Monition, in association with our partners at GGR Associates, specialise in assisting companies improve the performance and reliability of plant and equipment by utilising approaches based on derivatives of Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM).
Using RCM or, more usually, our own developments that include Fast-track RCM, Review RCM and Generic RCM, we help you diagnose and tackle plant performance and equipment reliability issues.
Our approach is used by leading manufacturers in a wide range of industries including food, drink, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, power generation, packaging, electrical components, mineral processing and petrochemicals, as well as in safety-critical applications in diverse areas such as lighthouses and medical equipment.
Monition's business is assisting companies to get the optimum performance from their plant and equipment.
A determined effort is needed to obtain and sustain improvements in plant performance and reliability. Some key factors to take into account at the outset of a project include:
■ Objectives of the project
■ Measures of performance
■ Possible obstacles to be overcome
■ Selecting the best approach
■ The need for a pilot project
■ Support of the senior management team
■ Resourcing the project
■ Managing the implementation
■ Reviewing performance
Monition's experience of this critical planning stage helps to ensure a successful outcome to the project.
Monition then use a range of methodologies, all building on or derived from Classical RCM. Each methodology has been developed to provide fast, technically sound, and cost-effective improvements:
■ Classical RCM - based on the pioneering work done for the airlines in the 1960s and 1970s but with more advanced decision logic and less use of jargon.
■ Fast-track RCM - this supersedes Classical RCM for nearly all applications; the same logic and thoroughness but much quicker and easier to apply.
■ Review RCM - this is used where existing preventive maintenance routines are excessive, time based rather than condition based and lack credibility.
■ Generic RCM - this applies Fast-track RCM or Classical RCM to large populations of similar equipment, taking into account variations in equipment specification and its operating context.
Monition are practical and results-orientated - and plan with clients to achieve lasting benefits whilst recognising potential obstacles.
Objectives for any plant or equipment are likely to include some or all of these:
■ High plant reliability and availability
■ Reduced maintenance costs
■ Safe operation
■ Pollution risks minimised
■ Reduced scrap and waste
■ Consistent quality
■ Improved setting and changeovers
■ Correct spare holdings
For any of these that are important, you need to have measures so that you know how well you are doing and whether you are improving.
Looked at another way, an RCM-based approach can help improve performance by identifying, prioritising and then tackling obstacles such as:
■ Safety and pollution issues
■ Unreliable plant
■ Low throughputs
■ Inappropriate preventive maintenance
■ High waste / poor quality
■ Slow changeovers
■ Inappropriate spares holdings
■ Poor plant knowledge
■ High maintenance costs
■ Unhelpful attitudes
Monition have wide experience in establishing performance measures - and understand the problems and possible pitfalls.
If you are not sure how well the plant is performing, you should give serious consideration to installing performance measures before you launch into any improvement programme.
The most commonly used measures are based on:
■OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) - particularly suitable for 'free-standing' items of plant. OEE is typically adopted in TPM implementations to provide an analysis of TPM's six major losses of production.
■ Asset Effectiveness - provides the most robust measures of performance including asset utilisation, operating efficiency and runtime efficiency.
■ Line Efficiency - commonly used to measure line efficiencies in filling and packaging environments.
Performance measures, although essential, do come with a 'health warning'. They need to be designed and installed with care to avoid distorting company objectives and incurring undesirable side-effects.
Monition have much experience of helping clients to design and install performance measures.
Monition help their clients to select the most suitable performance improvement methodology for achieving the results they require.
RCM based performance improvement approaches:
■ Classical RCM - Where there is a commitment to standard RCM.
■ Fast-track RCM - The fast and effective choice for most situations - incorporates key features from the main non-RCM approaches.
■ Review RCM - Eliminates and corrects excessive or non-value adding PM regimes.
■ Generic RCM - Avoids duplicating analysis effort on similar plant.
Plant-wide approach to performance improvement. TPM was developed in Japan: the approach focuses particularly on performance measurement and work place improvement - e.g. cleanliness, housekeeping, lubrication. TPM aims to improve behaviour and encourages teamworking with autonomous maintenance. Normally applied plant-wide.
Used mainly at the design stage to eliminate inherent design weaknesses. Similar to RCM (from which it was derived) but has no aids to ensure all significant failure modes are identified and a less rigorous task selection logic. FMECA does, however, include a form of criticality assessment to help establish priorities.
Specifically to improve set-ups/changeovers and also developed in the Japanese motor industry. SMED aims to reduce set-up time to single minute figures by a combination of better workplace and tooling organisation, plant/product design alterations, and set-up method changes to reduce lost time.
Normally applied company-wide and aimed at cultural change to continuous improvement. Lean focuses on the elimination of waste - in all its forms, such as defects, waiting, and unnecessary inventory and transport. Lean projects frequently start with value stream mapping and the identification of losses through waste.
Tools used in Lean may then include SMED, TPM, OEE, 5S, Kanban, Kaizen and Six Sigma. Fast-track RCM is consistent with Lean principles and is often used as an effective Lean performance improving tool.
Know how all these work? Their strengths and weaknesses? Where they will succeed and where they will struggle? If not, come on a course. It could be one of your key decisions this year - and will help you make the right low-risk choice.
Monition's experience of achieving worthwhile results means they reject a 'one size fits all' solution and instead tailor the approach to suit the situation.
Plant-wide improvement initiatives are notoriously difficult and require an immense amount of management time, effort and persistence if they are to succeed. Most organisations do better by targeting the key problems or aspects which will provide the most or quickest pay-off.
There is no single, universally best approach. For this reason Monition have developed a range of methodologies to suit the widely varying requirements of manufacturing, process and service industries. The approaches and their characteristics are summarised below.
■ Classical RCM. Could be the choice where there is an existing commitment to standard RCM. Monition's implementation of Classical RCM uses more advanced decision logic, has eliminated the jargon, and provides extensive documentation to justify every step.
■ Fast-track RCM. The preferred plant performance improvement process for most industrial situations. Fast-track RCM is as rigorous as Classical RCM and uses the same decision logic yet is easier to apply. Monition have included key features from other improvement methodologies that extend its ability to raise performance. In spite of this additional coverage, Fast-track RCM is much quicker and easier to use than traditional RCM.
■ Review RCM. Monition developed Review RCM for applications where there are extensive and excessive, but ineffective, preventive maintenance routines already in place. Typical symptoms are high maintenance costs, high proportion of fixed time overhauls and poor preventive maintenance completion rates.
■ Generic RCM. Used in conjunction with Fast-track RCM (or Classical RCM) where an organisation has many examples of the same or similar plant. A single review is carried out to establish a template that can be used for all similar plant. The template is then extended to take into account variations in plant specification and operating context.
Monition will advise on the most suitable approach, taking into account factors such as the project's objectives, the nature of the plant, current performance, past and present improvement initiatives, and the resources available.
Many large scale improvement programmes have been launched with little realistic chance of success - don't let this happen to you!
Monition strongly advises potential users of an RCM-based approach to get a good understanding of the various methodologies so that they can contribute effectively in the selection and planning phase. A range of training courses is available that will help you explore exactly how the different Lean and RCM-based approaches would work for you.
Monition's training and implementation support ensures that clients have the skills and resources their projects require.
Take the risk out of performance improvement projects and initiatives by getting a clear understanding of how they work and what they can do for you before you start. Then make sure your people have the required skills. Monition's principals have been involved in RCM-based programmes for over twenty years and bring this experience to the education and training courses they offer.
■ Classical RCM
■ Fast-track RCM
■ Review RCM
■ Generic RCM
■ Protective systems
Courses are provided on-site from half-day introductory courses on the above topics to five days for facilitator training. All courses are adapted to meet the requirements of our clients. Contact us for details.
We run public two-day courses for both Fast-track RCM and Review.
A start with a pilot application of an RCM-based approach is generally recommended. This way you can evaluate the process and see what needs to be done to get the best out of it before making any wider commitment.
Monition supports implementation programmes by helping you with any of these aspects:
■ Project planning - organising for success
■ Designing and installing performance measures
■ Providing training and follow-up support
■ Leading pilot project RCM-based reviews
■ Skills transfer to your people
■ Technical support throughout
Contact us today to discuss how we might help. We have access to a wide range of engineers and support staff to fill any gap in your available resources.