Steps to Create a Reliable Manufacturing Culture
What is reliability and how to measure it? First you have to agree on what reliability is, the benefits of improving it, and how it will be measured.
In highly automated manufacturing, the first focus is often on equipment reliability. This is because if equipment is operating without any problems, you are making your product. If it is not, you are not making any product.
To create a reliable manufacturing culture, you must agree to work in a close partnership between Operations and Maintenance, including stores and engineering. This should start with a common manufacturing mission that clearly expresses this. Then you need to design and implement all work management processes with the agreed upon mission statement as a guideline.
A manufacturing mission statement between Operations and Maintenance should be worked out between the parties and could be: “In an equal partnership between Operations and Maintenance we shall safely deliver continuously improved manufacturing reliability.”
The maintenance organization’s mission statement would then be:
“In an equal partnership between Operations and Maintenance we shall safely deliver continuously improved equipment reliability.”
The operation organization’s mission statement would then be:
“In an equal partnership between Operations and Maintenance we shall safely deliver continuously improved operating process reliability.”
This will express a culture change from Operations and Maintenance working in silos to growing into equal partners. As a consequence, lost production shall not be recorded by each department because it often leads to a blame game. Instead, triggers are set to select what to do Root Cause Problem Elimination (RCPE) on. In this process you do not ask who; instead, you ask why. This is just one of many changes you need to make to accomplish a reliable manufacturing culture.
It also changes the common view that the maintenance organization delivers service to the Operations organization. Instead, the maintenance organization delivers equipment reliability. That makes sense because the product of maintenance is not service, it is reliable equipment.
You must agree on common lagging or results indicators. Often, the Maintenance organization is measured by budget and costs while Operations is measured by produced quality volume. Instead, your common lagging indicators should be:
- Overall Manufacturing reliability
- Manufacturing cost per unit
Each department can have their own leading indicators to drive performance towards the common lagging indicators. For the Maintenance organization, these could include Average Vibration Level Trend, Preventive Maintenance Compliance, % Planned Work, % Schedule Compliance and more.
The major benefits include safety and increased throughput of quality volume products. Studies by IDCON and other organizations including BEMAS in Belgium and University of Dayton show that there is a strong correlation between safety and reactive maintenance.
The example below shows that companies that reported 64% reactive maintenance had an OSHA Recordable Incident Rate (RIR) of 4.36 while companies reporting 9% reactive maintenance had an OSHA RIR of 0.11.
Reactive Maintenance Causes More Safety Incidents
It is important to understand the value of improved OMR. In addition to being a safety and physical asset, it also benefits the revenue side of the Maintenance organization. Creating an OMR-driven organization does not require much capital work. Necessary investments include education, training, and outside support to help you do better with what you already have.
Outside support is needed. Many organizations are in a gridlock and need an outside neutral coach to get it done within a reasonable time frame.
You need to estimate the value of an improved OMR as an input to the business case you will develop and present it to decision makers. We advise to not estimate too much. Even if the potential to increase OMR is 7%, instead show the value of 1% improved OMR.
When you agree on the mission and the necessity to improve OMR, some suggested steps include:
• Educate, train, and explain the benefits and what the future will look like.
• Assess how good you are and how good you can become.
• Develop an action plan for the next five years.
• Appoint a coach that can not only teach, but who can also provide On-the-Job training/coaching with key people such as managers, Planners and Frontline Leaders.
The solution is to develop a clear and simple priority guide. Keep it simple and use only two priorities: Job must be done now; latest date completed. Define together what constitutes emergencies and how long different situations can be in the backlog.
How to get started
Step 1. Educate and inform
It is important to first agree on the right things to do, and after that decide how you are going to take each step on your journey towards a reliable culture. Therefore, you should focus on the right things to do and to get feedback and agreement on these things. It is easier to get agreement on the right things to do then how to do them in detail.
Step 2. CBP Current Best Practices Assessment
It is likely that many employees already know what to do, but you need to get an objective view to find the gaps between how good your organization is and how good it can become.
Before you start a journey, it is necessary to know where you are when you start and where you are going. All of our successful initiatives have included a Current Best Practices (CBP) assessment followed by developing, documenting and communicating the implementation plan. This is done together with owners that are assigned to each improvement subject that has been identified during the CBP assessment.
Step 3. Implement
There are seldom any surprises as to what needs to be done. The CPB assessment serves as the tool to educate, increase awareness, and bring the organization together in a reliable culture. Improvements will not be sustainable unless the CBP assessment is repeated every 12 to 18 months. These reassessments drive the improvement work and keep it alive. If repeated safety assessments are not done, safety will not improve—it will decline.
The most common reliability and maintenance processes that are identified to improve upon are:
- Preventive Maintenance content and execution. Content is not right or up to date and consequently not executed.
- Work Management, where prioritization, description of work, Planning and Scheduling are weak.
- The Bill of Material is very incomplete causing difficulty to plan efficiently and makes inventory of spares impossible to do right.
- Roles of Planners, Frontline
Leaders, Operations-Maintenance Coordinators and Reliability Engineers are unclear and not followed.
- Long-term, consistent, visible, and caring leadership. Too many initiatives are started and not finished before they are changed or replaced. Leadership needs to include the plant manager.
- The right people to drive the change. Include the frontline organization.
- Well-developed and documented and followed processes.
- Repeated assessments to drive and sustain improvement. ™
In this article, we define reliability as the ability of a manufacturing process line, or equipment, to perform up to its designed capacity. Overall Manufacturing Reliability (OMR) or Overall Production Reliability (OPR) means that it covers both Operations and Maintenance.
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