My thoughts on reliability


My approach to reliability is a classic approach.  I believe that assets arrive at our plants with an inherent reliability.  That inherent reliability is predicated on how well the machine was designed, built and installed.  Once it is in operation, you can’t ‘maintain’ more reliability into it than it has inherently.  So, the primary role of maintenance is to maintain the inherent reliability of the asset.

I follow the methodology of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) and ISO 55000 Asset Management, specifically the idea that “we are all responsible for asset reliability.”  Interestingly, the investment icons Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger have a similar attitude, writing in their newsletter to shareholders, “We do not view the company [Berkshire Hathaway] as the ultimate owner of the business assets, but instead view the company as a conduit through which our shareholders own the assets.”  Of course Buffett and Munger were talking about assets=companies, TPM and ISO 55000 talk about stakeholders having responsibility for assets=equipment.

Further, I approach reliability using Reliability Centered Maintenance.  Through this RCM approach it is imperative that we understand the function of the asset and what components are necessary for that asset to perform that function.  Those components become the focus of our preventive and predictive maintenance, our maintenance training, our autonomous maintenance conducted by operators, and ultimately what we stock and don’t stock in the storeroom.

Just my 2 cents.