Asset Management, and its associated maintenance and reliability activities, is recognized as a fundamental driver of the success of manufacturing. The production capacity of manufacturing sites is dependent upon the effectiveness of all maintenance and reliability activities undertaken by the maintenance department. The associated cost is a significant component of the total cost of production, and the maintenance department performance directly influences the capital invested in the income-producing plant.
The strategic importance of Asset Management requires that maintenance and reliability departments within manufacturing companies establish Asset Management strategies that ensure that the life of an asset (from acquisition to disposal) is managed effectively and efficiently.
Maintenance & Reliability
Poor maintenance practices are perceived as the primary factor that limits production capacity, quality and profitability. However, the importance of maintenance is often overlooked for the following reasons:
- Often not considered core competency or recognized for the essential contribution to value creation within a typical production enterprise.
- Not generally considered executive value issues — but rather budgeted costs to be controlled (reduced).
- Improvement processes and technology are largely viewed as discretionary when times are good — first to be cut back when times become difficult.
- Typically viewed as an unpleasant evil — cost to minimize; required only when things go wrong.
In some instances, this is the case; however, most of the reliability problems that affect plant performance are not attributable to maintenance. Many of the perceived maintenance problems are outside of the maintenance function. Improper or noncompliance to operating standards and procedures, poor design or poor scheduling of production can be the sources of many plant reliability problems. All these functions must also assume an active role in equipment reliability.
Who is responsible for asset reliability? The answer is simple, but at times in can be difficult to implement. Everyone must take an active role. A reliability improvement program must start with management. They must establish and support policies that create a culture that is conducive to maximum utilization of manufacturing and process systems. Without active support, improvement is difficult to achieve. Unfortunately, lack of leadership and support at times can be the norm, and often contributes to poor equipment reliability.
Without an integrated, coordinated effort by all functional groups, reasonable levels of performance are not achievable. When the company improves the reliability of their equipment, then product quality, increased capacity and profitability naturally follows.
To achieve Asset Performance Excellence it is important to note:
- Best performers achieve high reliability at a low cost!
- Poor performers have high cost as a result of low reliability!
- Each 1% increase in mechanical availability can translate into a 10% reduction in maintenance cost!
Asset Performance Excellence
What is asset performance excellence?
- Participation from all employees, including top level leadership
- Building an organizational culture embracing accountability and continuous improvement
- Cooperative cross functional partnerships across the enterprise
- Applying proactive total asset life cycle management practices
- High Performance Management systems in place, monitoring, and measuring results
- An educated, trained, flexible workforce
- Reliability of fixed assets, work processes, information management systems, and organizational effectiveness
Focus will shift from “improving maintenance practices only when reliability fails” organization to one of “Asset Performance Excellence where a value and risk driven, optimized reliability focus is placed that reduces the need for maintenance.”
An Asset Performance Excellence program:
- Elevates reliability to an organizational imperative that applies equally to all functions, practices and procedures.
- Demands the cooperative partnership relationship between functions essential to operate a production / manufacturing operation effectively and efficiently to maximize profitability.
Focusing on Asset Performance Excellence will lead to maintenance excellence.
The reverse is not necessarily true.
Asset Performance Excellence Gains:
Sustainable business success
- By optimizing the balance between risk, reliability and cost effectiveness
- The only path to safe, permanent improvements to production effectiveness and business results
Regardless of economic conditions!
Demand driven (availability) and excess capacity (costs)
Effective prioritization of investment in time and resources for improvements
- assures maximum value and return
- Improvements are identified, prioritized and implemented based
on actual conditions, data and potential value creation
- Profitability and competitiveness increase with higher levels of equipment uptime, longer equipment life, and reduced maintenance costs.
- Maintenance decisions are based on maintenance requirements supported by sound technical and economic justification.
- Properly maintained equipment makes high quality product at maximum rate