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Process Improvement, LLC


Availability is “The probability that an asset is capable of performing its intended function satisfactorily, when needed.“
-Ramesh Gulati, Maintenance and Reliability Best Practices

The primary objective of Maintenance and Reliability is to ensure company assets are available and will perform as required at minimal cost.

Maintenance is, perhaps, the most overlooked and underappreciated yet necessary function in a production environment. The capacity to produce is highly dependent on equipment reliability, the ability to prevent breakdowns, and the ability to get equipment running properly once failure occurs.

At one extreme there is 100% reactive maintenance where the tyranny of run-to-failure rules. At the other there is 0% reactive maintenance. Neither is likely to be a cost-effective strategy. It is the responsbility of Maintenance and Reliability personnel to develop the most cost effective strategies for the business. These cannot be determined from a book or heuristics; they must be determined using data analysis and built-in improvement processes.

Preventive Maintenance (PM) Optimization

  • Preventive Maintenance (PM) is a fundamental and strategically developed program designed to reduce the probability that assets will fail prematurely. PMs should increase production capacity.
  • PMs should identify corrective maintenance and generate additional work. If, on average, 100 hours of PMs are not generating in the neighborhood of 50-100 hours of corrective work, then it is likely that the PM cycles are too frequent. PMs should result from Failure Modes & Effects Analysis (FMEA).

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

  • TPM is operator based and leverages the abilities of those closest to the equipment to inspect, detect and correct potential failures. Operators are closest to the assets and usually know how they perform better than anyone.
  • TPM is a program designed to engage the operator as the maintenance first line of defense.

Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) /
Predictive Maintenance (PdM)

  • Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM), which is also known as Predictive Maintenance (PdM), is the process of evaluating the condition of equipment through periodic or continuous monitoring. CBM is generally accomplished while the asset is operating.
  • All Maintenance and Reliability groups should have CBM technologies on critical assets as appropriate to reduce run-to-failure events.

Equipment Reliability

  • Reliability teams, including reliability engineers, should have one primary metric, Mean Production Between Failures (MPBF).
  •  Regardless of the techniques or technologies employed, the results must be longer running time available to Operations.