Fixed and improved… better than new!

Picture of a broken piston and connecting rod ...

Why did it break down?

When faced with failures it is important to empower your maintenance and operator employees to look for opportunities for improvements. Only by constantly focusing on how one can get better one can improve and this is a focus point that can never be lost.

In manufacturing facilities it is always a core focus point to produce, so too often when a failure occurs the environment and ambiance around the failure instantly go into “get it running again as soon as possible” mode. Unfortunately, with this attitude, companies are losing a lot of improvement possibilities. When facing a failure it is wise to take a step back and understand what caused the failure (using for example the 5x why method). Once the failure has been properly documented and a clear understanding for the root cause of the failure has been established then it is possible to put in place measures to prevent it from happening again.

The measures for preventing re-occurring failures can be for example an improved PM/PdM activity, measuring something that will indicate the failure mode. It can be a revised operating procedure, improving the way to operate the process or machine. It can be a re-design of components, machine or process. This list can be extremely long… improvements can take on many forms.

The core message to take from this short Blog is that when faced with a failure and don’t take the time at that moment to improve you will always be struggling with the same failures over and over again.

Take some time now to save a lot more time later.

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13 thoughts on “Fixed and improved… better than new!

  1. Pingback: How long do I have left? | Bjarni Ellert Ísleifsson, CMRP

    • “Don’t Just Fix It, Improve It!” is great simple motto or mantra to inspire the correct culture. Many maintenance shops do not even have a motto, or worse have a bad one like ‘shit happens’ or ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. An important part of management and leadership is marketing. A short catchy phrase is great way to keep getting your core message across to the maintenance team.

  2. Thanks. i am always in process improvement mode. find a hole in the process and develop a workaround to resolve the hole. i get alternating praise and fussed at for trying to take on responsibilities that others drop and will not follow up on. I think the process improvement mindset is the only way out of stagnation.

  3. For those interested in adapting “Don’t Just Fix It, Improve It” into your company’s culture there is a book by the same name written by Winston P. Ledet. It tells a fictional story about a facility and its journey to the Precision Domain. The book is based on Winston Ledet’s experiences in helping many facilities throughout the world through defect elimination and working cross functionally.

    • Hi Carol, Thank you for your comment and the reference to Winston´s book.

      The book is a great contribution to the world of Asset Management. Keep up the great work of promoting Asset Management as a business contributor!

      All the best, Bjarni

  4. Continuous Improvement is important. Along with that, as the blog stated, it is vern important to use RCA’s as often as possible too. Condition Based Maintenance is also a helpful tool to Continuous Improvement as well.

    In the end though, it is important to remember that not thiniking and planning out an improvement can lead to disaster too. Some ‘fixes’ can be more than the machine or supporting structure can handle, creating issues in other places, more places, or in stranger places, that could lead to larger problems in the end. It is important that people involved talk to others, work out a plan and then follow the plan.

    • Thank you for your comment Dave,

      I agree with you, collaboration and sharing of experiences is extremely important and in the end executing the plan is key to the success ahead.

      Keep up the good work Dave and I hope I get to hear more from you in the future!

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