“Tell Me A Man’s Metrics And I’ll Tell You About His Behavior”

Bill Hewlett (Founder of HP)

My favorite story about this idea comes from Federal Express. Just after they’d started they had a problem with the night shift. It was always finishing 2 hours late. Didn’t matter how many people they put on, who they fired, motivation techniques anything… Management was fed up. They needed the night shift to be finished on time.

It took months to figure this out, but eventually they chanced upon the idea of paying a flat rate to the workers on the night shift instead of hourly. Low and behold – the night shift finished two hours early, every night.

Most of our pump customers run preventive maintenance (PM) and condition-based maintenance (CBM) programs. Some are little less formal about it but still have strong maintenance programs.

What varies is the reported return on investment of these programs.

While some of our clients think they have gotten a significant return on their investment, others feel that CBM programs in particular are not delivering a high enough return.

After exploring this with clients I can say that culprit number one is the selection of maintenance metrics.

A bit of backstory – while we do our best to discourage this behavior, a lot of the CBM shutdown and alarm values are based on the equipment manufacturer’s specifications. Those values are not ‘universally correct.’ What’s best varies plant to plant, company to company. Perfect for one is a recipe for disaster for another.

So what we see are shutdowns that shouldn’t be happening. This is causing productivity losses which are counting against the return of a site’s maintenance programs. What’s obviously frustrating is that people ‘just doing their job’ are costing the plant valuable productivity.

This is why performance standards, alarm values and shutdown values need to be determined as part of the predictive maintenance program. Not just taken from an instruction manual.

In order to get return on your PM and CMB programs you need

  • A little bit of thought along with a thorough documenting of selected criteria
  • To provide training so that all your team but especially the maintenance team are consistent with their data collection
  • Consistent analysis of the collected data
  • Consistent action based on the results

Then you have a winning maintenance program. Use the manufacturer’s metrics as a baseline but don’t be afraid to adjust them to fit your circumstances.

If you are having any trouble with your pump maintenance programs, please get in touch with us. We can advise you on the likely impacts that changing your maintenance metrics will have on your existing pumps and processes.  Give the team at Pye-Barker a call on 404-363-6000 or drop us a line sales@pyebarker.com and we will get your questions answered.

%d bloggers like this: