RCM Blitz™ Blog

How Do I Know What RCM Tasks Are Critical?

A customer who is relatively new the concept of RCM Blitz™ recently had a discussion with one of our facilitators regarding the PM’s and Failure Finding tasks that come from performing a RCM analysis.  Having recently completed the implementation portion of the process he was excited to audit the last quarters tasks completed by the maintenance group and in doing so was somewhat surprised to discover several of the PM’s identified in the analysis had not be completed.  He was even more shocked to find out that several of the PM’s that were not completed had potential safety consequences and as one would expect he was concerned that of all the PM’s to be “skipped over”, why did we skip these?  Should there not be something in the process that designates a PM is safety critical to ensure we get these done? 

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Doug Plucknette | Comments

Tell Us About Your RCM Leaders

Having written several blogs regarding RCM Implementation including how to implement, keeping implementation on track, and selecting the right people to keep your implementation moving forward, I am interested in hearing about your RCM Leaders. 

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Doug Plucknette | Comments

Selecting RCM Facilitators

The people you select as your RCM facilitators will play a key role in the success of your RCM program.  The RCM facilitators will have responsibilities in helping to select the equipment you choose to analyze, the depth or level or your analysis, and who will participate in the analysis. The selection of your RCM facilitators is in truth more important than the selection of what equipment or process you analyze.  In making this selection you should be looking for a person who meets the following criteria: 

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Doug Plucknette | Comments

10 Things You Can Do Today to Improve Reliability at Your Site

    As companies around the globe look to improve equipment reliability I can’t help but think of the Technicians and Craftspeople I meet after a conference presentation.  As they step up to introduce themselves to comment on the presentation some will often say “I really liked your presentation but I don’t think our management would ever support a program like this.  What you are doing makes a lot of sense but we just don’t have the people and our operations managers don’t understand maintenance and reliability.” 

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Doug Plucknette | Comments

Murphy's Law

I have spent the better part of the last fifteen years of my life working with some of the best companies in the world helping them to understand failures, how failures occur,looking for ways to detect, reduce and eliminate failures.   One of the first things I learned in performing Reliability Centered Maintenance and Root Cause Analysis is if you want to eliminate failures stop assigning blame. 

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Doug Plucknette | Comments

The Definition of Insanity???

One of the basic concepts of understanding equipment reliability is the Potential Failure Curve (P-F Curve) and several years ago I added some additional slides and graphics to my P-F Curve module to help people better understand the importance of a sound maintenance strategy. 

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Doug Plucknette | Comments

Eastman Kodak and the Paradigm Shift

A strange thing happened as I prepared to start my working day with a hot cup of coffee and the local newspaper.

The headlines in the business section read “What would a Kodak bankruptcy mean?”

Turns out a guy by the name of Joel Barker was right.

For those of us who at one time worked for the former photo giant this news would not come as a surprise. Eastman Kodak has been having problems for nearly three decades. It started with some competition in the traditional photographic business, was compounded by invention of digital photography and was finished off by a healthy dose of managerial incompetence.

An industry giant is in critical condition and the prognosis for recovery is grim.

Looking back thirty years ago one would never believe that a company of this size, who was by far the best in its business with a world-wide reputation for quality products, could ever fall so far. Kodak was the Microsoft of its generation, built by George Eastman an entrepreneur known for innovation and a commitment to research and development the company thrived under Eastman’s leadership.

While George Eastman is best known for Eastman Kodak Company and Kodak film, those of us who grew up in the Rochester area remember him most for his philanthropy and the Kodak bonus. As one of the outstanding business leaders of his time, Eastman donated more than $100 million to various projects throughout his lifetime including, the Eastman School of Music, Rochester Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Eastman School of Dentistry at University of Rochester, he started the Community Chest which later became the United Way and built Rochester’s Eastman Theater.

Staunchly anti-union, Eastman paid high wages and superior benefits to his employees and early on in his business career he began planning on sharing dividends on wages to all Kodak workers. Eastman felt that the prosperity of an organization was not necessarily due to inventions and patents, but more to workers' goodwill and loyalty, which in turn were enhanced by forms of profit sharing. In 1919, Eastman gave one-third of his own holdings of company stock then worth $10 million to his employees.

So, just how could a company built by a man who believed so strongly in the value of his workers fall?

Quite simply, its leaders beginning in the 1980’s made the decision to set and follow their own vision and model for business instead of the vision and business model set by George Eastman himself.

In his book Psychology for Business Efficiency Eastman stated that to become efficient in business one must first determine clearly and wisely the end to be gained by the business. To accomplish this, he must;

  • Rightly apprehend the best available means for attaining the end
  • Acquire the skills in employing that means
  • Devote themselves resolutely and unswervingly to the attainment of the end
  • Have the knowledge of the material factors and process with which the business is concerned and the skill to deal with them
  • Have the skills to both listen and influence

I often wonder how many of those in leadership positions at Kodak ever took the time to read Eastman’s advice on running a business. Even more bothersome is knowing the culture of attaining and training a highly skilled workforce and a commitment to research and development continued on the manufacturing floor until the early 1990’s.

As a Manufacturing and Equipment Reliability Consultant, I will be forever grateful for the education I was given by Eastman Kodak, from my courses in a skilled trades apprentice program to Reliability Engineering courses at RIT, Kodak paid for it all. Training at our company was never an issue, if applied to your job it was it was not only available, it was approved and never questioned.

It was an eight week course I took to become a Quality Improvement Facilitator (Kodak’s 1990’s version of six sigma black belt) where we were introduced to Joel Barkers concept of paradigms and the importance of having a vision of the future.

In this course we were shown a video where Mr. Barker describes the ruin of companies who went belly up because of simple shifts in technology and innovation. Throughout the film he stresses the importance of shaping your company’s future by being focused on the future instead of the present. He also stated that innovation and changes in technology are often developed, presented and ignored by companies focused on the present instead of the future.

Had Kodak’s leaders listened to Joel Barker they might have recognized that in 1975 the first digital camera was made in their own research labs as a technical exercise. In 1986, Kodak scientists invented the world's first megapixel sensor, capable of recording 1.4 million pixels that could produce a 5x7-inch digital photo-quality print and in 1990 Kodak developed the Photo CD system and proposed "the first worldwide standard for defining color in the digital environment of computers and computer peripherals. Only a few years later the line was discontinued when our own management deemed digital photography, too complex, too expensive and grainy.

The paradigm shift had presented itself and was pushed aside to focus on today. Fuji Corporation had created competition in the consumer film business and Rochester needed to focus on the lagging indicators of costs and profits. The ground work for failure was set, as Joel Barker said “No one will thank you for taking care of the present if you have neglected the future.”

To today’s leaders at Eastman Kodak who are presently looking to sell its patents in Digital Technology I can only say; “Your work is done. Why wait?”

In 1981 Eastman Kodak employed 60,400 people in Rochester, NY. Today that number is less than 7,100.

 

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Doug Plucknette | Comments

The top 10 best/worst comments heard in a RCM analysis this year!

In honor of all the year-end top 10 lists, here are the worst/best phrases or excuses uttered this year in a RCM analysis. 

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Doug Plucknette | Comments

Do we really need to do RCM?

Do We Really Need to Do RCM? 

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Doug Plucknette | Comments

The Importance of Identifying and Performing a Complete Maintenance Strategy

The article link below is a clear demonstration if why it is important to identify a complete maintenance strategy and perform these tasks as scheduled.  At GPAllied we pride ourselves on helping our customers to understand the importance of using tools like RCM Blitz to develop a complete maintenance strategy for critical assets. 

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Doug Plucknette | Comments

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