Starting and sustaining a motor reliability program is a real challenge. Even smaller condition based maintenance (CBM) projects can be very difficult to sustain over time. We have had the opportunity to work with many maintenance and reliability professionals who have successfully faced this challenge, and this new series will promote some of those lessons learned. At the core is building the business case – conducting the analysis and identifying the impact you can make on plant objectives. We will showcase several success stories from the field, and share some tools we have developed to help you get started.
Our purpose for this series
The focus of this series will be condition based maintenance for motors, which is a core area for EECO. More than 78 percent of industrial electricity consumption occurs in the motor circuit. With more than 1.2 billion in use throughout U.S. industry, motor reliability is a significant aspect of any maintenance program. However, the methods and topics expressed here apply to most areas of CBM. We will also provide some of the history of maintenance, basics of reliability, and other related topics.
First, let’s celebrate the hero of the story – the American industrial maintenance professional. Their mission is one that keeps the lights on, the water flowing, and the plant producing. There are over 450,000 industrial maintenance workers in the U.S. Every day they work with one goal in mind – preservation. Teams of highly skilled technicians deploy complex methods and sophisticated technologies to keep processes running at optimal levels. These high-performance maintenance teams have a direct correlation to quality, process performance, and availability – also referred to as OEE.
Unfortunately, the job is getting tougher. Over the last decade multiple factors have combined to increase the challenge:
- Budget cuts – The demand to reduce the costs of maintenance and operations continues to increase.
- Obsolescence – Much of the electrical infrastructure in U.S. manufacturing is 20 years old or more. Replacement is not always an option, and maintenance teams are challenged to extend life cycle.
- Change – New requirements for reliability and safety, as well as smart technologies and communication standards, are making modernization initiatives more difficult.
- Workforce – Much of the thought leadership for maintenance and reliability was developed in the 60s and 70s. The knowledge of those workers retiring today is not being transferred fast enough to the next generation.
Starting a reliability-oriented motor program can be a daunting task in this environment. However, there are straightforward steps you can take to cut through bureaucracy and increase odds of success.
Making the case to invest in a motor reliability program
Many motor reliability initiatives begin as a proposal to start a vibration program or another form of condition-based maintenance. Proposals are usually written based on the cost to implement instead of the expected impact, which is often the root problem of a stalled or dismantled program. Getting a program off the ground today requires a more extensive business case.
Starting a new program in this environment requires more early work to:
Align objectives – Identify cascading objectives. Clearly correlate the objectives of manufacturing, maintenance and your motor program.
Confirm financial and metrics guidelines – Understand the budget and financial constraints. Define the key metrics and means of measurement to support these objectives.
Provide justification – Conduct the required analysis to substantiate objectives. Define the expected change in hard dollar terms.
Increase credibility – Develop a professional body of knowledge to support the program, including definitions, methods and benchmarks.
We will cover each of these topics throughout this series. The next post will establish some fundamental understanding and explain key terms of maintenance.
Give us a call at 800.993.3326 or email our motor team at firstname.lastname@example.org.