Multi-site Operation-Determining Reliability Strategy using LeanRCM vs traditional Asset Management
Best practice in reliability (Lean RCM) dictates that the reliability strategy for an item of equipment (often described as the maintenance plan for that piece of equipment) is determined by 4 factors:
- The operating context of the equipment
- The operating environment in which the equipment is found
- The design and duty of the equipment
- The functions and standards of performance required for that item of equipment
What this means is that 2 identical items of equipment often need to have radically different maintenance requirements depending on the above factors.
The above factors which determine the reliability strategy for item of equipment will also impact on spares requirements so, again, it is not correct to assume that wherever the same item of equipment is used you will expect to find the same set of spare equipment parts
What this challenges is the over-simplistic notion that a set of standard maintenance tasks and spare parts can be assigned to each asset type as is the typical approach to setting up a computerised maintenance management system.
Does this mean for example that a water utility company with 20-30 operating sites all using similar types of equipment might have different maintenance plans at each of the sites? Yes it does. Unless, of course, the 4 determining factors are identical across each of the sites and how often do we find that?
Sorry, CMMS system developers, much more work to be done and less easy to make comparisons at the equipment level.
But, on the other hand what it does mean is that these 20-30 operating sites are all operating at much higher levels of reliability and availability – A very desirable result.
So let’s shift the problem. Time for a paradigm shift. Let’s find a way of getting the asset management system to support the plant optimisation strategy rather than finding ways to change our operation to suit the way the computerised maintenance management system has been designed a software developer.
A 7 step process to determine a specific, tailored and effective reliability strategy for a multisite operation using Lean RCM
- Think of your operating sites as containing a number of processes as opposed to items of equipment
- Be clear of the operating context for these processes as Consequences drive Maintenance requirements
- Determine the reliability strategies for each of these processes at one of the sites, the site you think contains the most standard approach across the business
- Go to the next site armed with the analysis and outputs for your standard processes and conduct a gap analysis to determine for each of these processes if this site is:
- an exact match to the 4 factors which determine reliability strategy – Bingo use what you’ve already done-the typical
- A close match to be 4 factors – performing new analysis to determine how the differences in operating context will affect the reliability/maintenance requirements for that process
- No match to the four factors- perform a new analysis – use the Lean RCM masterclass process with the local team and, at the same time take the opportunity to introduce the Lean RCM operating system to get local ownership and buy-in