|Plant Maintenance Resource Center
M-News Edition 47
Edition 47, June 2004
In this edition...
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A key question in operating any plant is this: Are we doing the right amount of maintenance? Are we doing the right type of maintenance? This article from Bradley Petersen of SAMIgives a step-by-step method to systematically develop an asset healthcare program, resulting in the necessary reliability to meet your business plan, at the lowest cost. You will find this article at http://www.plant-maintenance.com/articles/Asset_Health_Care_Program.pdf. Note that you will require the free Adobe Acrobat reader to be able to view this file.
This article by Herman Ellis of Qualitech Management Services is a compilation of the work of numerous researchers who have developed various approaches to the science of Problem Solving / Decision Making. It is an attempt to combine and integrate proven techniques into one GENERIC methodology that can be applied to ANY problem. Contrary to other, current, (very good) methodologies, this approach does not require a dedicated team, nor do they have to be experts in the subject matter of the problem. Indeed, it is our experience with hundreds of problem analysis sessions based on this model that the solutions generated during public programs attended by a cross-section of participants from different industries and cultures, significantly outperform those of private in-house courses. You can read it at
The messages contained in this article from Larry Bush are:
Read the article at http://www.plant-maintenance.com/articles/photoswitch.shtml.
According to this recent article from Fluid Power Journal, there are two main trends in today's mobile hydraulics marketplace. One is an initiative by the major component manufacturers to increase market share with their customers through single sourcing. The other trend is to the use of environmentally friendly fluids in hydraulic systems. The article can be read at http://www.plant-maintenance.com/articles/Trends_in_Mobile_Hydraulics.pdf. You will require the free Adobe Acrobat reader to be able to view this file.
Our latest survey is on CMMS implementation. Another short survey that should not take too long to complete.
You can complete the survey, and view the results to date, at http://www.plant-maintenance.com/survey.shtml. The survey will remain open until July 15, 2004, and full results will be published in our August newsletter.
Our Maintenance Management Benchmarking Survey closed on May 15, with valid responses from 180 people. The key findings from this survey were:
Breakdown of Personnel
On average, the breakdown of personnel roles in the Maintenance Departments of those responding was:
In general, it appears that smaller organizations have a higher proportion of Management/Supervisory personnel in their Maintenance departments.
On average, 24% of sites' operating budgets were allocated to Maintenance. There appeared to be little correlation between this percentage and organization size.
The average organization allocates its maintenance budget to the following activities:
Larger organizations tend to spend more money on Predictive/Preventive Maintenance than smaller organizations, and less money on Reactive/Unplanned/Breakdown Maintenance than smaller organizations.
The programs that have the greatest maturity are those relating to Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) and Maintenance Planning and Scheduling, although, even for these programs, as many as 20-30% of respondents considered their programs in these areas to be either Non-Existent or Infantile.
The programs showing the overall lowest degree of maturity are those relating to Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), Design for Maintainability/Reliability, and Failure/Root Cause Analysis, where between 43% and 53% of respondents considered their programs to be Non-existent or Infantile.
For those who wish to see the full results, visit http://www.plant-maintenance.com/articles/maintenance_benchmarking_survey_04.pdf. You will require the free Adobe Acrobat reader to be able to view this file.
Here are ten Maintenance-related books that we have reviewed recently, and strongly recommend:
Get more information on these and other books at http://www.plant-maintenance.com/maintenance_books.shtml.
SPACE SHUTTLE DESIGN
The US Standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used?
Because that's the way they built them in England, and the US railroads were built by English expatriates. Why did the English people build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tram ways, and that's the gauge they used.
Why did they use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing. Okay! Why did the wagons use that odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing the wagons would break on some of the old, long distance roads, because that's the spacing of the old wheel ruts. So who built these old rutted roads?
The first long distance roads in Europe were built by Imperial Rome for the benefit of their legions. The roads have been used ever since. And the ruts?
The initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagons, were first made by Roman war chariots. Since the chariots were made by, or for, Imperial Rome they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Thus we have the answer to the original questions. The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches derives from the original specification for an Imperial Roman army war chariot. Specs and Bureaucracies live forever. So the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse's arse came up with it, you may be exactly right - because the Imperial Roman chariots were made to be just wide enough to accommodate the back-ends of two war horses.
Now, when we see a Space Shuttle sitting on the launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank.
These are the solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at a factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs might have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.
The railroad line to the factory runs through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than a railroad track, and the railroad track is about as wide as two horses' behinds.
So a major design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined by the width of a horse's arse. . . . .
I hope you have enjoyed this newsletter. All feedback, comments and contributions to future editions are very welcome (as are enquiries about contributions to, and sponsorship of, this newsletter).
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