Troubleshooting Thursdays: Lean Manufacturing, Part 4—Combatting the “Waste of Unused Talent” (Tip 99)

Troubleshooting Thursdays: Lean Manufacturing, Part 4—Combatting the “Waste of Unused Talent” (Tip 99)

A resource for safe and effective troubleshooting from the leaders in simulation training.

Greetings once again, Troubleshooters! Thanks for tuning in to this week’s TST. 

Today is the final post in our current series on lean manufacturing. In case you’re just tuning in now, check out Part 1, an overview of lean manufacturing, Part 2, a look at the “eight types of manufacturing waste” that are common to most manufacturing enterprises and therefore juicy targets for improvement, and Part 3, a look at trimming waiting waste in particular.

In our final post for this series today, we’ll be talking about ways to reduce another kind of waste: the waste of unused talent.

Unused Talent is a Form of Waste

As we noted in Part 1, the overview of lean manufacturing, the lean philosophy has evolved over the years. It can be traced back to Henry Ford’s total revamping of mass production, through the Toyota Production System and its concepts of kaizen and jidoka, to Womack and colleagues’ in-depth study of the future of auto production in the 1980s, which gave “lean manufacturing” its name. 

Lean manufacturing is a mindset that focuses on eliminating waste from the manufacturing process. 

Taiichi Ohno of Toyota originally identified seven wastes of the Toyota Production System (defects, transport, inventory, motion, waiting, overproduction, overprocessing). Later on, the eighth waste, unused talent, or underused human potential, was added to the list.

Unused talent is different from the other types of manufacturing waste. The other seven kinds of waste are all what you might call mechanical—pertaining to the machines and processes of production. Unused talent, on the other hand, relates to human workers. 

It’s a form of waste because in not utilizing its human resources optimally, a company loses out on their creativity, ideas, innovations, and skills that might add value to the product or enhance efficiency or quality. Not only that, if they don’t listen to employees’ ideas and don’t care to help to develop them professionally, manufacturers risk lowering overall morale, killing job satisfaction and engagement, and increasing staff turnover.

Combatting the Waste of Untapped Human Talent

The Japanese word kaizen means continuing improvement. According to Masaaki Imai, founder of the Kaizen Institute and author of KAIZEN™: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success, it also encompasses the idea of continuous improvements in home, social, and work life. In the lean manufacturing context, it means “continuing improvement involving everyone—managers and workers alike.”

Kaizen means striving for improvement every single day, by everybody in the organization, everywhere in the organization. It is not limited to the shop floor, but applies to the offices as well. It should start from the top down, with top managers setting the example for everyone else, constantly searching for ways to improve. 

Certainly, then, one aspect of kaizen is the professional development and improvement of staff themselves. (It’s important to note that this kind of development has to be advantageous to the company at the same time, so that it is a mutually beneficial arrangement. It can’t just be expanding employees’ horizons via art appreciation or macramé classes.)

This kind of development could, for example, take the form of additional hard or soft skills training that enables employees to take on greater responsibility. People who feel like they are achieving goals along a career path experience an improved sense of worth and value, and therefore job satisfaction. They are acquiring knowledge and skills that make them more needed, appreciated, and respected, which in turn increases engagement and productivity and lowers wasteful turnover. 

In the midst of the current skilled labor shortage, upskilling workers has very real benefits for manufacturers. At a time when skilled workers are retiring from the labor force in droves and taking their years of experience with them, it is often just not possible to hire new staff with the necessary skills. So, if manufacturers can offer the training themselves, it’s a win-win scenario: they create the workforce they need, and the new hires get all the personal and professional benefits of expanding their skill set.

Upskilling Maintenance Professionals

Manufacturers continually face the spectre of production-line downtime due to equipment failure. Unplanned downtime costs the company big money and puts a serious dent in executive production quotas. Since most modern production equipment contains highly sophisticated electrical components, which are often the source of the failure, it takes maintenance staff who are skilled in electrical troubleshooting to get the line back up and running quickly.

In fact, most unskilled maintenance professionals are quite capable of this kind of troubleshooting, provided they have the proper training. Without training, they’re a prime example of the waste of unused talent. Simply by tapping into this potential and training existing unskilled maintenance workers, a manufacturer can dramatically reduce downtime, increase production, and boost the bottom line.

And that’s it for today, Troubleshooters! See you next week.

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Troubleshooting Thursdays: Lean Manufacturing, Part 3—Combatting the “Waste of Waiting” (Tip 98)

Troubleshooting Thursdays: Lean Manufacturing, Part 3—Combatting the “Waste of Waiting” (Tip 98)

A resource for safe and effective troubleshooting from the leaders in simulation training.

It’s that day of the week again, Troubleshooters! Welcome back to Troubleshooting Thursdays, and thanks for spending this time with us today. 

If you’ve been following along recently, you’ll know that we started a series on lean manufacturing a few weeks ago. Part 1 was an overview of lean manufacturing, and Part 2 was a closer look at the eight types of waste that have been identified in manufacturing, and which are your prime targets when you decide to go lean.

Just as a very quick recap, lean manufacturing is a philosophy or ongoing mindset that seeks to eliminate waste of every kind throughout the entire production process. It’s generally accepted that there are eight types of manufacturing waste—or, looking at it another way, eight common areas for improving efficiency:

  1. Defects
  2. Overproduction
  3. Waiting
  4. Transportation
  5. Inventory
  6. Motion
  7. Overprocessing
  8. Unused talent

These types of manufacturing waste are all explained in greater depth in Part 2, along with solutions for fighting each kind of waste.

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at one kind of waste targeted by the lean manufacturing movement in particular: the waste of waiting.

Lean Manufacturing and the Waste of Waiting

Every manufacturer knows the pain of watching employees sitting around idly waiting to be able to continue their work. There’s nothing more frustrating than when everything’s humming along as it should, and then suddenly you run out of a particular part, or one workstation is waiting on another station further up the line to finish their components and pass them on, or a machine breaks down, and all production grinds to a halt. 

Not only are you losing all of that production revenue, your own quotas are taking a hit, and you’re still paying for the privilege. And, if you want to have any hope of rescuing your numbers, you’re going to have to pay time-and-a-half to get it done. This, in a nutshell, is the waste of waiting.

Before you can begin to fight it, you have to determine the source of the issue. If it’s a parts problem, then you’ll need to look at supply chain fixes. If one part of your production line can’t keep up with the others, then you need to revisit your process design. If, however, the problem is equipment failure, then you need to look at your maintenance strategy, which is our focus today.

Equipment failure causes downtime waste

Every moment the production line is down is a disaster for manufacturers in terms of lost revenue. The auto industry, for example, is famous for losing $22,000 per minute of downtime. This is a great example of the waste of waiting. Anything that can be done to reduce both the number of equipment failures and the duration of unplanned downtime will reduce this kind of waste.

What can manufacturers do to get lean on waiting caused by equipment failure? Well, a comprehensive manufacturing maintenance strategy that consists of predictive, preventive and condition-based maintenance is absolutely crucial. Predictive maintenance uses IoT technology to detect imminent equipment failure (usually via embedded sensors), so that it can be repaired before the machine breaks down and disrupts production. Because it offers advance warning, the maintenance can be performed at a convenient, non-disruptive time. Preventive maintenance is performed regularly during planned downtime, whether equipment needs it or not, like changing the oil in your car. Condition-based maintenance, sometimes called reactive maintenance, refers to maintenance efforts that happen after the fact, in response to an actual breakdown, after production has already been disrupted. 

Obviously, it’s better and cheaper to catch problems before they halt production, and fix them during planned downtime—this is the whole point of both predictive and preventive maintenance. Both are critical components of an overall strategy for reducing the “waste of waiting.” However, neither of these strategies has been able to completely eradicate equipment failure, and until they do, manufacturers still have to deal with extremely costly unplanned downtime due to machinery failure.

So, the solution to eliminating the waste of waiting for the production line to come back up is to have properly trained maintenance professionals who can diagnose and repair electrical faults in manufacturing machinery quickly, efficiently, and safely. (Most modern manufacturing equipment contain highly sophisticated electronic components, which are the tricky to isolate). Without proper training, maintenance professionals may resort to guesswork to find the cause of the problem. Or, under pressure to fix it quickly, they may try randomly replacing parts to see if that solves the problem. Guessing and needlessly replacing expensive parts are very wasteful ways of repairing production equipment, because they prolong downtime and drive up costs. To make the move to leaner production and avoid this kind of waste, manufacturers must train their maintenance professionals thoroughly in troubleshooting electrical faults efficiently. (If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to bring your maintenance professionals up to speed, contact us at Simutech Multimedia.)

And that’s it for today, Troubleshooters! Tune in again next week when we look at the waste of unused talent, and one way you can develop talent in your staff that will benefit them and the company as a whole.

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Troubleshooting Thursdays: Lean Manufacturing Part 2: 8 Ways for Your Enterprise to Get Lean (Tip 97)

Troubleshooting Thursdays: Lean Manufacturing Part 2: 8 Ways for Your Enterprise to Get Lean (Tip 97)

A resource for safe and effective troubleshooting from the leaders in simulation training.

Hey, Troubleshooters! Thanks for joining us on TST this week. 

If you swung by here last week, you’ll know that we started a series on lean manufacturing. Last week in Part 1, we did a general overview of lean manufacturing—what it is, a brief history (including Henry Ford’s revolutionizing of mass production, the Toyota Production System, and James Womack’s seminal book, The Machine That Changed the World), and then a brief look at how contemporary lean manufacturing has evolved by leveraging Industry 4.0 technology and embracing shared values with the green movement.

Today, we’re getting practical—we’re looking at the eight specific kinds of waste common to just about all manufacturing enterprises. These are the targets of lean manufacturing; each one of them represents a golden opportunity for your business to get lean.

Eight types of waste targeted in lean manufacturing

As we mentioned in Part 1, the goal of lean manufacturing, right back to its very roots, has always been to eliminate waste. What Henry Ford’s processes, the Toyota Production System, and James Womack’s notion of lean manufacturing all have in common is the continual striving for perfection in manufacturing products and processes by eliminating every effort that doesn’t add value for the customer.

Let’s take a look at the eight kinds of waste in manufacturing.

  1. Defects

Defective products are a massive waste. If you catch them before they get to the customer, they either have to be discarded, or re-worked, both of which represent are unnecessary costs. Even worse is the cost of recalls and refunds if the defective products reach consumers. Factor in customer dissatisfaction and loss of future business, and you’re beginning to see what a negative impact defects have on your business. 

Defects have several root causes, such as poor quality control during production; poor machine maintenance and repair; lack of proper documentation; inadequate process standards, inadequate understanding of customer needs.

To get lean with defects: Begin by tackling the most frequent defect first. Create a process to detect problem items and prevent them from moving any further down the production line. As soon as that’s in place, redesign and standardize the manufacturing process to avoid this defect altogether. Be sure to have proper proactive and reactive maintenance strategies in place.

  1. Overproduction

The opposite of lean manufacturing’s “just-in-time” philosophy, overproduction tends to have a “just-in-case” vibe. As you might imagine, it simply means producing more products than are required or desired. In manufacturing, it can also mean producing components (works in progress, or WIP) before they are required further down the assembly line. Overproduction has a host of negative consequences, including higher storage costs, greater capital expenditure, and wasteful bulk production of items that might have features beyond what all customers need.

To get lean with overproduction: Calculate your takt time (time that must elapse between two consecutive unit completions in order to meet demand) to sync up the rate of manufacturing between stations. Use a pull system instead of a push system (i.e., one that waits for the demand before producing the component, instead of producing them and pushing them along before they’re needed.) Experiment with one-piece flow (production in which everything is either waiting to be started, WIP, or complete). It can increase efficiency by huge margins.

  1. Waiting

Waiting can mean either people or machines sitting idle, waiting to do their thing. There are a few causes, such as: you’ve run out of parts and you’re waiting for more to show up; machinery has broken down and everyone is standing around waiting for it to be repaired; poor process design has resulted in one station waiting on another to pass along components; etc.  

To get lean with waiting: Address takt time and work standards, and ensure maintenance personnel are properly trained to repair equipment quickly and efficiently, reducing equipment failure downtime.

  1. Transportation

Whether by forklifts in the factory or delivery trucks travelling between multiple facilities, unnecessary transportation due to poor design processes costs manufacturers money in the form of labor costs, fuel costs, and wear and tear on equipment. 

To get lean with transportation: Use value stream mapping of the total production flow to identify areas of waste in factory layout—e.g., the materials used in production should be stored near the workstations using them. Consider a U-shaped production line.

  1. Inventory

It may seem counterintuitive, but excess inventory is a form of waste, mainly because of the carrying costs to store it. It is also an inefficient use of capital, since it isn’t needed right away. Another downside is that it can prevent defects being discovered for a longer time. Excess inventory can be caused by poor forecasting and over-purchasing of raw materials.

To get lean with inventory: Buy raw materials at the time they’re needed and not before, and only buy what you need.

  1. Motion

It sounds odd to say motion is wasteful, but when you think of it, motion requires effort, takes time (and therefore money), and wears things out. In the manufacturing world, any motion that doesn’t add value to the product (from the customer’s point of view) is wasted effort. This includes motion by people, machines, and vehicles. 

To get lean with motion: Perform an audit of your processes (process mapping) and factory layout to ensure that workstations and production flow are organized to eliminate any unnecessary motion.

  1. Overprocessing

Overprocessing refers to having more process steps in the production or administration of a manufacturing facility than necessary to add value for customers. This can include duplication of work, using components that have features exceeding customer needs, using more expensive machines than necessary, performing more analysis than is needed, or over-engineering a solution.

To get lean with overprocessing: Learn about your customers’ actual needs and don’t process beyond that. Look for areas in the production process where work is duplicated. Use process mapping to optimize work flows.

  1. Unused talent

Unlike the other wastes, this one pertains to management—unused talent is a management fail. Lack of staff development is a waste in terms of lost potential. It may manifest as staff being assigned tasks they can’t do well, or were not properly trained for.

To get lean with unused talent: Communicate with front line workers, get to know their skills and qualifications, and receive their feedback and ideas.

And that’s it for this week, Troubleshooters! Tune in again next for Part 3, as we look at how to get lean with maintenance training.

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Troubleshooting Thursdays: Lean Manufacturing Part 1: Overview (Tip 96)

Troubleshooting Thursdays: Lean Manufacturing Part 1: Overview (Tip 96)

A resource for safe and effective troubleshooting from the leaders in simulation training.

Welcome back to TST, Troubleshooters! It’s that day of the week again, and this week we’re beginning our series on lean manufacturing. Today in Part 1 we’re doing a general overview of “lean.” So, let’s dig in.

What is Lean Manufacturing?

In a nutshell, lean manufacturing is a business model that is all about delivering products and services as efficiently as possible. This mostly takes the form of a mindset that continuously looks to find and eliminate waste wherever possible. In a lean manufacturing operation, every employee must be open to changing processes in order to eliminate waste and improve efficiency.

Added to this mindset is the desire to see things from the customer’s perspective—to add the kind of value to products and services that the customer actually wants. If it doesn’t add value, it’s waste.

The Roots of Lean Manufacturing

Some people peg the roots of the lean manufacturing model as far back as Henry Ford’s Model T assembly line. Ford revolutionized mass production. He initiated what he called “flow production” with his moving assembly lines that soon became iconic, but beyond that he made lesser-known but very powerful innovations that resulted in components that could be assembled in minutes instead of hours, and that fit perfectly without requiring time-consuming adjustments. 

Unfortunately, his production was limited to one model, in one color. This was a deliberate decision by Ford, who clearly didn’t believe in kowtowing to the frivolous whims of every bored consumer (hence his famous quote “Any customer can have a car painted any color…so long as it is black.”). Ford believed it was more efficient to do one thing well and not tinker with it.

The Toyota Production System

When consumers started demanding more variety, Ford balked, and other automakers stepped in to fill the void. Over time, they introduced bigger and faster machines into the process, which may have made those individual processes faster, but their throughput times kept growing, as did time lags between process steps, and they generated excessive inventories. 

In the 1930s and 1940s, executives and engineers at Toyota began examining the situation to see what could be done, and came up with the Toyota Production System, the first truly “lean” method of production, which focused on the overall production flow and process sequencing as Ford had done. However, they were also able to add more variety to keep customers happy. The Toyota Production System incorporated notions such as kaizen (continuous, incremental improvements), just-in-time (making only what is needed, only when it is needed, thereby avoiding excess inventory), and jidoka (automation with a human touch—or intuitive automation).

By about 1975 Toyota had virtually perfected its system, and it had begun to spread to other Japanese companies. By the 1908s it was beginning to catch on in the US under names such as “world class manufacturing,” “stockless production,” and “continuous flow manufacturing,” among others.

The Machine That Changed the World

In the 1990s, two books made lean manufacturing a household word: The Machine That Changed the World (by James Womack, Daniel Roos, and Daniel Jones; 1990) and Lean Thinking (by Womack and Jones; 1996). Womack, an MIT professor, and his colleagues undertook a five-year study on the future of the automobile, coining the term “lean manufacturing” and clearly outlining its principles.

Lean Manufacturing Today

Today, lean manufacturing principles underlie most manufacturing operations to some extent. However, they now incorporate several contemporary trends that dovetail nicely with lean ideals.

  1. Industry 4.0. The advent of state-of-the art production machinery with sophisticated sensor technology and internet connectivity allowing communication between stages all along the production line jives perfectly with the notion of eliminating waste. The IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) leverages new technologies to offer spectacular opportunities for finding efficiencies and reducing costs.
  2. 3D Printing. 3D printing makes creating prototypes fast, easy, and cheap. It allows for easy customization of products tailored directly to customer needs, it reduces lead times, and it encourages innovation because experimentation is now far more cost-effective than formerly. In short, it goes hand in hand with lean.
  3. The Green Movement. With the popularity of green, more people have an incentive to be lean. Eliminating waste is good for the manufacturer, but it’s also now desired by the consumer and has become a value proposition in itself.

And that’s it for this week, Troubleshooters! Tune in again next Thursday when we look at the 8 types of waste that lean manufacturing seeks out and destroys.

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Troubleshooting Thursdays: Overall Equipment Effectiveness (Tip 95)

Troubleshooting Thursdays: Overall Equipment Effectiveness (Tip 95)

A resource for safe and effective troubleshooting from the leaders in simulation training.

Today we’re talking about your overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). If you’re a manufacturing executive or plant manager, OEE is a critical metric that you need to be on top of. Why? Because it’s an essential measure of plant reliability, which in turn is the measure of how well your plant/factory/facility is performing its intended function. 

Increasing plant reliability involves improving both equipment and process reliability. Knowing your OEE is how you begin to tackle the equipment side of things.

What is OEE?

Overall equipment effectiveness is an objective measure of the performance of a plant (or even a single piece of production equipment) that looks at three aspects of production: 

  • Quality: the percentage of units being produced that meet quality standards 
  • Performance/speed: the speed at which these units are being produced during planned production time (relative to the ideal)
  • Availability: the percentage of time that the production line is up and running (relative to the ideal) 

OEE is a key “best practices” manufacturing metric. According to some experts, measuring reliability using OEE is one of the top 5 signs of a reliable plant. Monitoring your plant’s OEE regularly will give you objective data to show if you’re improving plant reliability in this area. You can also use this metric to make the case for upgrading a piece of production equipment.

How to calculate your plant’s OEE

Here’s the basic formula for calculating OEE: 

Overall equipment effectiveness = Quality (%) x Performance (%) x Time Availability (%)

This simple formula uses the three loss-related factors (quality, performance/speed, and time availability) to get an overall picture of your plant’s performance. Let’s look at each of these three factors in turn.

Quality

In order to find your quality number, you need to determine your good count. Good count is just quality loss expressed as a positive value—the number of units that meet quality standards. You can determine quality using this simple formula: 

Quality = Good Count / Total Count

In a perfect world, all the units produced would meet quality standards, and your Quality would be 100%.

Performance (speed)

To discover your Performance, you need to know what is the shortest time that it should take to produce one unit when everything is working perfectly. That is your Ideal Cycle Time. Run Time is also a simple measure—it’s your planned production time minus any unplanned downtime.

Performance = (Ideal Cycle Time x Total Count) / Run Time

Availability

Availability refers to the amount of time your plant (or piece of equipment) is up and running (run time). Downtime periods are subtracted from planned uptime to see how often equipment failure is preventing production. The simple formula is:

Availability = Run Time / Planned Production Time

Once you have determined your Quality, Performance/speed, and Availability, you simply plug them into the main formula and get your OEE score.

What does it all mean?

To put things in perspective, an OEE score of 100% would indicate that your plant is producing only quality goods (with no rejects) at maximum speed, with no downtime at all. (Ahhh! What a thought…)

Obviously, that’s not happening, but a score of 85% is considered “world class” and is a good long-term goal to work towards. 

A score of 60% is not bad—it’s fairly typical, indicating room for improvement.

A score of 40%, however, would indicate that there is lots of room for improvement. The good news is that, at this level, it’s pretty simple to make large improvements, for example by simply addressing the causes of your downtime one by one.

Regularly monitoring your plant’s OEE allows you to document improvements.

What’s often more important than the overall OEE score, however, is the three sub-scores. Each of these three factors—quality, performance, and availability—points to different potential problems, and serves as a diagnostic tool to direct your efforts to improve plant reliability.  

For example, you may find that your rate of quality units is very high, and your performance speed is generally very good, but that your availability is low due to too much downtime. Then you can work on strategies to reduce downtime, such as maintenance training

Here’s a great video that will walk you through an example OEE calculation, showing the math.

That’s it for this week, Troubleshooters! Be sure to tune into TST again next week as we begin a new series on lean manufacturing.

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Troubleshooting Thursdays: Top Six Ways to Reduce Manufacturing Downtime (Tip 94)

Troubleshooting Thursdays: Top Six Ways to Reduce Manufacturing Downtime (Tip 94)

A resource from the leaders in simulation training.

Happy New Year, Troubleshooters! We hope you had an awesome holiday season! 

In honor of the new decade, today we’re returning to our core topic—reducing manufacturing downtime. It’s why we exist. Unplanned downtime costs—big time—and anything that you can do to reduce it will make you the hero of your manufacturing enterprise. 

Manufacturing downtime is hugely expensive

Industry researchers have found that the average downtime episode lasts 1.5 to 4 hours and costs between $30,000 and $50,000 while production crews sit idle waiting for machines to come back online, and then earn overtime while the plant plays catch up to make its quotas. The costs are higher than that in many industries, for example the auto industry, where it has been estimated to cost $22,000 per minute.  Almost every factory loses at least 5% of production capacity due to unplanned downtime, and many lose as much as 20%.

Know your true cost of downtime

As shocking as the above numbers are, though, they don’t show the whole picture. There are also additional, hidden costs to downtime (such as reduced responsiveness, leading to lower customer satisfaction; stress on machines and employees; and loss of innovation because employees are putting out “fires”). Make sure you know how to calculate your true downtime costs, because you can use this information to persuade upper management that it’s worth taking action to limit it.

Top six ways to reduce downtime

  1. Track your downtime.

Know it, track it, own it. Record all instances of unplanned downtime and calculate much they cost, including intangibles so far as you can. Knowing the size of the problem is the first step in getting it under control.

  1. Have a risk audit done

A thorough manufacturing risk audit will point out potential issues that can be tackled proactively, such as aging equipment at risk for failure, systems that are no longer supported by their manufacturers, equipment with difficult-to-replace parts that can severely prolong downtime, potential issues along the supply chain, and the existence of technology upgrades that can help you manage your suppliers more effectively.

  1. Implement a plant modernization plan.

Have a plan and budget in place for upgrading equipment and processes proactively, beginning with the highest-risk targets outlined in the audit. 

  1. Ensure equipment operators are properly trained.

Improper use of equipment is a major cause of equipment failure. Employee ignorance of the limitations of a machine’s capabilities and environmental needs (such as good airflow, or protection from dust in the surrounding area) can result in costly downtime and equipment repair or even replacement. Employees need to be trained in the proper use of all equipment, and to recognize warning signals to watch for that machinery is nearing the point of breakdown.

  1. Develop and implement a comprehensive maintenance plan.

Having a comprehensive maintenance strategy is one of the most important things you can do to reduce downtime. A comprehensive strategy should include predictive, preventive, and condition-based maintenance. 

Predictive maintenance is considered the most efficient, because it uses IoT technology such as embedded temperature and vibration sensors to predict equipment failures before they happen, so they can be dealt with before production is disrupted. Predictive maintenance saves money because it is scheduled during planned downtime, and because repairs are done only when needed. 

Preventive maintenance, on the other hand, is regularly scheduled maintenance that is done whether the equipment needs it or not, during planned downtime. It’s not as efficient as predictive maintenance because you’re still performing some level of unnecessary maintenance, but it’s still more efficient than waiting for the line to go down and then attacking the problem. Eighty percent of maintenance professionals swear by preventive maintenance, so it should not be discounted. 

Condition-based maintenance, also known as reactive, refers to repairing failures once they’ve already happened. Unlike predictive and preventive maintenance, condition-based maintenance happens during unplanned downtime, so it is far more expensive. The only trouble is, it can’t be avoided. Neither predictive nor preventive maintenance can completely prevent equipment failure. So, when unplanned downtime does happen, it is still massively expensive and needs to be dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible. Which brings us to point 6…

  1. Train maintenance staff to diagnose and repair equipment failures quickly, efficiently, and safely.

Properly trained maintenance professionals can diagnose and repair electrical faults in production line machinery quickly and safely, reducing unplanned downtime. The Simutech Training System uses  realistic, computer-based, 3D simulations to teach a proven, systematic diagnostic method that prevents guesswork and needless replacing of expensive parts. Simutech also constantly reinforces best safety practices to reduce accidents, injuries, and damage to machinery. 

As you can see, half of the battle is thinking proactively to prevent equipment failure, and the other half is having properly trained staff who can troubleshoot equipment failures quickly and safely when they do happen.

Okay, Troubleshooters, that’s it for today. Hope you can join us again next week!

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