(And the Reliability and Risk Management Lessons Left For Us To Find.)
How Mother Nature And Father Time Creates Reliability And Availability (and the reliability lessons left for us to find). Mother Nature And Father Time have together built well. What they have left behind lasts a long time without failure. Humans can run for 100 years with very little maintenance. Trees can run for thousands of years without maintenance. There are lessons for us to take and apply. The life on our world shows us how to achieve truly outstanding reliability and availability. Do you want a thing to last 20 years trouble-free all its life, maybe 50 years without a problem? By looking at what the Mother Nature And Father Time left behind you will find the answers.
Keywords: plant reliability, equipment availability
We live in a world of outstanding reliability and availability. Look around you. Trees that live for 200 years, trees that live for 2000 years, and many in-betweens. You will see animals that live failure-free for 15 years, 80 years, 150 years. In all of them there are lessons to learn about achieving outstanding reliability.
And the opposite also exists. There are plants that live and die in a few weeks. Some animals grow, replicate and die in only days. There are lessons about reliability to be learnt there as well.
How is a tree built for reliability and availability?
The roots go deep into the earth, or spread wide across much area of ground. Underneath feeder roots attach to larger roots, which then attach to stronger, major roots. Both root designs are strong, robust, unshakable, solidly fixing the tree in place and allowing no movement!
The trunks grow on themselves. Each year the trunks grow stronger. They becoming structurally stiffer with each growth ring. The growth ring is right around the tree on all sides. It is covered in shielding, protective bark to stop the local environment damaging its new growth.
Each tree has many branches at many places on the trunk. Some trees even have multiple trunks. Each branch has many leaves. The branches and leaves flex and accommodate changing local conditions.
There are many trees of its type in the forest. The forest is adapted to the location and its environment.
Have you seen the re-occurring patterns?
One is redundancy and duplication! A second is rigid, solid, strong structures when necessary. And a third is flexibility and adaptability at the places so required.
Losing one root causes no harm to the function of the tree. Losing a branch does nothing. Wild storms have no effect on the roots and trunk, yet the branches and leaves safely move with the wind.
If you want plant and equipment to have a long, trouble-free life then take the lessons that Mother Nature And Father Time left behind for us to learn, and design your plant and equipment with redundancy, unmovable foundations and supporting structures, with adaptability to handle changing conditions.
You can take these very same factors and build them into your operation. Imagine if you have many ways to get around a problem in your plant? What if you built your workforce with redundancy of skills and knowledge? Say you had people that had the strength of desire to go after product quality? How much difference would it make if your business were quickly adaptable to changing market place conditions?
Mother Nature And Father Time created well. Left behind for us all, is a blueprint of how to get outstanding reliability and availability. It is forever there for you to use … or not to use!
What worked for Mother Nature And Father Time will work for you too!
Disclaimer: Because the authors, publisher and resellers do not know the context in which the information presented in this article is to be used they accept no responsibility for the consequences of using the information contained or implied in any articles.
P.S. If you have maintenance engineering advice on industrial equipment maintenance, especially defect elimination and failure prevention of plant and equipment, or have made successful equipment reliability improvements, please feel free to send me your articles to post on this website. You can contact me by email at