mq_machinesare3

Whenever refinery personnel identify a machine that is still having problems with failures associated with misalignment, they install a system called PERMALIGN® to accurately measure any relative movement between the machines from cold to hot or normal running condition. This laser-based system measures and records any movement, whether across a coupling or an absolute movement relative to Earth, and is accurate to 1 micron. (It is the only linearized laser monitoring system with a resolution of 1 micron throughout the entire 0.630″ detector range.) The system measures any offset and angular movement over separations of up to 30′, so it can also record data on the site’s large cooling tower fans. Even in the harsh environment that the refinery offers, temperature variations and vibration do not diminish accuracy.

The data collected by the PERMALIGN system can be trended, analyzed and archived using software called WINPERMA®. This software uses the data to translate the relative machine movement into movement at the coupling center in both axes; Vertical Offset, Vertical Angularity, Horizontal Offset and Horizontal Angularity are calculated. A baseline established at the ambient temperature becomes the zero point, then the machines are turned on and allowed to reach their normal running condition. The graph in Fig. 3 shows all four axes of movement so the new alignment targets are easily read. Flags can be marked on the graph to record system events such as when the system was brought on-line, to mark different running loads, a valve opening or any other system event. Let’s look at a recent example of a “problem” machine where the California refinery utilized the PERMALIGN system to measure the movement across the coupling.

In one of its distillation units, the refinery has a set of residuum pumps that are vital to the continuous operation of the unit. If the pumps were to shut down unexpectedly, the whole process would follow suit—leading to a major shutdown, resulting in significantly higher repair cost than just replacing a bearing on a pump. Since these pumps are redundant, if one fails the other picks up the load. On the other hand, when one “problem” pump is out of commission for repair, there is no backup. Of the two pumps, only one of them has a very high failure rate. They are identical pumps and the reason(s) why one of them has a high failure rate and the other does not remains a mystery. They both are aligned using the factory recommended targets, yet only one pump continues to have bearing failures. Vibration readings also are significantly higher on the one pump compared to the other, and vibration analysis points to misalignment. While there are myriad possible causes for this problem, correcting it is the priority. Thus, the PERMALIGN system was installed on the unit to measure the relative movement of the pump and motor.

Once the system was installed on the unit and started recording data, a baseline was established. Since these pumps operate at a very high temperature, they are slowly brought up to operating temperature, as marked on the graph with an event flag. A second flag was placed to note when the pump was brought on line. As the pump reaches its normal operating condition and the data levels out—in this case about eight hours—it can be shut down and allowed to cool.

The data shown in the box near the center of the graph in Fig. 3 are the new target values used for the alignment. These targets were input into the refinery’s ROTALIGN® ULTRA shaft alignment system and the alignment was performed once the unit cooled to ambient temperature. The unit was then put back on line.

 1207_mq_machinesare4

A four-month trend of the overall velocity levels measured on the pump using the VIBXPERT® vibration data collector is shown in Fig. 4. The final reading on the trend was taken several days after the alignment was performed using the new target values.

After further investigation into the root cause of the problem pump, it was found that the concrete base had been cracked during a repair on an adjacent machine several years earlier. After the base was repaired, the “cold” position had apparently moved from its original setting, causing the targets to change. This cause was luckily found by a senior millwright reporting the repair after overhearing a conversation concerning the investigation. There was no documentation of the accidental damage or of the repair, so this information may never have been known if not for the millwright coming forward.

Utilizing the latest technologies, the refinery was able to identify a piece of critical machinery that had uncommon characteristics and quickly apply an accurate solution. A complete maintenance history of the machines is now stored in the site’s alignment and condition monitoring software. Proper use of these tools has put this refinery one step closer to what it truly wants to be—a Reliable Plant!

Deron Jozokos is an engineer with LUDECA, INC. Telephone: (305) 591-8935; e-mail: Deron.Jozokos@ludeca.com

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345

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December 1, 2007
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Maintenance Quarterly: Cleaning Up A Maintenance Nightmare

A hydropulper is an industrial blender used in the pulp and paper industry to process fibrous materials into a useable slurry. As shown in Fig. 1, the main parts include: a vessel, a lower chamber containing an agitator or impeller, a rotary drive, motor, gearbox, a tube to re-circulate the slurry and some type of sealing system work to prevent water and other kinds of contamination from damaging the equipment.

In simplest terms, a hydropulper’s tanks are filled with water where agitators mix material into homogenous slurry. Sensors gauge the slurry consistency and make adjustments by adjusting the water to thin or thicken the mix. A rotor or agitator inside the chamber vigorously pulps the fiber while an impeller moves the flow through an outlet and tube back to the vessel. Once the desired consistency is reached, it is pumped out, while a de-watering screen saves the water for re-use.

About the Kruger Organization

The Kruger Organization is a 100-year-old global company operating under five business units. It manufactures and markets a variety of products related to pulp and paper, including: newsprint, specialty grades, lightweight coated paper, directory paper, tissue, recycled linerboard, corrugated containers, lumber and other wood products.

According to company literature, Kruger is the only manufacturer in the world to offer cellulose-based specialty products made from both wood and cotton.

K.T.G. (USA) LP – Memphis
The Kruger facility in Memphis, TN, the setting for the accompanying article, was once part of Scott Paper. When Scott eventually merged with Kimberly-Clark, the mill was idled. In 2002, when Kruger acquired the operation, it became known as K.T.G. (USA) LP, part of the Kruger Tissue Group (KTG), which manufactures premium tissue products, under its own brand names and private labels, for retail, industrial, business and institutional use.

The Memphis mill was restarted in 2003 and a major modernization plan was implemented. Today, with over 40 acres under roof, it is the largest structure in the city of Memphis and employs some 175 people. Main products manufactured here are bath and facial tissue. Equipment includes four paper machines and 10 converting lines.

1207_nightmare_fig1Hydropulper sealing
During the pulping process, material comes in contact with the rotor, a tremendous shock load is transferred to the shaft and it flexes the shaft of whatever sealing system is being used (contact, lip, labyrinth, etc.). To maintain the integrity of the seal, and keep contamination out, among other things, it must be able to accommodate shaft movement. Over time this action can break down even the best of seals. When a seal breakdown occurs, water runs past the component and down the shaft where it enters and contaminates the gearbox housing. Sealing options that have been tried on hydropulpers include [Ref 1]:

 

  • Lip seals—these dry running devices can wear out, break down or fall apart. Their short service life can be as little as 1800 hours. They actually can do damage by cutting into the shaft at the sealing point. Double lip seals can do twice the damage.
  • Sealed bearings—so-called (lubricated-for-life) bearings do not seal out moisture or water.
  • Fibrous packing—degrades and can fret the shaft.
  • Close clearance designs—still allow for humidity egress/ingress.
  • Contact face seals—stop contacting, produces gaps that allow for the movement of air and water across the bearing.
  • Flingers—rings that deflect leakage away from packed or sealed equipment are basically ineffective. In time, using any of these methods, water will be sufficient enough to get past the seal and into the gearbox bearings and cause the bearings to fail. In other words, the root cause of the failure was not addressed.

The Tissue Making Process In Brief

Tissue paper is a nonwoven fabric made from cellulose fiber pulp. (The Memphis KTG plant uses northern softwood and eucalyptus as the main fibers.) In the manufacturing process, fibers are broken up in a hydropulper and mixed in a cooking liquor with water and chemicals usually consisting of either calcium, magnesium, ammonia or sodium bisulfate.

The mixture is cooked into a viscous slurry. To whiten and brighten the pulp, bleaching agents, such as chlorine, peroxides or hydrosulfates are added. The pulp is washed and filtered multiple times until the fibers are completely free from contaminants. This blend of water and pulp is called the “furnish” stage.

The slurry then flows into a head box that spreads it out on a continuous wire mesh belt or Fourdrinier. As the fibers travel down the Fourdrinier, much of the water is drained out through the holes in the wire mesh. A series of other steps further compress the fibers and continue to remove water to a point where the sheet is strong enough to be transferred to a specially adapted tissue or Yankee dryer.

The highly polished Yankee dryer takes the wet sheet over a series of rollers until it is adequately dried. Along the way, raised supports on the line create bumps and valleys on the now completed fabric or “web.” The web passes through a series of rotating knives that cut it to the desired width that are folded and packaged in boxes or cellophane wrap.

The hydropulper’s problem
KTG’s Memphis plant operates five (Voith) hydropulpers that have been in service for approximately 40 years. The units were all retrofitted and modernized in the 1990s, including the gearboxes and motors. Still, they continued to experience ongoing breakdowns—and it was never a pretty sight (see Fig. 2 and Fig. 3).

According to Dave Knox, KTG maintenance planner who oversees maintenance on the plants, refiners, pulpers and paper machines, the main cause of the failure was water contamination in the gearbox. Mounted directly under the hydropulper tank, water entered through the output shaft, entered the bearing housing, contaminated the bearings and the gearbox failed. The problem had been recurring for years and was not solved by the previous owners.

When the mill restarted in 2003, so did the equipment failures. Although the maintenance team knew that the root cause of the failure was water contamination in the bearing housing, it felt that it just had to live with it. To complicate matters even further, because of the hard-to-access nature of the components, it was difficult to determine exactly when a contact seal might fail.

The problem continued because the standard overhaul procedure included the use of lip seals. While these components might have been brand new, right out of the box, the gearboxes would be doomed to fail again—it was just a matter of time. In fact, the problem of water contamination hindering the entire system was to continue until the true root cause of the failure was attacked two years ago—when the Memphis facility began to install bearing isolators in its hydropulpers.

Why lip seals fail
To understand the problem at KTG, one has to look at the history of lip seals. At the time they were first made available some 70 years ago, they were the only choice when it came to general-use sealing devices. Because of their inexpensive cost, over the years they became the number one choice for sealing industrial rotating equipment.

Today, according to their own manufacturers, even the best lip seals have a mean life to failure of only 1844 hours—or 77 days of operation. Half last longer than that and half last less than the mean time hours to leakage. This means that lip seals have a guaranteed failure rate of 100%.

As they experienced at KTG, no one can determine when the time is up for a lip seal. There simply is no advance warning. The only way to tell is after the equipment stops working and the lip seal has burned to a crisp and probably grooved the shaft.

Contact vs. non-contact
While a lip seal or contact seal operates with contact, the bearing isolator, a non-contacting labyrinth-type seal, makes no contact. It never wears out and can be used over and over for many years. With this in mind, it may not make sense to protect rotating equipment that is designed to run uninterrupted for years, with a product that could experience a 100% failure rate in a relatively short period of time.

1207_nightmare_fig2

Bearing isolators
In the late 1970s, an alternative to contact/lip seals was made available with the invention of the Bearing Isolator, a non-contact, non-wearing, permanent bearing protection device [Ref. 2].

The bearing isolator consists of two parts, a rotor and stator, which are unitized so they don’t separate from one another while in use. Typically, the rotor turns with a rotating shaft, while the stator is pressed into a bearing housing. The two components interact to keep contamination out of the bearing enclosure and the lubricant in—permanently.

1207_nightmare_fig3Today, bearing isolators are used to protect motor and pump bearings, machine tool spindles, turbines, fans, gearboxes, paper machine rolls and many other types of rotating and related equipment. Though the end-user has a choice, the best bearing isolators are made of metal, usually bronze, manufactured to specification, with a vaporblocking feature to inhibit the free transfer of contamination (see Fig. 4).

The hydropulper solution
When Dave Knox approached Mike Perkins, his Chesterton distributor, about the Memphis mill’s ongoing hydropulper breakdown problem, Perkins suggested trying Inpro/Seal branded bearing isolators. Following this recommendation, Knox met with Joe Klein, Inpro/Seal’s regional manager. Working together, Knox and Klein developed a plan of attack.

Bearing isolators were engineered and manufactured to the hydropulper drives’ exact needs and specifications. Between 2005 and 2006, these new devices were installed on two of the five hydropulpers as part of the overhaul program. For the last two years, the Memphis KTG site has not experienced a single hydropulper failure. That’s because the reason for their previous ongoing failures— water entering the gearbox housing—was totally eliminated. In the future, this type of bearing protection is expected to be applied to the remaining three hydropulpers.

The rest of the story
In addition to bearing isolators on its hydropulper drives, KTG also uses PMR bearing isolators on its paper machines. An acronym for paper machine roll, the PMR bearing isolator was specially engineered for the size, speed, alignment and operating conditions of wet and dry ends of machine rolls.

As with the hydropulpers, before the availability of bearing isolators, end users had to contend with sealing methods that allowed roll bearings to fail. The leading cause of this failure also was contamination entering the bearing housing—contamination from heat, humidity, paper stock, water and oil leakage.

The bottom line
K.T.G. (USA) LP – Memphis cleaned up the problem with its hydropulper breakdowns by keeping water out of the units’ bearing housings—the root cause of the failures. Key to this was replacing outdated sealing methods with stateof- the-art non-contacting technology.

Since it began installing Inpro/Seals two years ago, the Memphis operations have yet to experience a single breakdown on any bearing isolator-equipped hydropulper. Once the facility installs these devices on its other hydropulpers, breakdown due to water contamination should be totally eliminated.

One thing is certain—the installed bearing isolators will not experience unexpected breakdown [Ref. 3]. These well engineered components should run maintenance-free throughout their intended design life, which could be 20 years or more.

References
1. Before the advent of the bearing isolator.
2. David C. Orlowski holds the patent for the “bearing isolator,” a term he coined when he founded Inpro/Seal Company in 1976.
3. The first bearing isolators, installed in a process plant in Iowa over 20 years ago, are still operating. In addition, Inpro/Seal offers a full no questions asked warranty.
4. Based on available statistics.

Bearing Isolators Widely Accepted Worldwide

Almost three million Inpro/Seal-branded bearing-isolator designs are in operation in process plants around the globe, where end users continue to report significantly reduced operating costs with increased productivity and reliability. Protected bearings have proven to run 150,000 hours or more (17+ years), eliminating the need for continual maintenance and repair. Documented cases show that a plant can easily double the mean-time-between failure (MTBF) and reduce maintenance costs by at least half, with users reporting an extremely high Return On Investment (ROI).

Inpro/Seal Company (www.inpro-seal.com) the product’s originator, recently announced that its production capacity has increased to accommodate 40,000 bearing isolators per month, making it the largest producer of bearing isolators in the world [Ref. 4]. To supply this demand, the Rock Island, IL-based company’s campus, the largest of its kind, encompasses engineering, research, development, testing and manufacturing facilities operating on a 24/7 basis.

Dave Orlowski is founder, president and CEO of Inpro/Seal Company. E-mail: dco@inpro-seal.com

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December 1, 2007
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Executive Perspective: Thank You!

art_rice

Arthur L. Rice, President

That’s right. I want to thank our loyal readers, contributors and partners for a great run. This issue marks the end of Maintenance Technology’s special year-long 20th Anniversary Celebration. It also marks the beginning of our next 20 successful years of publishing. Projecting our future (and also being a grandfather), I think the words of Buzz Lightyear sum it up best: “To infinity, and beyond…”

Maintenance Technology was founded 20 years ago by a dedicated team of individuals who saw a need to serve maintenance practitioners by promoting Best Practices throughout industry. For the past two decades, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing—delivering the best-read, most-preferred, monthly, independent and audited publication in the market to ever-savvier, increasingly hard-working maintenance and reliability professionals across virtually all industry sectors. Supported by practitioners, industry experts and suppliers who are willing to share their knowledge, skills, experience and technologies/methodologies with you, this powerful, high-quality editorial is now—and always will be—designed to help our readers successfully meet their capacity assurance needs.

Although many things have changed over the past 20 years, Maintenance Technology has stayed the course, never deviating from our primary mission and strategies. We serve our readers. We engage our readers. We listen to our readers. Doing so has led us to grow in some unexpected and exciting ways.

Five years ago, we developed and began presenting Maintenance & Reliability Technology Summit (MARTS) an annual professional development program that has become one of the premier learning and networking events for the maintenance and reliability community. In 2004, we began publishing another standalone magazine, now known as Lubrication Management & Technology, dedicated to improving industrial lubrication programs. More recently, we have begun producing regular quarterly supplements like Utilities Manager and The Fundamentals, focusing, respectively, on energy efficiency and a backto- basics approach to maintenance and reliability. These are just a few of the many things that have helped Maintenance Technology maintain its position as the leading publication in our market. Along with other yet-to-be-determined offerings, they will be among the things that help us grow and better serve you and future generations of maintenance and reliability professionals over the next 20 years.

Because we could not have gotten where we are today without the help of many individuals and organizations, we put a lot of stock in giving something back “to the good of the order.” For example, while building Maintenance Technology into the publication that it is today, we were one of the founding entities of the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Practitioners (SMRP). We also continue to be strongly involved in industry activities such as MER (the Maintenance Excellence Roundtable), NAME/FIME (the North American Maintenance Excellence Award), STLE, ARC, MIMOSA and FSA (the Fluid Sealing Association), among others. We view our participation in these diverse types of initiatives as something that truly helps set a reader-driven publication such as Maintenance Technology ahead of the pack—and that’s a place we always want to be!

It’s been a tremendous 20 years. All of those involved with Maintenance Technology, including past and present staff, contributors, associations, valued advertising partners and you—our loyal readers—deserve my heartfelt appreciation. Again, thank you all! MT

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December 1, 2007
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Polishing A Contracted Maintenance Strategy

Maintenance was never a core competency for this Swedish manufacturer. Now working with an outside service provider, the company truly understands the meaning of “win-win.”

Stainless steel is the fastest growing metal market in the world, not only for its popularity in kitchen appliances but industrial applications as well. The Outokumpu Stainless Hot Rolled Plate (HRP) factory in Degerfors, Sweden serves the latter.

Outokumpu Stainless is one of the world’s four largest producers of hot rolled plate with one of the widest range of products and steel grades within the stainless steel industry. Our Degerfors factory alone produces 120 thousand tons per year. The plates are extremely resistant to corrosion and wear, making them popular in challenging applications and environments including pulp & paper, oil & gas, chemicals and power generation.

1207_polishing1Because our customers depend on us to keep our production lines running, we looked outside the company for maintenance assistance. Gradually, we increased our reliance on contracted maintenance services (“outsourcing”) and raised the bar to higher standards. The strategy has led to our current full-service, performance-oriented, maintenance- management agreement.

Outsourcing evolution
When the plant opened in 1996, we had extensive knowledge of stainless steel production, but little in terms of equipment maintenance. To alleviate the burden, some maintenance tasks were managed internally and others were contracted out on an hourly basis to various service providers. At its peak, about 100 individuals were involved in plant maintenance activities.

For three years, our operational effectiveness (OE) and production availability were high, yet our maintenance costs were prohibitive. The break/fix approach was expensive, and tensions ran high between maintenance and production personnel.

1207_polishing_2By 1999, maintenance was still not a core competency for us. Thus, we resolved to forgo all maintenance responsibility and consolidate it under a single, more conducive contract. We chose to contract 100% of our corrective and preventive maintenance activities in Degerfors under a jointly developed, hourly-based ABB Full Service maintenance agreement.

The agreement established performance objectives that subjected the service provider to bonuses or penalties depending on its performance. This approach allowed the contractor to share the risks and rewards of plant maintenance, and provided the incentive to continuously improve performance. Soon, we had approximately 65 ABB Service employees working at the plant.

In 2001, the arrangement was transitioned from hourly rates to a fixed price so that we could have more predictable budgets. Performance incentives still provided rewards or penalties depending on the results achieved.

1207_polishing_3By 2006, an enhanced four-year contract was negotiated. Plant management, production and maintenance personnel were all involved in developing the new agreement, setting target performance levels and specifying when and how long the machines would be stopped should corrective maintenance be required. More services were added to the agreement and caps were established on certain service costs.

We began conducting weekly management meetings with the provider to assess equipment status, production schedules and maintenance priorities. In our plant, production is moving all the time and production priorities change every week. When corrective action is required, maintenance personnel are reassigned to the highest priority tasks based on equipment criticality and bottleneck location. Our priority classifications are as follows:

  • Level One – Accident risk: Equipment problems that pose a potential danger for the operator are of first concern. All other maintenance is stopped.
  • Level Two – Outage in the hot part of production: Equipment trouble in the hot rolling mill can destroy a lot of materials and suffer the greatest costs.
  • Level Three – Process transition: Bottlenecks in moving from one machine to another affect production throughput and must be minimized.

Operational benefits
One of the greatest advantages of our maintenance outsourcing agreement is having another company at the table. It provides a new way of thinking about maintenance and a new perspective on problems. We can be experts at producing plates, while our contracted service provider can focus on keeping our machines running. Moreover, we can put much greater pressure on an outside party than we would on our own employees.

When the Maximo system was brought in, we saw a tremendous improvement. Our previous maintenance management system was wholly inadequate, and work instructions were often written on paper. Now, all of ABB’s maintenance practices and records are tracked in the new system. Outokumpu also uses the system to manage spare parts.

Our costs have decreased as a result of streamlined operations and better maintenance planning, giving us the ability to do more with less. Maintenance costs now are on par with other departments, while OE and production availability remain high.

The four-year agreement duration also has given our service provider greater incentive to invest more in its maintenance processes, since it now can be assured of seeing the return on its investments before the contract expires.

Convincing results
Among other things, since 2001, our full service maintenance agreement has helped us:

  • Decrease our total maintenance cost by 24%
  • Reduce our maintenance cost per produced ton by 58%
  • Achieve our current customer satisfaction score of 91.2%

What’s most impressive is that, in the same timeframe, we’ve raised our production volume by 80%—to 120 thousand tons. In 2006, as part of our agreement, we added overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) as an additional metric. Much more preventive work is being done now, and the work is being completed more quickly and efficiently.

Ongoing improvement
The performance incentives in the full-service agreement benefit Outokumpu through ongoing operational improvements and the service provider through financial rewards. As such, we are always trying to do things better. Utilizing the industry’s best maintenance practices and systems will facilitate our mutual desire for continuous improvement.

Our greatest test was convincing the corporate office of our strategy’s value. Because Outokumpu’s vision is to be number one in stainless, with success based on operational effectiveness, management questioned whether maintenance outsourcing fit with our corporate goals. Once we explained the arrangement, including the benchmarking, the best practices and the bottom-line benefits, management supported our approach. By entrusting an outside service provider with all our maintenance requirements under the full-service, performance-driven agreement, Outokumpu corporate and the Degerfors plant can look forward to further cost reductions and operational improvements. MT


Mladen Perkovic is production manager for the Outokumpu Stainless Hot Rolled Plate (HRP) Plant.

About ABB Full Service

After years of downsizing and emphasizing core competencies, manufacturers can no longer rely solely on internal staff to meet the demands of designing, implementing, maintaining and optimizing their manufacturing infrastructure. Innovative partnerships that emphasize shared risk, common objectives, and business benefits tied to operating results are emerging to redefine supplier/client relationships.

An ABB Full Service® partnership is a long-term, performance-based agreement in which ABB commits to maintain and improve the production equipment. With a Full Service agreement, ABB takes over responsibility for the engineering, planning, execution and management of an entire plant’s maintenance activities.

Bringing together world-class maintenance and reliability methodologies, parts and logistics management, online tools, and domain expertise, ABB Full Service increases asset effectiveness while keeping tight control of costs.

Each contract is measured against Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) developed with the client. To demonstrate its commitment to the client’s success, ABB includes risk/reward sharing in its Full Service contracts, linking ABB’s financial outcome directly to the client’s performance.

Benefits:

  • Improve plant performance
  • Increase reliability and life cycle of production equipment
  • Manage maintenance as a business
  • Manage change and create a service culture
  • Access to resources and knowledge of ABB’s global network

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December 1, 2007
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Why Some Root-Cause Investigations Don't Prevent Recurrence

It doesn’t matter what type of industry you’re in, if failure isn’t an option at your plant, you’ll want to understand why these investigations sometimes fail their mission.

In the nuclear power industry, the primary mission of a root-cause investigation is to understand how and why a failure or a condition adverse to quality has occurred so that it can be prevented from recurring. This is a good practice for many reasons—and a lawful requirement mandated by 10CFR50, Appendix B, Criterion XVI.

To successfully carry out this mission, a root-cause investigation needs to be evidence-driven in accordance with a rigorous application of the bedrock of all root-cause methodologies: the Scientific Method. Consistent with the Scientific Method, underlying assumptions have to be questioned and conclusions have to be consistent with the available evidence, as well as with proven scientific facts and principles.

Sometimes root-cause investigations fail to fulfill their primary mission and the failure recurs. In that regard, diagnosing the root cause of root-cause investigation failures is, in itself, an interesting topic. Here are three common reasons why some root-cause investigations fail their mission.

Reason #1: The Tail Wagging the Dog
As a root-cause investigation proceeds and information about the failure event accumulates, some initial hypotheses can be readily falsified by the preliminary evidence and dismissed from consideration. The diminished pool of remaining hypotheses will likely have some attributes in common. More work is then usually needed to uncover additional evidence to discriminate which of the remaining hypotheses specifically apply.

At this point in the investigation, it may become apparent what the final root cause might be—especially if the remaining pool of hypotheses is small and they all share several important attributes. At the same time, it also becomes apparent what the corresponding corrective actions might be.

By anticipating which corrective actions are more palatable to the client or management, the investigator may begin to unconsciously—or perhaps even consciously—steer the remainder of the investigation to arrive at a root cause whose corresponding corrective actions are less troublesome.

Evidence that appears to support the root cause and lead to more palatable corrective actions is actively sought, while evidence that might falsify the favored root cause is not actively sought. Evidence that could falsify a favored root cause may be dismissed as being irrelevant or not needed. It may be tacitly assumed to not exist, to have disappeared or to be too hard or too expensive to find. It may even just be ignored because so much evidence already exists to support the favored root cause that the investigator presumes he already has the answer.

In logic, this is defined as an a priori methodology. This is where an outcome or conclusion is decided beforehand, and the subsequent investigation is conducted to find support for the foregone conclusion. In this case, the investigator has decided what corrective actions he wants based on convenience to his client or management. Subsequently, he uses the remainder of the investigation to seek evidence that points to a root-cause that corresponds to the corrective actions he desires.

1207_rootcause_fig1

What Really Happened: Failure Of A Zener Diode

This X-ray radiograph shows a 1N752A-type Zener diode that was manufactured without a die-attach at one end of the die, and with only marginal die-attach at the other end. This die-attach defi ciency caused the component to fail unexpectedly in an intermittent fashion. In turn, this led to a failure in the voltage regulator system of an emergency diesel generator system, causing it to be temporarily taken out of service.

The failure of this Zener diode occurred in a circuit board that had seen less than 40 hours of actual service time, although the circuit board itself was over 27 years old. It had been a spare board kept in inventory.

Going to this level of detail to gather evidence might seem extreme. This particular evidence, however, was fundamental to validating the hypothesis that the rootcause in this case was a random failure due to a manufacturing defect, and falsifying the hypothesis that the failure was caused by an infant mortality type failure. In the nuclear power industry, this distinction is significant.

Here is an example: A close-call accident involved overturning a large, heavy, lead-lined box mounted on a relatively tall, small-wheeled cart. The root-cause investigation team found that the box and wheeled cart combination was intrinsically unstable. The top-heavy cart easily tipped when the cart was moved and the front wheels had to swivel, or when the cart was rolled over a carpet edge or floor expansion joint.

The investigation team also found that the personnel who moved the cart in the course of doing cleaning work in the area had done so in violation of an obviously posted sign. The sign stated that prior to moving the cart a supervisor was to be contacted. The personnel, however, inadvertently moved the cart—without contacting a supervisor—in order to clean under and around it.

The easy corrective actions in this case would be to chastise the personnel for not following the posted rules and to strengthen work rule adherence through training and administrative permissions. There is ample evidence to back-fit a root cause to support these actions. Also, such a root-cause finding—and its corresponding corrective actions—are consistent with what everyone else in the industry has done to address the problem, as noted in ample operational experience reports. In the nuclear power industry, the “bandwagon” effect of doing what other plants are doing is very strong.

In short, the aforementioned corrective actions are attractive because they appeal to notions of personal accountability, are cheap to do and can quickly dispose of the problem. Consequently, the root cause of the close-call accident was that the workers failed to follow the rules.

Unfortunately, when the cart and box combination is rolled to a new location, the same problem could recur. The procedure change and additional training might not have fixed the instability problem. While the new administrative permissions and additional training could reduce the probability of recurrence, they would not necessarily eliminate it. When the cart is rolled many times to new locations, it is probable that the problem will eventually recur and perhaps cause a significant injury. This situation is similar to the hockey analogy of “shots on goal.” Even the best goalkeeper can be scored upon if there are enough shots on goal.

Reason #2: Putting Lipstick on a Corpse
In this instance, a failure event has already been successfully investigated. A root cause supported by ample evidence has been determined. Vigorous attempts to falsify the root-cause conclusion have failed. Ok…so far, so good.

On the other hand, perhaps the root-cause conclusion is related to a deficiency involving a friend of the investigator, a manager known to be vindictive and sensitive to criticism or some company entity that, because of previous problems, can’t bear criticism. The latter could include an individual that might get fired if he is found to have caused the problem, an organization that might be fined or sued for violating a regulation or law or a department that might be re-organized or eliminated for repeatedly causing problems. In other words, the root-cause investigator is aware that the actual consequences of identifying and documenting the root cause may be greater than just the corrective actions themselves.

When faced with this dilemma, some investigators attempt to “word-smith” the root-cause report in an eff ort to minimize perceived negative findings and to emphasize perceived positive findings. Instead of using plain, factually descriptive language to describe what occurred, less precise and more positive- sounding language is used. This is called “word-smithing” a report.

“Word-smithed” reports are relatively easy to spot. Instead of using plain modifiers like “deficient” or “inadequate” to describe a process, euphemistic phrases like “less than sufficient” or “less than adequate” are used. Instead of reporting that a component has failed a surveillance test, the component is reported to have “met 95% of its expected goals.” Likewise, instead of reporting that a fire occurred, it is reported that there was a “minor oxidation-reduction reaction that was temporarily unsupervised.”

In such cases, the root-cause report becomes a quasi-public relations document that sometimes has conflicting purposes. Since it is a root-cause report, its primary purpose is supposed to be a no-nonsense, fact-based document that details what went wrong and how to fix it. However, a secondary, perhaps conflicting, purpose is introduced when the same document is used to convince the reader that the failure event and its root cause are not nearly as significant or serious as the reader might otherwise think.

With respect to recurrence, there are two problems with “word-smithing” a root-cause report. Corrective actions work best when they are specific and targeted. A diluted or minimized root-cause, however, is oft en matched to a diluted or minimized corrective action. There is a strong analogy to the practice of medicine in this instance. When a person has an infection, if the degree of infection is underestimated, the medicine dose may be insufficient and the infection may come back.

The second problem is that by putting a positive “spin” on the problem, management may not properly support what needs to be done to fix the problem. Thus, the report succeeds in convincing its audience that the failure event is not a serious problem.

Reason #3: Elementary My Dear Watson
In some ways, root-cause investigations are a lot like “whodunit” novels. Some plant personnel simply can’t resist making a guess about what caused the failure in the same way that mystery buffs often try to second guess who will be revealed to be the murderer at the end of the story. It certainly is fun for a person—and perhaps even a point of pride—if his/her initial guess turns out to be right. Unfortunately, there are circumstances when such a guess can jeopardize the integrity of a root-cause investigation.

The circumstances are as follows:

  • The guess is made by a senior manager involved in the root-cause process.
  • The plant has an authoritarian, chain-of-command style organization.
  • The management culture puts a high premium on being “right,” and has a zero-defects attitude about being “wrong.” the scenario goes something like this:
  • A failure event occurs or a condition adverse to quality is discovered.
  • Some preliminary data is quickly gathered about conditions in the plant when the failure occurred.
  • From this preliminary data, a senior manager guesses that the root-cause will likely be x, because:
    • (1) he/she was once at a plant where the same thing occurred; or
    • (2) applying his/her own engineering acumen, he/she deduces the nature of the failure from the preliminary data, like a Sherlock Holmes or a Miss Marple.
  • Not being particularly eager to prove their senior manager wrong and deal with the consequences, the root-cause team looks for information that supports the manager’s hypothesis.
  • Not surprisingly, the teams find some of this supporting information; the presumption is then made that the cause has been found and field work ceases.
  • A report is prepared, submitted and approved, possibly by the same senior manager that made the Sherlockian guess.
  • The senior manager takes a bow, once again proving why he is a senior manager.

The deficiency in this scenario that can lead to recurrence is the fact that falsification of the favored hypothesis was not pursued. Once a cause was presumed to have been found, significant evidence gathering ceased. (Why waste resources when we already have the answer?) As a result, evidence that may have falsified the hypothesis, or perhaps supported an alternate hypothesis, was left in the field. Again, this is another example of an a priori methodology: where the de facto purpose of the investigation is to gather information that supports the favored hypothesis.

In this regard, there is a famous experiment about directed observation that applies. Test subjects in the experiment were told to watch a volleyball game carefully because they would be questioned about how many times the volleyballs would be tipped into to air by the participants. This they did.

In fact, the test subjects did this so well, they ignored a person dressed in a gorilla suit who sauntered through the gaggle of volleyball players as they played. When the test subjects were asked about what they had observed, they all reported dutifully the number of times the ball was tipped but no one mentioned the gorilla. When they were told about the gorilla, they were incredulous and did not believe that they had missed seeing a gorilla…until they were shown the tape a second time. At that point, they all observed the gorilla. MT


Randall Noon is currently a root-cause team leader at Cooper Nuclear Station. A licensed professional engineer in both the United States and Canada, he has been investigating failures for 30 years. Noon is the author of several articles and texts on failure analysis, including the Engineering Analysis of Fires and Explosions and Forensic Engineering Investigations. He also has contributed two chapters to the popular college text, Forensic Science, edited by James and Nordby. E-mail: rknoon@nppd.com

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2007 $ALARY $URVEY

We asked the questions. Here are our findings. How do you stack up?

After a three-year absence, our annual Salary Survey is back to help you determine how your income stacks up in relation to other maintenance and reliability professionals in today’s industrial arena.

1207_salary1Please note that our 2007 Salary Survey goes well beyond anecdotal information to reflect concrete data regarding the actual state of this industry’s employment marketplace. The data we used to compile this survey was obtained from a random sample of Maintenance Technology and Lubrication Management & Technology readers who completed an anonymous on-line survey. We believe the survey findings reported here to be both accurate and representative of what’s happening in the maintenance and reliability community.

A basic profile
When Maintenance Technology conducted its first salary survey in 1998, average respondent income was $58,748, (including overtime and bonus, which all averages in our findings reflect). Nine years later, the average expected income for 2007 is $86,251—a 32% increase. This also reflects a 3% increase from the average salary of $83,678 that this year’s respondents report having received in 2006.

Furthermore, expected income for 2007 is ranging from $26,000 to $250,000, in comparison to a range of $12,000 to $160,000 in 1998 and $26,000 to $235,000 in 2006.

 1207_salary_fig1

For those paid on an hourly basis—23.68% of our survey respondents—the average pay rate is $28.30 per hour, equating to an average expected 2007 income of $69,238.

As shown in Fig. 1, the highest percentage of our respondents report an expected 2007 income in the $70,000 to $79,999 range. This also is where the median income, $78,000, is found.

Changes with age
Age of our survey respondents ranged from 26 to 71 years old, with an average of 50.2 years. Half of them are between 45 and 56 years of age. In addition, a large number of respondents are seasoned veterans, having spent an average of 22.2 years working in their fields.

1207_salary_fig2Based on age, the average income increased from $63,333.33 for respondents in their 20s to a high of $88,674 for those in their 50s. For those in their 60s and above, the average reported income dropped by slightly more than $4000. More results are shown in Fig. 2.

The learning curve
Of the survey respondents, 30.2% indicate a trade school diploma as their highest level of educational achievement; 25.9% have a two-year community college degree; 34.5% have a four-year college or university degree; and 9.6% have a masters or doctorate graduate university degree. So how do these educational levels relate to salary compensation?

1207_salary_fig31Typically, the higher the level of education respondents have achieved, the higher their average level of income is. Trade school graduates report an average 2007 income of $74,355; two-year community college graduates report $77,439; four-year college or university graduates report $97,375; those with advanced degrees report $107,301. Each level of education includes a wide range of salaries, as depicted in Fig. 3.

Outside of a formal education, 19% of respondents also hold one or more professional licenses or certifications, which include P.E., CMRP, CPMM and CPE. The average income for Professional Engineers (P.E.) is $113,316; the average income for those designated solely as Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (CMRP) is $85,340; the average income for those designated solely as AFE Certified Plant Maintenance Managers (CPMM) is $77,000. (Note: Too small a number of AFE Certified Plant Engineers (CPE) or those with combinations of certification provided their expected 2007 income to report an accurate average.)

1207_salary_fig4Income by facility size
Survey respondents were asked to indicate the number of workers at their location of employment. The results were as follows: 12% are employed at facilities of one to 49 employees; 9% at facilities of 50 to 99 employees; 20% at facilities of 100 to 249 employees; 18% at facilities of 250 to 499 employees; 13% at facilities of 500 to 999 employees; and 28% at facilities with 1000 or more employees.

Related to salary, respondents working at facilities of 50 to 99 employees report the lowest average income at $68,998. Respondents working at facilities with 1000 or more employees record the highest average salary at $96,748. Fig. 4 displays the results from the remaining facility sizes.

1207_salary_fig5Industry type
We also asked survey respondents to specify the industry sector of their company/facility. The results, combined into five general categories derived from the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), include processing, manufacturing, utilities, service and nonindustrial industries.

Based on responses, 40.1% of respondents work in processing industries; 22.1% in manufacturing; 14.6% in utilities; 6.8% in services; and 16.3% in non-industrial. Those in processing report the highest average salary at $94,346. The lowest average salary based on industry, $71,673, is reported by those working in the non-industrial sector. Fig. 5 displays full results.

1207_salary_fig6 

Who’s doing what
Our survey asked respondents to indicate their level of work involvement. Results show that 13% chose corporate or multiplant; 15% plant or facility manager; 21% reliability or maintenance manager; 6% reliability engineer; 6% reliability technician; 7% maintenance engineer; 9% maintenance technician; 13% supervisor; 10% “other.”

As might have been expected, the average expected income for 2007 was the highest for those involved with corporate or multiplant levels, at $104,746, as is seen in Fig. 6. This is the same result we have found in the seven previous years of our survey. Those involved at the level of maintenance technician indicate the lowest average income at $62,100.

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December 1, 2007
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Keeping things moving… Capture Problems Faster With High-Speed Video Technology

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Jane Alexander, Editor-In-Chief

1207_solspot_1Industrial Video Solutions (IVS) supplies high-speed digital video technologies to packaging, manufacturing and paper industries around the world. These systems combine the latest in GigE technology, digital video developments, efficient lighting and an intuitive, feature-rich user interface. The goal: keep that product moving!

Quick-Eye
Quick-Eye digital video systems help manufacturing and packaging line operators improve production efficiency. Quick-Eye captures high-speed video and replays product and equipment issues in slow motion. It is portable and can be moved to problem areas with little setup time. Operators can eliminate bottlenecks and address the root causes of problems faster.

1207_solspot_2Quick-Eye offers high frame rates, high resolution, multihour video buffer, image analysis, etc. According to IVS, this affordable and simple-to-use technology provides an immediate return on investment (ROI).

WebScanPRO
WebScanPRO provides advanced monitoring and sheet break analysis for the paper industry and other web process manufacturers, such as non-woven fabrics and plastic sheet. Fast, precise and digitally simple, it, too, offers fast return on investment by continuously recording events that cause machine problems, poor quality and sheet breaks with some of the industry’s most advanced technology, including:1207_solspot_3

  • 100% noise-free digital video;
  • 90 or 200 frames per second at 659×493 resolution, assuring 100% monitoring on the fastest paper machine;
  • Up to 1/100,000 sec shutter speed;
  • Video synchronized to 1-frame and sheet break events saved without operator’s assistance. WebScanPRO offers exhaustive image analysis, including:
  • Grayscale of each frame is displayed with buffered and event video;
  • Real-time regions of interest (ROI) alert operators to changes in video. ROI can be defined for any camera;
  • Digital live video broadcast over the mill network accessible on any computer;
  • WebScanPRO is always on. It never misses a frame; simultaneous video capture, live video, viewing video in the buffer, viewing sheet breaks, ROI image analysis and grayscale analysis;
  • Paper-machine proven lights and camera enclosures.

Industrial Video Solutions, Inc.
McLean, VA

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December 1, 2007
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Who's Got Time To Train Anymore?

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Bob Williamson, Contributing Editor

Maintenance & Reliability is, and has been, a woefully overlooked career. We need our nation’s best and brightest young minds in Maintenance & Reliability careers NOW! What are we doing to attract and retain them?

What are we doing to train them to maintain the highest levels of equipment performance and reliability? What are we doing to promote pride in workmanship? The situation in many plants is already dire…and getting worse. You can see, hear and sense it everywhere, especially out on the plant floor.

Who’s got time for training
“I learned this job years ago from one of the best. I was under his wing for nearly eight months learning all the aspects of the precision work on this one type of machinery. In the 35 years I have worked here, I have never seen such a lack of training of our new guys. They get a few days training at best. Why, we even have some of the new employees teaching the newer employees how to work on this equipment. Pretty scary if you ask me! Most of them have never even seen the manual that came with these machines, the one that I learned from years ago. The only copy we have now is locked up in the maintenance office. Doesn’t anyone in top management care anymore?”

The skilled mechanic quoted above was truly concerned. We had just discovered that another mechanic at one point cranked down on one of the precision adjustments so far that it badly damaged the machine. The procedure in the equipment manual was not followed. Even though it was still running and making acceptable parts, the $10,000 precision cylinder had been scored beyond repair and there was no spare in stock. After a 12-week estimated delivery time, it would take several more days to replace the damaged parts.

We’ve always done it that way
In another plant, I noticed that four finethreaded machine adjustment bolts had been beaten severely with a hammer. They were so mushroomed that a wrench would no longer fit. (“That’s why we have Channel Lock pliers.”) Logically, and mechanically, any adjustment had to be made by turning the threaded adjusters. No other movement was possible. When asked, the mechanics all responded:

“Why do we hit the adjusters with a hammer? That’s the way we were taught. I guess we’ve always done it that way.”

We couldn’t find the manual
A one-year-old machine’s programmable controller was operated with a touch screen panel. While working on a processing line that fed this final stage unit, we noticed a gaggle of people gathered around the panel poking at it. Then they just wandered away. As we attempted to start up the machine, we discovered that the program had been erased and the machine would not cycle properly. Searching for the machine’s O&M manual, we discovered it underneath a workbench…and half of it was missing! As one individual later explained:

“Somebody must have messed with the program, again. If you touch this icon, then this one, it erases the program. I figured that out the hard way since we’ve never really had training on the programming controls. The manual has some of the control panel information, but it’s still not easy to understand.”

Sure we do regular preventive maintenance
During a hands-on PM workshop on a large integrated manufacturing line, one person discovered a loose bolt (no, it was not a maintenance person). Upon further investigation, we discovered that only one of the four bolts holding this unit together and in alignment was actually in place. One was missing, another one was completely broken off and a third bolt had the head sheared off. The remaining bolt was doing the work of four and was the only link between full operation and catastrophic downtime. After two hours of disassembly and repair, the broken bolt problems were corrected. The situation, evidently, came as surprise to at least one staffer:

“I don’t understand how we could have missed that one. Our monthly PM was just completed a few days ago.”

What’s changed
We are in the midst the “de-skilling” of the American industrial workforce—not by design, but by default. It’s not a new phenomenon either. This frightening trend has been overlooked by far too many of our business, government and academic decision-makers for far too long. We are at a near-critical point-of-no-return as the critical mass of skilled and knowledgeable people leave today’s workplace. Too many of today’s maintenance, reliability and operations personnel have not been adequately trained and qualified to do the jobs they are asked to do day in and day out. Many, if not most, younger and newer employees may not have the same basic skills and knowledge as those whom they are replacing.

Unfortunately, today’s decision-makers often ASSUME the fundamental skills and knowledge that were “common” when they began working 30-plus years ago are the same today. While we hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, these decision-makers are sorely wrong! There has been a fundamental paradigm shift and it is hurting our capital-intensive industries’ performance and reliability.

Think about it. How many of today’s older teenagers and twenty-somethings ever have:

  • Built a birdhouse, a utility box or a shed?
  • Changed the oil and filter in a car or truck?
  • Disassembled a lawnmower, a motorcycle, a jet ski or a snowmobile engine, put it back together and have it run?
  • Assembled a radio, a computer or an electronic robot?
  • Glazed a wood frame window?
  • Rebuilt an automobile engine?
  • Made something useful on a lathe or milling machine?
  • Owned and used a set of mechanic’s or carpenter’s tools?
  • Used a volt-ohmmeter to check a circuit?
  • Welded an angle iron frame or built a metal stand?
  • Soldered copper tubing or brazed steel tubing?
  • Installed and wired a doorbell?

Not many parents spend time with their children and teenagers making things, building projects or doing repairs around the home these days. Many of the fundamental skills and knowledge we took for granted in the 1960s, 70s and early 80s are apparently no longer valued. Luckily, there still are some very good high school vocational programs out there and some very good post-secondary technical colleges too—despite thousands of schools and programs being closed over the years. But, there simply are not enough schools and programs to address the problem we have now—a problem that’s going to get worse before it gets worse.

An overlooked career
As shown in the findings of our 2007 Salary Survey beginning on page 38, Maintenance & Reliability technician jobs can pay quite well. Some industries pay in the $30 per hour range and higher. So, why do countless newly-minted high school grads take jobs that pay less than $10 per hour—and, hop from job to job for years until they find their niche? Why do they go on to a four-year college to try and figure out what career they want to pursue in life? (If you are asking me, that is really an expensive “career education” program!)

We should promote careers in Maintenance & Reliability (not just “maintenance jobs”)! Clean up the workplace and give career-day tours. Help teachers and students understand that good money can be made in a rewarding career with a one- or two-year technical degree. Begin attracting the best and the brightest. Offer high-school cooperative education experience in your plant.

Trainers and coaches
Recruit a few of your senior, highly skilled maintenance personnel to be trainers and on-job coaches. Have them dedicate time documenting proper maintenance and reliability procedures for your critical equipment. Set new expectations; insist that critical maintenance tasks follow “standard procedures” or “standard job plans.” Train everyone who needs to know—everyone who touches the critical equipment—to follow these new standards. Then, hold everyone accountable for following these procedures. Problems will begin disappearing!

Show everybody that you care about how your equipment and plant are maintained. Be proud of your workmanship. Share a positive vision for careers in this arena. Let’s make 2008 the year of “Transforming Careers in Maintenance & Reliability.”

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