Member Perspectives

We live in challenging times. This is particularly true in the predictive maintenance world, and acutely true in the area of vibration analysis. Today, most manufacturing sites have active reliability programs in place with the means of measuring plant performance and processes to find and correct repetitive problems that effect plant uptime. While this is a positive development, it is also true that vibration analysis programs, which help provide the data necessary to achieve these results, find themselves understaffed as a result of attrition and retirements. Much to the surprise of plant management, these positions are not easily filled and yet the routes ...
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This is the third installment in a three-part series on the correlation between reliability and safety.  So, Does a Correlation Exist? So far we have discussed the differing views of Safety and Reliability, and how they can result in differing conclusions. I often wonder if Safety were to define Reliability in the holistic manner that seasoned Reliability professionals do, would their perspectives be different? Figure #5 : Holistic Reliability: Equipment, Process and Human Reliability A holistic Reliability approach will include equipment, process and human Reliability. As Figure #5 shows, these critical elements of Reliability are inter-dependent. ...
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This is the second installment in a three-part series on the correlation between reliability and safety.  Let’s now explore the Reliability practitioner’s perspective. The Reliability Practitioner’s Perspective Since optimizing Reliability has a great deal to do with thoroughly understanding gaps (expected and unexpected) in performance, RCA plays a big role in this understanding. If ‘shallow cause analysis’ is practiced, as opposed to ‘root cause analysis’, then such gaps in performance may continue to persist as failures will tend to repeat. So how we analyze deviations from an operational potential, is critically important. There is an emerging ...
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Motor Current Signature Analysis (MSA) is one of the testing tools used to assess motor health, reliability and predictive maintenance. This tool allows professionals to establish a baseline and trend for P-F curve intervention to reduce motor failure and production downtime. The ideal tester should have the ability to do dynamic and static testing that is mean dynamic on line testing power quality, inrush current, current, voltage imbalance etc., This will also allow for testing polarization index resistive and inductive imbalances, quality control checks after receiving motors from repair. Other test than can be done through MSA include eccentricity air gap, ...
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This is the first installment in a three-part series on the correlation between reliability and safety.  Why Explore this Potential Correlation? I recently presented at a conference called the Human Performance, Root Cause & Trending (HPRCT) conference. I listened with great interest to a presentation on Human Performance Improvement (HPI) by Dr. Todd Conklin and Dr. Sidney Dekker, advocating a 'Learning Team' approach. I had come to the conclusion at this conference that these new learning teams were being viewed as the basis for Human Performance Investigations. These learning teams were certainly being positioned by the speakers as a replacement ...
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The following is an excerpt from the SMRP Government Relations' Update in the Vol. 13 Issue 6 of Solutions magazine. Find the full issue online here .  Imagine you have just been promoted to the newly-minted position – Chief Reliability Officer (CRO). The title ‘chief’ of anything means the position is critical enough that an officer of the company is responsible for it and reports directly to the CEO. More importantly in this instance, it means the CRO will be the champion for reliability, which needs to be owned by every member of the organization in the same way safety is treated. Who owns safety? Everyone! Who owns reliability? Maintenance? Plant ...
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As we celebrate Veterans Day, SMRP honors and thanks the many members, both active and retired, who have served in the United States Military. With a significant number of veteran members who have successfully turned their military skills into successful civilian careers, SMRP recognizes the challenges involved with transitioning from active duty to civilian life. Many of the skills, certifications and levels of proficiency reached within military ranks do not have direct civilian equivalents – making it hard for veterans to find career paths that best suit their skills or expertise. Largely, the skills veterans possess from their military service– technical ...
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The new reality of maintaining complex assets The requirements for having complete ownership of critical assets is changing. Technology infusion has increased at a furious pace for all types of assets, enabling more information analysis and generating new insights for maintenance.  However, as these new assets come in the door Owner/Operators find they don’t know how to take advantage of some of their modern capabilities.  Why?  They simply don’t have the skill sets required, or the technology footprint needed to digest this information.  Maintenance departments have focused their efforts on the maintenance skill sets required over the previous 50 years, ...
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Recently, I’ve been presenting a series of presentations and articles surrounding the theme “Your IoT Devices May be Weaponized,” with the primary focus on cybersecurity awareness, simple steps to implement a basic level of security and how to select the right Internet of Things (IoT) devices. My presentations are based upon the work the SMRP Government Relations’ cybersecurity subcommittee has done since 2015. This even includes live demonstrations of how accessible systems are through vulnerability search engines. As October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month , we will cover some of the basics that will help you protect your systems. Why is this ...
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This is the second installment of "Major Component Lifecycle Improvement Case Study, Part I." Read the first part this case study here .  Replacement Strategy. Minimization of Downtime. Once the curves that identify the component are obtained, a model is intended to be used to determine the optimum replacement age of valve housing while minimizing the downtime per unit of time. There are two probable operating intervals that valve housing can show: first, when the component will reach the optimum replacement age; and when to cease functions due to a failure before reaching the desired age. In each case the replacement interval is different. While ...
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Maintenance objectives improve an enterprise’s performance through actions, efforts and oriented decisions. They guarantee systems and assets work efficiently and effectively, with minimal environmental incidents and at minimum costs. One way of achieving objectives is to give sustenance to these maintenance actions and decisions, knowing and modeling the behavior of an asset’s mayor components. Once a model is verified, the continuous improvement process can take place. The objective for this two-part article is to illustrate this process through the valve housing of a high pressure positive displacement pump. THE PIPELINE In 1997, Minera Alumbrera commissioned ...
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The number one tip for companies to recruit quality professionals is to create a sense of ownership for the employee around their position. Here are five key steps to recruiting quality employees. Referrals and word-of-mouth branding:   Focus on referrals and build a network hierarchy. The interview and onboarding process:  Put yourself in their shoes. Set and confirm the process so you can gauge their level of interest. Continuing education and tracking new hires:  Ensure that the core skill set aligns with the company’s goals. Set realistic key performance indicators (KPIs) and have a review after 90 days. Keeping and training your new workforce: ...
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The technical skills crisis has created critical strains on manufacturing companies. Thanks to an aging workforce, including 2.7 million retiring Baby Boomers, the manufacturing industry suffers a severe unavailability of talent. This means that more than two million technical and engineering positions will go unfilled by 2025. Most manufacturing companies cannot afford to lose skilled, experienced talent because of poor recruiting, onboarding or retaining practices. Every organization in North America is scrambling to find skilled talent. There is a significant challenge in creating development programs. It’s important for companies to have in place the proper ...
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As the former chair and current member of SMRP’s Ontario Chapter and Principal of COCO NET Inc., a member of the Aladon Network, safety is a cornerstone of my career as a maintenance and reliability trainer. It’s important to recognize events like OSHA’s Safe and Sound Week, taking place this week, August 13-19, as we all benefit when safety is prioritized in the workplace. Utilizing OSHA regulations, I have trained many maintenance and reliability professionals, including members of the New York Power Authority and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, as everything we teach is overseen by the organization.   So what is safety exactly? In ...
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As of May 4, 2018, the unemployment rate in the United Sates was 3.9 percent, the lowest it has been in 17 years. While building new facilities and adding more jobs is great for the economy, it continues to magnify our dilemma: how do we fill maintenance positions with properly skilled trade persons? This issue is compounded by the failure of incumbent trade persons to stay abreast of skills needed to maintain the constant advancements in technology. We constantly hear that qualified maintenance people are simply not available in the labor market. This trend is driven by two major factors:   Fewer people are pursuing skilled trade careers – Less than ...
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