Jacob James

Jacob James

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Jacob James


Maintenance, Reliability and Asset Management - What’s the Difference?

Over the last few years, we have seen a number of changes in our chosen field. For many years, maintenance was the term used for all stewardship of plant and equipment. Then reliability centered maintenance (RCM) started to take off and this saw the advent of reliability, or to be more correct, the term reliability. There was a plethora of job adverts, articles and presentations at conferences that included the term reliability. The strange thing was that in many cases, the content was no different than when it was called maintenance!

What did start to happen was a drift towards the separation of tasks that needed to be performed under plant and equipment stewardship. Whereas for many years it was the responsibility of maintenance to ensure the best availability by using tools, such as failure analysis, root cause analysis and cost analysis, to identify those areas requiring improvement and then enacting solutions, these things started to become the responsibility of the reliability group. To illustrate, there was one organization looking for 70 reliability engineers across their plants and when asked where they thought they would find these people (as there hadn’t been an increase in systematic or accredited training programs in reliability), the response was “probably from the maintenance department.” When asked what it was they would be doing, it turns out it would be many of those things maintenance manages have been doing for years. So for those of us who had been proactive and forward-thinking, there really wasn’t much new, but for those who had been stuck in the reactive mode, reliability was the way out. So to define maintenance in one word, it would be: FUNCTION. You can aslo investigate demonstration speech ideas on maintenance and reliability.

black and red metal train


The advent of reliability certainly heralded a change in one important respect. Organizations came to realize that there was a better way of doing things than simply reacting. The reliability banner seemed to allow more investment in finding solutions to plant and equipment problems. But one troubling thing at this time was that maintenance was quickly relegated to mean just fixing and doing, and for those of us who had been doing everything, that was now considered reliability. This was a little frustrating, if not insulting. Writing a rhetorical analysis essay on maintenance and reliability is an ideal thought.

As with all changes, there were early adopters, some who held the belief that by adopting reliability, they would automatically get better. There was the search for the “silver bullet” and the “one stop solution,” but people began to find that reliability didn’t come without a great deal of effort. Some organizations started to use statistical modeling to help them with their approach and the term reliability started to become more common in those programs, which, although they helped promote reliability, sometimes they took away the need for thought and deep understanding of the issues. Unfortunately, there were still those who did very little different from when they called it maintenance and obviously they saw little improvement. The essay format on essays on maintenance and reliability should consistently be wonderful one.

Those organizations that started to embrace reliability in its truest sense began to understand there was much more to reliability than simply doing maintenance. In fact, they found that maintenance didn’t even have the biggest influence on reliability. It came as a shock to find that when they carried out root cause analysis on their disruptions that maintenance was the root cause in a low percentage of cases. They were surprised to find that the inherent design had more influence and when they looked at the consequences of later changes to their process and production, they realized they were, in fact, inducing more failures. This also brought them to the realization that the operation of the equipment was as equally important as the maintenance of the equipment. They discovered that if they ran the equipment out of spec or above rated capability, they were reducing the lifecycle of the plant and equipment. There were organizations that took this to the depth of analysis, where they realized that simple process excursions were reducing the life of the plant and equipment; they understood that after many excursions, although the plant and equipment were returned to service, they were done so with a slightly less capability or life. Be that as it may, do investigate some cause and effect essay on maintenance and reliability.