In recent years, the need for reliable manufacturing has increased exponentially. With increasing worldwide competition, shrinking profit margins and decreasing manpower, manufacturers have been forced to leave no stone unturned in their efforts to stay viable. Over the last three decades, automation has increasingly taken the operator out of the field which has led to a drastic reduction in equipment knowledge and ownership from our production workforces.
Most organizations have tried to compensate for this through complex process instrumentation and by shifting the inspection responsibilities to their maintenance departments in the forms of preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance. These efforts have produced increased equipment reliability but, alone, they still cannot produce the results we need to stay competitive. Cutting edge organizations are now realizing that to truly achieve reliable manufacturing, no amount of predictive technology or process instrumentation can eliminate the need for our operators to understand:
How the equipment the run operates
How to identify when a piece of equipment isstarting to fail
How to troubleshoot equipment driven process problems in the field
Only by combining the proximity, round the clock availability and process knowledge of our operations workforces with the technical skills and reliability processes driven by our maintenance departments can we be successful in achieving reliable manufacturing.
To address the need for integrating operating employees into the overall reliable manufacturing strategy, Reliability Solutions has developed a four phase process called Essential Asset Care. The EAC series starts with the EAC Implementation Workshop and Pre-Work specific to each plant. Then, the Phase 1 courses address asset operation and troubleshooting, Phase 2 addresses equipment inspections, Phase 3 addresses minor equipment adjustments, and Phase 4 addresses front line failure analysis and logical thinking.
- The EAC Implementation Workshop starts with a morning session for site Leadership to increase their knowledge of the strategic importance of operator Essential Asset Care and the the front-line operational supervisors to their roles and responsibilites.
- The first step in developing a production workforce that owns the reliability of the equipment they operate is to ensure they understand equipment as to: function, functional failure, failure modes, how machine components work together and the best possible means to troubleshoot them before product quality or schedules are interrupted. We discuss the historical operation of run-to-failure and how intrusive equipment disassembly may cause more harm than good.
- This session will kick-off the beginning of EAC training Phase 1 and prepare Leaders for the sponsorship and cooperation operators will need to successfully support Reliable Manufacturing approach at the site.
- Reliability Solutions will then tour the site to gain perspective of equipment applications and take photos & videos of key equipment and systems. The off-site time will be used to formulate the courses by assemling equipment material, photos, videos and other key subject matter related to site applications.