Yearly Archives: 2016

You are browsing the site archives by year.

Author: Scott Gloyna

For any given asset there are typically dozens of different predictive or preventive maintenance tasks that could be performed, however selecting the right maintenance tasks that contribute effectively to your overall strategy can be tricky, The benefit is the difference between meeting production targets and the alternative of lost revenue, late night callouts, and added stress from unplanned downtime events. Construction Worker Pointing With Finger. Ready For Sample Text

Step 1: Build out your FMEA (Failure Mode Effects Analysis) for the asset under consideration. 

Make sure you get down to appropriate failure modes in enough detail so that the causes are understood and you can identify the proper maintenance to address each specific failure mode.

Once you’ve made a list of failure modes, then it’s detailed analysis time. If you want to be truly rigorous, perform the following analysis for every potential failure mode. Depending on the criticality of the asset you can simplify by paring down your list to include only the failure modes that are most frequent or result in significant downtime.

Step 2: Identify the consequences of each failure mode on your list.

Failure modes can result in multiple types of negative impact. Typically, these failure effects include production costs, safety risks, and environmental impacts. It is your job to identify the effects of each failure mode and quantify them in a manner that allows them to be reviewed against your business’s goals. Often when I am facilitating a maintenance optimization study people will say things like “There is no effect when that piece of equipment fails.” If that’s the case, why is that equipment there? All failures have effects, they may just be small or hard to quantify, perhaps because of available workarounds or maybe there is a certain amount of time after the failure before an effect is realized.

Step 3: Understand the failure rate for each particular mode.

Gather information on the failure rates from any available industry data and personnel with experience on the asset or a similar asset and installation, as well as any records of past failure events at your facility. This data can be used to evaluate the frequency of failure through a variety of methods — ranging from a simple Mean Time To Failure (MTTF) to a more in-depth review utilizing Weibull distributions.

(Note: The Weibull module of Isograph’s Availability Workbench™ can help you to quickly and easily understand the likelihood of different failure modes occurring.)

Step 4: Make a list of possible reactive, planned or inspection tasks to address each failure mode.

Usually, you start by listing the actions you take when that failure mode occurs (reactive maintenance). Then broaden your list to any potential preventive maintenance and/or inspection tasks that could help prevent the failure mode from happening, or reduce the frequency at which it occurs.

  • Reactive tasks
    • Replacement
    • Repair
  • Preventive tasks
    • Daily routines (clean, adjust, lubricate)
    • Periodic overhauls, refurbishments, etc.
    • Planned replacement
  • Inspection tasks
    • Manual (sight, sound, touch)
    • Condition monitoring (vibration, thermography, ultrasonics, x-ray and gamma ray)

Step 5: Gather details about each potential task.

In order to compare and contrast different tasks, you have to understand the requirements of each:

  • What exactly does the task entail? (basic description)
  • How long would the work take?
  • How long would it take to start the work after shutdown/failure?
  • Who would do the work?
  • What labor costs are involved? (the hourly rates of the employees or outside contractors who would perform the task)
  • Would any spare parts be required? If so, how much would they cost?
  • Would you need to rent any specialized equipment? If so, how much would it cost?
  • Do you have to take the equipment offline? If so, for how long?
  • How often would you need to perform this task (frequency)?

A key consideration for inspection tasks only: What is the P-F interval for this failure mode? This is the window between the time you can detect a potential failure (P) and when it actually fails (F) — similar to calculating how long you can drive your car after the fuel light comes on, before you actually run out of fuel Understanding the P-F interval is key in determining the interval for each inspection task.

The P-F interval can vary from hours to years and is specific to the type of inspection, the specific failure mode and even the operating context of the machinery.

It can be hard to determine the P-F interval precisely but it is very important to ensure that the best approximation is made because of the impact it has on task selection and frequency.

Step 6: Evaluate the lifetime costs of different maintenance approaches.

Once you understand the cost and frequency of different failure modes, as well as the cost and frequency of various maintenance tasks to address them, you can model the overall lifetime costs of various options.

For example, say you have a failure mode with a moderate business impact — enough to affect production, but not nosedive your profits for the quarter. If that failure mode has a mean time between failures (MTBF) of six months, you might take a very aggressive maintenance approach. On the other hand, if that failure mode only happens once every ten years, your approach would be very different. “Run to Failure” is often a completely legitimate choice, but you need to understand and be able to justify that choice.

These calculations can be done manually, in spreadsheets or using specialized modeling software such as the RCMCost™ module of Isographs Availability Workbench™.

Ultimately you try to choose the least expensive maintenance task that provides the best overall business outcome.

 Ready to learn more? Gain the skills needed to develop optimized maintenance strategies through our training course: Introduction to Maintenance Strategy Development


Author: Dan DeGrendel

Regardless of industry or discipline, we can probably all agree that routine maintenance — sometimes referred to as preventative, predictive, or even scheduled maintenance — is a good thing. Unfortunately, through the years I’ve found that most companies don’t have the robust strategies they need.

Typical issues and the kinds of trouble they can create:

service engineer worker at industrial compressor refrigeration s1. Lack of structure and schedule

In many cases, routine tasks are just entries on a to-do list of work that needs to be performed — with nothing within the work pack to drive compliance. In particular, a list of tasks beginning with “Check” which have no guidance of an acceptable limit can have limited value. The result can be a “tick and flick” style routine maintenance program that fails to identify impending failure warning conditions.

2. Similar assets, similar duty, different strategies

Oftentimes, maintenance views each piece of equipment as a standalone object, with its own unique maintenance strategy. As a result, one organization could have dozens of maintenance strategies to manage, eating up time and resources. In extreme cases, this can lead to similar assets having completely different recorded failure mechanisms and routine tasks, worded differently, grouped differently and structured differently within the CMMS.

3. Operational focus 

Operations might be reluctant to take equipment out of service for maintenance, so they delay or even cancel the appropriate scheduled maintenance. At times this decision is driven by the thought that the repair activity is the same in a planned or reactive manner. But experience tells us that without maintenance, the risk is even longer downtime and more expensive repairs when something fails.

4. Reactive routines

Sometimes, when an organization has been burned in the past by a preventable failure, they overcompensate by performing maintenance tasks more often than necessary. The problem is, the team might be wasting time doing unnecessary work — worse still it might even increase the likelihood of future problems, simply because unnecessary intrusive maintenance can increase the risk of failure.

5. Over-reliance on past experience 

There’s no substitute for direct experience and expertise. But when tasks and frequencies are too solely based on opinions and “what we’ve always done” — rather than sound assumptions — maintenance teams can run into trouble through either over or under maintaining. Without documented assumptions, business decisions are based on little more than a hunch. “Doing what we’ve always done” might not be the right approach for the current equipment, with the current duty, in the current business environment (and it certainly makes future review difficult).

6. Failure to address infrequent but high consequence failures 

Naturally, routine tasks account for the most common failure modes. They should however also address failures that happen less frequently, but may have a significant impact on the business. Developing a maintenance plan which addresses both types, prevents unnecessary risk. For example, a bearing may be set up on a lubrication schedule, but if there’s no plan to detect performance degradations due to a lubrication deficiency, misalignment, material defect, etc then undetected high consequence failures can occur.

7. Inadequate task instructions

Developing maintenance guidelines and best practices takes time and effort. Yet, all too often, the maintenance organization fails to capture all that hard-won knowledge by creating clear, detailed instructions. Instead, they fall back on the maintenance person’s knowledge — only to lose it when a person leaves the team. Over time, incomplete instructions can lead to poorly executed, “bandaid-style” tasks that get worse as the months go by.

8. Assuming new equipment will operate without failure for a period of time

There’s a unique situation that often occurs when new equipment is brought online. Maintenance teams assume they have to operate the new equipment first to see how it fails before they can identify and create the appropriate maintenance tasks. It’s easy to overlook the fact that they likely have similar equipment with similar points of failure. Their data from related equipment provides a basic foundation for constructing effective routine maintenance.

9. Missing opportunity to improve

If completed tasks aren’t reviewed regularly to gather feedback on instructions, tools needed, spare parts needed, and frequency; the maintenance process never gets better. The quality or effectiveness of the tasks then degrade over time and, with it, so does the equipment.

10. Doing what we can and not what we should 

Too often, maintenance teams decide which tasks to perform based on their present skill sets — rather than equipment requirements. Technical competency gaps can be addressed with a training plan and/or new hires, as necessary, but the tasks should be driven by what the equipment needs.

Without a robust routine maintenance plan, you’re nearly always in reactive mode — conducting ad-hoc maintenance that takes more time, uses more resources, and could incur more downtime than simply taking care of things more proactively. What’s worse, it’s a vicious cycle. The more time maintenance personnel spend fighting fires, the more their morale, productivity, and budget erodes. The less effective routine work that is performed, the more equipment uptime and business profitability suffer.  At a certain point, it takes a herculean effort simply to regain stability and prevent further performance declines.

Here’s the good news: An optimized maintenance strategy, constructed with the right structure is simpler and easier to sustain. By fine-tuning your approach, you make sure your team is executing the right number and type of maintenance tasks, at the right intervals, in the right way, using an appropriate amount of resources and spare parts. And with a framework for continuous improvement, you can ultimately drive towards higher reliability, availability and more efficient use of your production equipment.

Want to learn more? Check out our next blog in this series, Plans Can Always Be Improved:  Top 5 Reasons to Optimize Your Maintenance Strategy.


Author: Dan DeGrendel

Maintenance optimization doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult. Really it doesn’t. Yet many organizations simply can’t get their maintenance teams out of a reactive “firefighting mode” so they can focus on improving their overall maintenance strategy. Development And Growth

Stepping back to evaluate and optimize does take time and resources, which is why some organizations struggle to justify the project. They lack the data and/or the framework to demonstrate the real, concrete business value that can be gained.

And even when organizations do start to work on optimization, sometimes their efforts stall when priorities shift, results are not immediate and the overall objectives fade from sight.

If any of these challenges sound familiar, there are some very convincing reasons to forge ahead with maintenance optimization:

1. You can make sure every maintenance task adds value to the business

Through the optimization process, you can eliminate redundant and unnecessary maintenance activities, and make sure your team is focused on what’s really important. You’ll outline the proper maintenance tasks, schedules and personnel assignments; then incorporate everything into the overall equipment utilization schedule and departmental plans to help drive compliance. Over time, an optimized maintenance strategy will save time and resources — including reducing the hidden costs of insufficient maintenance (production downtime, scrap product, risks to personnel or equipment and expediting and warehousing of spare parts, etc.).

2. You’ll be able to plan better

Through the optimization process, you’ll be allocating resources to various tasks and scheduling them throughout the year. This gives you the ability to forecast resource needs, by trade, along with spare parts and outside services. It also helps you create plans for training and personnel development based on concrete needs.

3. You’ll have a solid framework for a realistic maintenance budget

The plans you establish through the optimization process give you a real-world outline of what’s needed in your maintenance department, why it’s needed, and how it will impact your organization. You can use this framework to establish a realistic budget with strong supporting rationales to help you get it approved. Any challenges to the budget can be assessed and a response prepared to indicate the impact on performance that any changes might make.

4. You’ll just keep improving

Optimization is a project that turns into an ongoing cycle of performing tasks, collecting feedback and data, reviewing performance, and tweaking maintenance strategies based on current performance and business drivers.

5. You’ll help the whole business be more productive and profitable

Better maintenance strategies keep your production equipment aligned to performance requirements, with fewer interruptions. That means people can get more done, more of the time. That’s the whole point, isn’t it?

Hopefully, this article has convinced you of the benefits of optimizing your maintenance strategies. Ready to get started or re-energize your maintenance optimization project? Check out our next blog article, How To Optimize Your Maintenance Strategy: A 1,000-Foot View.


Author: Dan DeGrendel

Optimizing your maintenance strategy doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. The key is to follow core steps and best practices using a structured approach. If you’re struggling to improve your maintenance strategy — or just want to make sure you’ve checked all the boxes — here’s a 1000-foot view of the process.

1. Sync up

  • Identify key stakeholders from maintenance, engineering, production, and operations — plus the actual hands-on members of your optimization team.
  • Get everybody on board with the process and trained in the steps you’re planning to take.  A mix of short awareness sessions and detailed educations sessions to the right people are vital for success.
  • Make sure you fully understand how your optimized maintenance strategies will be loaded and executed from your Computer Maintenance Management System (CMMS)

2. Organize

  • Review/revise the site’s asset hierarchy for accuracy and completeness. Standardize the structure if possible.
  • Gather all relevant information for each piece of equipment.
    • Empirical data sources: CMMS, FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) studies, industry standards, OEM recommended maintenance
    • Qualitative data sources: Team knowledge and past records

3. Prioritize

  • Assign a criticality level for each piece of equipment; align this to any existing risk management framework
  • Consider performing a Pareto analysis to identify equipment causing the most production downtime, highest maintenance costs, etc.
  • Determine the level of analysis to perform on each resulting criticality level

4. Strategize

  • Using the information you’ve gathered, define the failure modes, or apply an existing library template. Determine existing and potential modes for each piece of equipment
  • Assign tasks to mitigate the failure modes.
  • Assign resources to each task (e.g, the time, number of mechanics, tools, spare parts needed, etc.)
  • Compare various options to determine the most cost-effective strategy
  • Bundle selected activities to develop an ideal maintenance task schedule (considering shutdown opportunities). Use standard grouping rules if available.

This is your proposed new maintenance strategy.

5. Re-sync

  • Review the proposed maintenance strategy with the stakeholders you identified above, then get their buy-in and/or feedback (and adjust as needed)

6. Go!

  • Implement the approved maintenance strategy by loading all of the associated tasks into your CMMS — ideally through direct integration with your RCM simulation software, manually, or via Excel sheet loader.

7. Keep getting better

  • Continue to collect information from work orders and other empirical and qualitative data sources.
  • Periodically review maintenance tasks so you can make continual improvements.
  • Monitor equipment maintenance activity for unanticipated defects, new equipment and changing plant conditions. Update your maintenance strategy accordingly.
  • Build a library of maintenance strategies for your equipment.
  • Take what you’ve learned and the strategies and best practices you’ve developed and share them across the entire organization, wherever they are relevant.

Of course, this list provides only a very high-level view of the optimization process.

If you’re looking for support in optimizing your maintenance strategies, or want to understand how to drive ongoing optimization, ARMS Reliability is here to help.


Author: Philip Sage, CMRP, CRL

Traditionally, SAP is populated with Master Data with no real consideration of future reliability improvement. Only once that maintenance is actually being executed does the real pressure of any under performing assets drive the consideration of the reliability strategy. At that point the mechanics of what’s required for ongoing reliability improvement, based upon the SAP Master Data structure, is exposed and, quite typically, almost unviable. ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

The EAM system is meant to support reliability. Getting your EAM system to support reliability requires some firm understanding of what must happen. If we look a little closer at reliability and the phases of life of an asset, we can see why the EAM settings must vary and not be fixed.

The initial reliability performance of any system is actually determined by its design and component selection.

This is probably not a big surprise for anyone close to reliability, but it may spark some debate from those who have not heard this before.

As evidence to support this statement, a newly commissioned and debugged system should operate nearly failure free for an initial period of time and only become affected by chance failures on some components. An even closer inspection can show that during this period, we can expect that most wear out failures would be absent after a new machine or system is placed into service. During this “honeymoon period” preventative replacement is actually not necessary nor would an inspection strategy provide benefit until such time as wear (or unpredictable wear) raises the possibility of a failure. Within this honeymoon period the components of the system behave exponentially and fail due to their individual chance failures only. They should only be replaced if they actually fail and not because of some schedule. Minor lubrication or service might be required, but during this initial period, the system is predominantly maintenance free and largely free from failure.

Here is where the first hurdle occurs.

After the initial period of service has passed, then it is reasonable to expect both predictable and unpredictable forms of wear out failures to gradually occur and increase in rate, as more components reach their first wear out time.

Now if repair maintenance (fixing failures) is the only strategy practiced, then the system failure rate would be driven by the sporadic arrivals of the component wear out failures, which will predictably rise rather drastically, then fluctuate wildly resulting in “good” days followed by “bad” days. The system failure rate driven by component wear out failures, would finally settle to a comparatively high random failure rate, predominantly caused by the wear out of components then occurring in an asynchronous manner.

With a practice heavily dependent upon repair maintenance, the strength of the storeroom becomes critical, as it makes or breaks the system availability which can only be maintained by fast and efficient firefighting repairs. The speed at which corrective repairs can be actioned and the logistical delays encountered, drive the system availability performance.

From this environment, “maintenance heroes” are born.

As the initial honeymoon period passes, the overall reliability the system becomes a function of the maintenance policy, i.e. the overhaul, parts replacement, and inspection schedules.

The primary role of the EAM is to manage these schedules.

The reduction or elimination of predictable failures is meant to be managed through preventative maintenance tasks, housed inside the EAM that counter wear out failures. Scheduled inspections help to counter the unpredictable failure patterns of other components.

If the EAM is properly configured for reliability, there is a tremendous difference in the reliability of a system. The system reliability becomes a function of whether or not preventative maintenance is practiced or “only run to failure then repair” maintenance is practiced. As a hint: the industry wide belief is that some form of preventative practice is better than none at all.

Preventative maintenance is defined as the practice that prevents the wear failure by preemptively replacing, discarding or performing an overhaul to “prevent” failure.  For long life systems the concept revolves around making a minimal repair that is made by replacement of the failed component, and resulting in the system then restored to service in “like new” condition. Repair maintenance was defined as a strategy that waits until the component in the system fails during the system’s operation.

If the EAM is not programmed correctly or if the preventative tasks are not actioned, then the reliability of a system can fall to ridiculously low levels, where random failures of components of the recoverable system, plague the performance and start the death spiral into full reactive maintenance.

This is quite costly, as in order to be marginally effective the additional requirement is a fully stocked storeroom, which raises the inventory carry costs. Without a well-stocked storeroom, there are additional logistical delays associated with each component, that are additive in their impact on the system availability, and the system uptime, and so system availability becomes a function of spare parts.

An ounce of prevention goes a long way.

Perhaps everything should be put on a PM schedule…? This is actually the old school approach, and I find it still exists in practice all over the world.

The reliability of a system is an unknown hazard and is affected by the relative timing of the preventative task. This timing comes from the EAM in the form of a work order which is supposed to be generated relative to the wear out of the component. How well this task aligns with reality is quite important. If the preventative work order produced by the EAM system comes out at the wrong time, there is a direct adverse effect on system reliability.

EAM systems are particularly good at forecasting the due date of the next work order and creating a work order to combat a component wear out failure. However, wear is not always easily predicted by the EAM and so we see in practice, that not all EAM generated work orders suppress the wear out failures. One reason for this variance is the EAM system work order was produced based on the system calendar time base along with a programmed periodicity that was established in the past to predict the future wear performance.

We don’t always get this right.

As a result we generate work orders for work that is not required, or work that should have been performed before the component failed, not just after the component failed.

Maybe this sounds familiar?

Calendar based forecasts assume wear is constant with time. It is not.

A metric based in operating hours is often a more complete and precise predictor of a future failure. It’s true most EAM systems today allow predictable work to be actioned and released by either calendar time or operating hours and allow other types of time indexed counters to trigger PM work orders.

A key to success is producing the work order just ahead of the period of increased risk to failure due to wear. Whether by calendar or some other counter we call the anticipation of failure, and the work order to combat it, the traditional view of maintenance.


This all sounds simple enough.

The basic job of a reliability engineer is to figure out when something will likely fail based on its past performance and schedule a repair or part change. The EAM functionality is used to produce a work order ahead of the failure, and if that work is performed on-time, we should then operate the system with high reliability.

The reliability side of this conjecture, when combined with an EAM to support, is problematic.

If the work order is either ill-timed from the EAM or not performed on time during the maintenance work execution, there is an increased finite probability that the preventative task will not succeed in its purpose to prevent a failure. Equally devastating, if the PM schedule is poorly aligned or poorly actioned, the general result mirrors the performance expected from a repair maintenance policy, and the system can decay into a ridiculously low level of reliability, with near constant sporadic wear out of one of the many components within the system.

When preventative maintenance is properly practiced so that it embraces all components known to be subject to wear out, a repairable system can operate at high reliability and availability with a very low “pure chance” failure rate and do so for indefinitely long periods of time.

Determining what to put into the EAM is really where the game begins.


MASTERING ENTERPRISE ASSET MANAGEMENT WITH SAP, 23-26 October 0216, Crown Promenade, Melbourne

Phil Sage will be running a full day workshop “Using SAP with Centralised Planning to Continually Improve RCM Derived Maintenance Strategies” Wednesday 26 October

Come learn what works, and what does not work, as you integrate SAP EAM to support your reliability and excellence initiatives, which are needed to be best in class in asset management. The workshop covers how and where these tools fit into an integrated SAP framework, what is required to make the process work, and the key links between reliability excellence, failure management and work execution using SAP PM.

This question came up during one of our most recent webinars and we thought it raised a very interesting point. Joel Smeby is an experienced reliability engineer who leads our North American engineering team and has helped implement reliability initiatives in many different organizations across a variety of industries. ???????????????????????????????????????????

Here is what Joel had to say about the role of a reliability team as it relates to calculating the cost of downtime:

Reliability is typically not directly responsible for production. But when you look at all of the different areas within an organization (purchasing, spare parts, warehouse, operations, maintenance, safety), Reliability is the one area that should stand across all of them.  The organizational structure may not necessarily be set up in that way, but in terms of being able to talk to people in maintenance, operations, or purchasing and leverage all of that information into a detailed analysis and then make decisions at that level – I think it is Reliability that needs to do that.

I recently worked on a site and went to the operations department to validate their cost of downtime and they weren’t able to give us a solid number. It changed from day to day or week to week and from an organizational perspective it’s very difficult to make decisions based on data when you haven’t defined that number.  As Reliability Engineers we need that downtime number to justify holding spare parts or performing preventive/predictive maintenance tasks.  If Operations has not defined that then I think that a Reliability Engineer is the perfect person to facilitate that discussion.  It can sometimes be a difficult conversation to have, especially if you’re gathering the information from people in upper management.  One strategy is to help people understand why you’re gathering that information and how it will be used.  Justifying maintenance and reliability decisions is all about balancing the cost of performing maintenance against the cost of downtime in order to get the lowest overall cost of ownership.  The managers who have a budget responsibility that includes both maintenance and operations will typically appreciate this approach in finding the lowest cost to the organization.

Some organizations are able to determine the cost of downtime as a $/hour.  This is done in the most basic sense by taking the annual profit that the equipment is responsible for and dividing by the number of hours the equipment runs each year (8,760 hours for continuous operation).  A deeper level of analysis may be required in more complex operations such as batch processes.

The traditional view of a maintenance strategy is that the level of effort put in to preventing a failure is dependent on the type and size of equipment.  The reliability based approach understands the cost of downtime, and therefore the equipment’s importance.  This enables the maintenance strategy to be optimized to the overall lowest cost for the organization.

Join the conversation in our reliability discussion group on LinkedIn

The Age of Renewables 


Click to download

Landsvirkjun is Iceland’s largest producer of electricity, and one of the 10 largest renewable energy companies in Europe. Its power infrastructure is ranked among the World’s best and most reliable—an important competitive advantage that allows the company to attract and retain industrial clients like Alcoa, Rio Tinto Alcan and others. With its asset base both growing and aging, Landsvirkjun was outgrowing its existing asset management systems and needed a more robust approach to investment decision making and long-term planning.

In this case study from the December 2015 issue of Assets magazine, ARMS Reliability’s partner in Asset Investment Planning and Management—Copperleaf Technologies—describes the journey the company took to implement C55, and the benefits they’ve achieved.


ARMS Reliability and Copperleaf Technologies are partners in delivering asset intensive industries in the Australian and New Zealand Markets with cutting edge solutions in the area of Asset Investment Planning and Management (AIPM).  Under this partnership agreement, ARMS Reliability acts as the distributor for Copperleaf’s AIPM solution, C55, and provides implementation services and on-going support for the C55 product in the ANZ region. 

Click here for more information about Copperleaf and C55.


Puede usted cuantificar el impacto financiero de su programa de mantenimiento en su negocio? Incluye en sus cálculos no solamente los costos directos de mantenimiento, como mano de obra y repuestos, sino que también los costos de no hacer mantenimiento efectivo en sus equipos, como tiempo de paradas no planeadas, fallas de equipos y pérdidas de producción? calculate profit

La tarea de medir el impacto financiero de mantenimiento puede ser difícil pero sin embargo es una tarea de gran valor. Es el primer paso para encontrar maneras de mejorar su ganancias, en otras palabras el primer paso hacia una estrategia de mantenimiento optimizada.

En un estudio de mantenimiento realizado en 6 minas abiertas en Chile [1], se encontró que los costos de mantenimiento se aproximan a 44% de los costos de operar la mina. Esta es una cifra significativa, y resalta la relación entre mantenimiento y el desempeño financiero de una mina. Más recientemente en 2013, un estudio comparativo de minería [2] reportó que la productividad de los equipos mineros ha descendido 18% desde 2007, perdiendo 5% tan solo en el 2013. Además de la carga el tiempo de operación es un factor clave.

Pero entonces como saber si se están gastando muchos o muy pocos recursos en mantenimiento? Ciertamente, comparaciones con la industria proveen una guía. Las mejores prácticas de manufactura indican que el costo de mantenimiento debe ser menor al 10% de los costos totales de manufactura o menos de 3% los costos de reemplazo del equipo.

Mientras estas comparaciones pueden ser útiles, una manera más efectiva de responder la pregunta es mirar los síntomas de gastar muy poco o demasiado en mantenimiento. Al cabo que, las comparaciones no tienen en cuenta su historia partículas, ni las circunstancias operativas.

Los síntomas de gastar muy poco en mantenimiento incluyen:

  • Incremento en ‘costos de falla ocultos’ debido a pérdidas de producción
  • Riesgos y eventos de seguridad y medio ambiente
  • Daño a equipos
  • Daño a la reputación
  • Tiempos de espera de repuestos
  • Costos alto de logística de repuestos
  • Menor utilización de mano de obra
  • Demoras en envío de productos
  • Agotamiento de stock

Otros síntomas son explorados con mayor detalle en nuestra guía; 5 síntomas que indican que su estrategia de mantenimiento requiere una optimización.

Man in front of computer screen

Figura 1

En la mayoría de los casos, son estos ‘costos de falla ocultos’ los que tienen el mayor impacto en el resultado final. Estos costos pueden ser varias veces más altos que el costo directo de mantenimiento causando paradas no anticipadas y significativas al negocio. Es por esto que es importante encontrar maneras para medir los efectos de no gastar lo suficiente en mantener los equipos.

Varias herramientas y software existen para ayudar a simular los escenarios que pueden ocurrir cuando un equipo se avería, falla o al contrario es mantenido de manera proactiva. Un análisis de modos de falla, efectos y criticidad (FMECA por sus siglas en inglés) es una metodología comprobada para evaluar todos los modos de falla probables para una pieza de equipo y sus consecuencias.

Extender un FMECA a Mantenimiento Centrado en Confiabilidad (RCM por sus siglas en inglés) provee una guía para escoger la tarea óptima de mantenimiento. Combinar RCM con un motor de simulación genera una respuesta veloz del valor de mantenimiento y el impacto financiero de no realizarlo.

Armado con información obtenida de estos análisis, usted obtendrá un dibujo claro de los costos óptimos de mantenimiento de un equipo en particular y puede usar esta data de diferentes maneras para reducir los costos de operación. Puede ser que existan planes de mantenimiento redundantes que pueden ser removidos, o un programa de mantenimiento que sea más eficiente y efectivo, o costos de oportunidad asociados a una frecuencia y duración de parada especifica. Quizás sea más beneficioso  reemplazar el equipo que continuar manteniéndolo.

La idea es optimizar el desempeño de la planta para obtener el máximo de producción, mientras que se minimiza los riesgos de falla de partes claves del equipo. Haga esto de manera correcta y los costos del negocio empezaran a descender.

Quiere seguir leyendo? Descargue nuestra guía: 5 síntomas que indican que su estrategia de mantenimiento requiere una optimización.

[1] Knights, P.F. and Oyanander, P (2005, Jun) “Best-in-class maintenance benchmarks in Chilean open pit mines”, The CIM Bulletin, p 93

[2] PwC (2013, Dec) “PwC’s Mining Intelligence and Benchmarking, Service Overview”,


Figura 1. En esta imagen se observa el módulo RCMCost™ de Isograph que es parte de su software Availability Workbench ™. Availability Workbench, Reliability Workbench, FaultTree+, Hazop+ y NAP son marcas registradas del software de Isograph. ARMS Reliability es ditribuidor autorizado, entrenador e implementador.


“Quanto tempo deve tomar um ACR?”

Esta questão é semelhante a quanto comprimento tem um pedaço de corda?

Ouvi um gerente de uma planta que tem estipulado um período máximo de duas horas para um ACR a ser realizado em sua organização. Outro espera, pelo menos, uma “tormenta de idéias” de soluções antes da conclusão do primeiro dia – dentro das 6 ou 7 horas. Não é incomum para um projecto de relatório a ser exigido dentro das 48 horas do iniciado o ACR.

As três dicas a seguir irão ajudá-lo a cumprir os prazos e expectativas definidos quando se tem tempo curto. Uma das vantagens do método Apollo Análise Causa Raiz é que é um processo rápido, mas requer um controlador eficaz para obter os resultados desejados, ou seja, soluções eficazes.

Dica # 1 Você Defina o Problema

Imagine a RCA foi desencadeado por um incidente não planejado ou evento que cai em qualquer um dos segurança, meio ambiente, produção, qualidade, falha de equipamento ou categorias semelhantes. Você tem sido apontado como o facilitador por um superior / gestor que está respondendo ao evento particular. Seu superior / gestor pode compreender o mecanismo de disparo e pode muito bem indicar o título do problema.

Por exemplo, “laceração do braço superior”, “derramamento de amônia”, “atraso de produção” e assim por diante poderia ser a oferta que você faz para a equipe como o ponto de partida para a análise. Normalmente, como facilitador você vai ter reunido alguns dos “fatos” de relatórios dos primeiros que respondem, entrevistas, folhas de dados, fotos e assim por diante. Assim, um bom primeiro passo é elaborar uma declaração definição do problema, incluindo a relevância refletida pelas conseqüências ou impactos. A equipe, então, tem um ponto de partida para começar a análise, ainda que a declaração do problema pode mudar à medida que mais detalhes sejam fornecidos.

Idealmente, você já terá criado um arquivo no RealityCharting™ ea tabela de Definição do Problema pode ser projetada em uma tela ou até mesmo na parede clara onde seu mapeamento será feito com as notas Post-It™. Informações dos membros da equipe deveriam ter sido introduzidas e podem ser confirmadas rapidamente neste display. Você pode até mostrar o formato do Relatório de Incidente e focar na opção Aviso de Isenção que você selecionou deliberadamente: Finalidade: Para evitar a recorrência, não colocar a culpa.

Este trabalho preparatório poderia salvar pelo menos 20 minutos de tempo dos membros da equipe e permitir um lançamento imediato para a fase de análise.

Importante: Salve-se horas de re-trabalho e embaraço potencial salvando o arquivo, assim que este primeiro processo esteja concluído, se você não tiver feito isso, e, posteriormente, em uma base regular. Manter alguma forma de controle de versão para que a evolução do quadro nos dias seguintes podem ser rastreados, se necessário.

Se você está particularmente, com bons recursos, o desenvolvimento gráfico pode ser gravado no software simultaneamente, como cópia dura é criada no espaço da parede. Um pequeno grupo pode optar por criar o gráfico diretamente através do software e um meio de projeção decente.

Dica # 2 Direcione o Análise

É fundamental que a sua iniciativa na elaboração da definição do problema não seja considerado pelos membros da equipe como desautorizando eles. A etapa de análise em que todos têm a oportunidade de contribuir deve garantir que eles sentem que têm a “propriedade” do problema.

Para reforçar isso, é aconselhável escolher uma sequência de abordar cada membro, normalmente da esquerda para a direita ou vice-versa, dependendo dos assentos. Isto estabelece a exigência de que uma pessoa esteja falando cada turno, por outro lado, que toda e qualquer declaração serão documentadas e em terceiro lugar, que cada pessoa tem a igualdade de oportunidades. A sua gravação rápida e exata de cada pedaço de informação irá fornecer a disciplina necessária para minimizar a conversa fiada que pode perder tempo porque distrai foco. Quando você tem uma série de “sem comentários” dos membros da equipe, porque o processo tenha esgotado o seu conhecimento imediato dos acontecimentos, inicie a criação do gráfico.

Vale a pena lembrar a equipe que cada item de informação que foi gravado e postado na área de estacionamento, pode não aparecer em sua forma original no gráfico ou não aparecer jamais, em alguns casos. Porque a recolha de informação é uma rede ampla para capturar o máximo de conhecimento sobre o que aconteceu, quando e porquê, não haverá foco particular. Mas porque eles são provenientes de pessoas com experiência e perícia ou conhecimento íntimo de eventos e circunstâncias, eles têm algum valor. O valor exacto irá ser determinada pelo ponto onde a informação senta-se na lógica causa e efeito que começa no problema e está ligada pelas relações “causado por”.

Importante: O texto da Causa deve ser escrito em LETRAS MAIÚSCULAS. Vai ser mais fácil de ler/decifrar para a equipe no momento e talvez a partir de fotografias do gráfico mais tarde. Da mesma forma usando maiúsculas no próprio software significa que a projeção do gráfico é mais eficaz e a impressão de várias vistas é reforçada.

Dica # 3 O “Como e Se” de Criar um Gráfico da Realidade

Muitos proponentes exploram o entendimento existente do evento, capturando tantas causas ação como seja possível. Estas podem chegar através de um processo de 5 PORQUÊS, por exemplo, que se inicia no Efeito Primário.

Planta Parou (Problema ou Efeito Primário)

Por quê? Bomba de Alimentação Não Bombeia

Por quê? Acoplamento Quebrado

Por quê? Rolamento do Motor Danificados

Por quê? Pista de Rolamento Colapsada

Por quê? Fadiga

O método Apollo RCA requer o uso da expressão “causado por?” Para conectar as relações causa e efeito. Compreender que deve haver pelo menos uma ação e uma condição ajuda a revelar as causas “escondidas” e, especialmente, as causas de condição que não vêm à mente inicialmente.

Para apoiar esta expressão e o essencial “porquê”, é aconselhável perguntar “como”. Isto pode ser utilizado inicialmente pelo membro mais imparcial de sua equipe que tem sido comprometido especificamente por causa de seu/sua falta de associação com o problema e pode sinceramente fazer as perguntas supostamente “tolas”. Invariavelmente estas perguntas geram mais causas ou um arranjo mais preciso das causas existentes. A pergunta “Como é que isso acontece exatamente?” Pode conduzir a equipe para tomar os “passos de bebê” necessários. Isso também muitas vezes expõe diferenças entre “especialistas” e a resolução destas diferenças é sempre esclarecedor.

O facilitador precisa estar ciente da necessidade de suavemente “desafiar” a compreensão da equipe assegurando ao mesmo tempo a aplicação de rigor suficiente para gerar a melhor representação de relações causais. Isso pode ser feito de uma maneira neutra, utilizando a proposição “SE”.

Dado que todo efeito requer pelo menos duas causas, então você pode lidar com a equipe com a proposição: “Se ‘umo existe’ e ‘três existe’ (duas condições), em seguida com ‘quatro acrescentado’ (a ação) será que o efeito é “oito” todas as vezes?”. Usando esta técnica em cada elemento causal irá gerar a clareza e segurança sendo procurada para compreender as causas do problema. Se cada “equação” (elemento causal) no gráfico é “real” e as próprias causas são “reais” (suportadas por provas), então a equipe está bem colocada para considerar os tipos de controles que ele poderia implementar para prevenir a recorrência da problema.

As mais causas que são reveladas mais oportunidades a equipe tem que identificar possíveis soluções.


Para acelerar o processo de ACR:

Passo 1 – Facilitador reúne informações sobre o evento e preenche a Declaração da Definição do Problema.

Passo 2 – Facilitador dirige a coleta de informações lançando uma ampla rede e solicita sistematicamente informações dos participantes.

Passo 3 – Use a informação recolhida para construir um RealityChart™ com ações com base no que aconteceu, então procure outras causas, como condições que podem ser inicialmente ocultas. Use Como e Se para ajudar a validar que as relações causais sejam lógicas.

Com um gráfico completado a etapa de achar soluções pode começar.

Nossa Curso Facilitadores Análise Causa Raiz (ACR) ensina os alunos a conduzir uma investigação com confiança e para encontrar soluções práticas para os seus problemas. Cursos de formação públicas oferecem nas principais cidades ao redor do mundo durante todo o ano. Saiba mais sobre as vantagens de participar de um curso de formação de público, ou consulte o nosso calendário de treinamento em todo o mundo para os próximos cursos e reserve online.

By: Gary Tyne CMRP, CRL

Engineering Manager – ARMS Reliability Europe

Working for a global organization has taken me to some weird and wonderful places around the world. Different cultures, traditions, religions and people certainly enlightens you to the wonderful and colorful place we all call home.

I would say in most of these countries I have at some stage taken a taxi or at least been chauffeured by a driver in a customer’s company vehicle. These experiences have led to some interesting conversations on life, travel, politics, and football with some very knowledgeable and diverse taxi drivers. On the other hand, I have had drivers that have not spoken a word and have just delivered me to my destination in silence, even after trying to engage in conversation, their chosen dialogue is nil speak. bigstock--131191391

A recent taxi encounter occurred when I had just left my customer and was going to call for a taxi, when I spotted someone being dropped off at my current location. I asked the driver if he could take me to Dublin airport and he obliged.

This is when I met Mohammed, an immigrant from Kenya who had moved to Ireland 17 years ago. He was smiling and cheerful and had a generally happy persona about him. We discussed weather in Ireland versus Mombasa, we mentioned football briefly, and then we started to discuss cars. This occurred when a brand new Mercedes went past us in the fast lane and I passed comment on what a beautiful car that was.

Mohammed started to discuss the Toyota Corolla in which we were driving and how he loved his car for its level of reliability. I asked how many miles his vehicle had driven and he pointed out that he had covered over 300,000 miles since he purchased the car brand new in Northern Ireland. He went onto explain how he ensured that it was regularly maintained to a high standard with the best quality oil and original OEM parts being used when any replacements were required. The engine and gearbox were original and providing ‘you look after your car, it will look after you.’ Mohammed was proud of the length of service he had achieved from his vehicle and that the car had never let him down. However, as the vehicle operator he recognized the importance of regular maintenance and the use of the right quality parts. He also said that he only allowed one mechanic to work on his vehicle because he was very skilled and competent at his job and could not trust others to do work on his taxi.

Mohammed was also proud to be a taxi driver in Ireland and combined with his ‘Reliability’ story certainly made the trip to Dublin airport a memorable one. Mohammed did not know my job role and that I had spent over 30 years in Maintenance and Reliability, but he gave me a text book account of what is ‘Reliability’! I said goodbye to Mohammed after he let me take a picture of his mileage and car. I wished him luck and many more years of happy motoring in his reliable Toyota motor vehicle.

Sitting in the departure lounge my trip to the airport and conversation with Mohammed certainly made me think: mileage

  • Do we see this level of passion and ownership amongst today’s industrial operators?
  • Should Operators take more care for their assets, ensuring high reliability through a program of basic care?
  • How do we ensure the right levels of competence in our technicians?
  • How do we ensure that the correct specification and quality of parts are being purchased?
  • How do we ensure that maintenance is being performed at the right frequency on the right asset?

This ‘Reliability Tale from the Taxi’ may have also generated further questions in your own mind, for me, it provided me with  another great ‘Reliability’ story that I can share during one of our global reliability training courses.