Problem assets can be defined as pieces of equipment that have had significant negative impacts on the manufacturing process. This definition includes:

  • Equipment that has a low MTBF (mean time between failure). This means the equipment fails more regularly than expected.
  • Equipment that has a very high annual maintenance cost. This data is easily accessible from CMMS software where cost per equipment can be viewed as a standard report or graph.
  • Equipment that has caused production downtime.
  • Equipment that has failed shortly after its last repair.

In order to identify the problem asset list and resolve issues, it is necessary to rank each piece of equipment based on the total cost of failure. This is done by adding the maintenance repair cost to the loss of production value to calculate a total cost of the impact of failure. The “worst” asset is the one which has the highest total cost of impact. Normally, the loss associated with lower production far outweighs the individual cost of a repair.

It is critical to go through this process of quantifying the impact of the problem assets and rank them in order of priority. This will facilitate the right level of attention being paid to the biggest problems so that overall manufacturing production improves. These problems can be resolved once the biggest impact issues have been addressed.

A comprehensive strategy is needed to resolve problematic assets, involving every department. Once the focus is clear, each specialist group can play their part to remove the threat that problem assets pose to the business.

  • Operators are concerned with the operating conditions of the equipment and work hard to ensure that these conditions are kept as close to ideal as possible at all times. Regular checks are carried out to monitor that the equipment is still functioning well. Alarm points are set to trigger corrective action when ideal operating limits are violated.
  • Condition monitoring technicians develop routines that specifically focus on the problem assets. For example, a system is designed to watch the trends in vibration, temperature and other indicators so that an early warning is received when signs of deterioration start to show.
  • Maintenance staff document accurate work procedures and ensure they are performed as scheduled by properly trained technicians. This includes defining step by step instructions, including parts and special tools needed for the repair.
  • Design engineers review the design criteria for the equipment concerned. Evaluations are done in terms of how the design can be improved to prevent failures that occur because of operating outside of ideal design conditions.

Identify Problem Assets to Improve Operations

Creating a list of problem assets focuses the organization on either taking proactive steps to prevent issues or justifying replacement of the asset. No longer are they pieces of equipment with a poor reputation; now an action plan can be created that will genuinely improve the performance of the manufacturing facility.

DPSI’s iMaint software allows you to import condition monitoring data on a real time basis and set up thresholds for problem conditions. Once met, a work request will be automatically generated for the specified maintenance repair, including step by step instructions as well as crafts, parts and tools needed. Reports, graphs and dashboards can be generated displaying historical information as desired, including MTBF reports. To learn more about iMaint, its features and options, please contact DPSI today to set up a free trial.