Plant and Equipment Wellness EAM Training Course Videos Session 08: Equipment Reliability Improvement Explained

Plant and Equipment Wellness Way Asset Life Cycle Management Methodology drives Endless Equipment Reliability Improvement until you get world class reliability

World class equipment reliability improvement is only possible if you follow particular paradigms, strategies, and practices—they are used exclusively in the Plant Wellness Way EAM methodology.

The following videos cover the presentation slides and explanations in the training session on the equipment reliability improvement methods used in Plant and Equipment Wellness Way EAM.

PEW/PWW EAM Course Day 1 – Foundations Session 8 – Equipment Reliability Improvement | How do we to Stop Problems Happening?
Duration 3:14

In the Training Course Workbook is a Table titled ‘Human Error Rates’. You will see that it confirms that the ‘human element’, the human error rate, is real and unavoidable. We do not perform well when tasks require care, and we perform especially badly under complicated non-routine conditions. Add stress into that that mix and you get disaster. To deliver equipment reliability improvement you must eliminate human error.

How often do we see managers and supervisors put their staff into stressful situations and then complain that their people are not up to standard? The Table tells us that people simply do not perform well if things get difficult. Foolish and incompetent managers expect great results regardless of prevailing conditions and the real abilities of their staff. But wise and successful managers turn complicated situations into easy and effortless routine through SOPs and training to ensure the best performance from their people. If you want to turn the tasks you do, or those done by your people, into routine simple tasks that hardly ever go wrong, simply write clear and detailed SOPs incorporating the very best failure prevention practices available in the book “Employee Training and Development with Standard Operating Procedures” by Mike Sondalini. Then train your people to them and watch the error rate fall by 100 to 1000 times.

Journey to 6 Sigma: Minimize Variability
Duration 5:45

The slide explains the change in business and processes needed to move a company towards excellence. If nothing is done a business ‘naturally’ performs at about 2-1/2 sigma ,with about 20 errors per hundred opportunities for error. When they introduce ISO 9001 quality management, and truly live the 8 quality principles, they will see a reduction in errors. Better than that is to adopt statistical process control which requires continuous feedback from your process and its continual improvement. The best of all is the Accuracy Controlled Enterprise, which combines all the best practices of the lesser methods and asks you to use them business-wide in all the business processes.

Chance of Trouble at Each Sigma Level
Duration 0:44

Most Business make their Machines Break
Duration 6:03

It is a surprise to learn that most businesses destroy their own machines. The chart in the slide shows the history of equipment breakdowns in a plastic pipe manufacturing business. Once you create the timeline of weekly number of breakdowns ,or the weekly hours spent on breakdowns (as in the plot shown) you can see how stable the process of breakdown generation is in a business. Notice that every week there were breakdowns. Some weeks were a complete disaster, and some were not so bad – only a few lost. The results have been put into a control chart and limits placed at 3 sigma distances (The least number of breakdowns can only be zero, so the lower limit is 0). The fact that all results are within the process limits tells us that this process is stable. It has an average number of 31 hours lost weekly to breakdowns. This company makes breakdowns as one of its products!

PEW SOLUTION: “Chop out the Roots of Failure”
Duration 2:38

PEW SOLUTION: Standardised Work Limits Variability
Duration 2:19

As soon as there is work to be done the question that arises is ‘How to do it quickly and well?’. Time and quality are important, but equally important is the cost to do the work. You know from the Value Stream Concept that we only want to do activities that add value. We also know that removing ‘waste’ activities reduces the cost because time is not spent doing them. To have least cost work, done in the least time and at the right quality requires you to find the very best way to do the job that gives you all three.

Once you find that ‘best way’ of doing the job you want to make sure that it is always done the same way every time by everyone that does it. By standardising work you intend to produce a repeatable outcome every time it is done regardless of who does the task. Standardised work is a work quality control and quality assurance strategy to deliver equipment reliability improvement.

Remove the Variability in a Job by Using 3T (Target-Tolerance-Test) Error Proof Techniques
Duration 1:55

In the end… reliability is a quality control issue because the standards you meet create the reliability you get!

When we create repeatable, standardised processes we have designed a way to always produce outcomes that are within the agreed parameters. To get serious equipment reliability improvement the risks to our equipment parts that lead to their failure need to be removed. Maintenance strategy selection and an effective maintenance planning process are major factors in delivering to our machines the right methods and practices that produce high reliability. In order to produce the right results every time the right actions must be done every time. This needs quality control on those actions. It is the quality control standards that you set and practices that you do which delivers the reliability that you get. By using quality controls you ensure the actions that create reliability are done by greatly reducing the chance that a mistake will be made.

Why Setting Standards is Vital: Lubricating Oil and Hydraulic Oil Cleanliness
Duration 4:21

Oil contamination by solid particulate matter is known to cause failure of bearings and hydraulic oil system parts. If the oil is kept clean and few particles are present the chance of failure falls dramatically. Service lives can increase 5 and 6 times more than if the oil is not kept clean. This slide shows images of oil at various ISO 4406 cleanliness codes. The higher the numbers the more contaminated and dirty is the oil and the shorter the equipment service life. The first number of the three number ISO 4406 code represents the count of all particles larger than 4 micron (the number is not how may particles are present, but it equates to the number of solid particles in a 1ml of oil; about 20 drops of water in volume). The second number represents all particles greater than 6 micron and the third number indicates all particles larger than 15 micron.

The worst cleanliness is to have the first number no higher than 14. Lubrication management best practice will give you rapid equipment reliability improvement.

The Importance of Setting Standards
Duration 5:36

The lubrication quality report on the left is for a hydraulic oil circuit pump like those in the picture. Note the ISO 4406 particle contamination code in the report is 23/22/19. The Manufacture’s Manual limits contamination to 18/16/13. This pump and the equipment in the hydraulic circuit is in great danger and at high risk of failure. You immediately know the pump is in trouble once the standard is set. But you cannot know that unless you first know what standard is acceptable performance. This report is virtually useless until it also specifies the standard that you must meet; then you know you need to act and you know what you need to do.

Setting higher standards and going after them will repay you with better performance, higher reliability, lower maintenance costs and longer equipment life before you need to spend any more capital moneys.

The ISO solids particle count chart shows that setting lubrication quality standards to low particle counts produces multiple equipment life extension. Once you decide to have a low ISO number you put into place the necessary lubrication management practices to meet it – such as monthly filtration, quarterly particle count analysis and trending, additional training in excellent oil/grease storage and handling practices, etc.

Case Study 1 : Shaft Quality Control for Bearing Reliability
Duration 3:26

An example: a 150mm diameter shaft is checked before mounting a bearing adaptor sleeve
Duration 5:21

An example: a 150mm diameter shaft is checked before mounting a bearing adaptor sleeve (continued)
Duration 2:00

In Each Work Task Provide a Target to Hit | Provide a Tolerance Range of Performance
Duration 2:05

If you want to hit something it needs to become a target at which you aim. Doing a job well requires the same approach – a well done job is one that hits all its targets. In that case you would be wise to put targets into every task in a procedure for people to aim at and hit. What does a good result look like for the task? What standard must the task meet so you know it is right? Tell people what an excellent job is and then they will know what they must achieve to be considered top class.

The Amsterdam urinal ‘fly’ etched in ceramic caused 80% improved targeting by users. Once you introduce a target people will try and hit it; it’s human nature. By stating clear targets in SOP tasks, you have significantly improved the chances of hitting them.

Notice that the bullseye in the archery target is not a pin prick in size. Though dead-centre is the perfect target, a hit anywhere inside the circle is a top result. When targets are provided in SOPs they must have a tolerance range within which the result is acceptable. The drawing of the part provides tolerances for its manufacture. Any size within the tolerance dimensions is fine. SOPs must be written with the same principle of using a tolerance about the target.

Provide a Test For Proof of Accuracy
Duration 0:37

To confirm the target is hit within the allowed tolerance it is necessary to test its accuracy using a suitable measure. With an archery target you have a visual measure of the circle borders to prove accuracy. With a machined part you use certified measuring equipment to prove accuracy. With beer and wine you use a tasting panel of experienced tasters to test it quality. In a business you use charts and graphs to measure performance against a target. Once you measure a thing you know where you are at. If it is not yet on target you correct for the difference and try again. It only by measuring actual performance against a set target that you can be sure if a task is done right.

PEW SOLUTION: Develop and Use Accuracy Controlled Enterprise (ACE) 3T Procedures
Duration 4:27

The beauty of the 3T failure prevention method is its powerful influence for increasing the probability of good outcomes. It is a proactive control measure that drastically reduces defect creation and the future failures they cause. ACE 3T philosophy is guaranteed to get you huge equipment reliability improvement.

The 3T’s provide statistical control over a task by setting clear performance requirements, installing control limits and specifying measures to track performance. Developing procedures that insure accuracy by imbedding targets, tolerance bands and tests in tasks is a highly secure way to meet specifications. They remove uncertainty of outcome. With sound targets and proof-testing used in your business processes, your organization moves from being uncontrolled, or at best quality-conscious if a quality management system is used, to being truly an accuracy-controlled enterprise, an ACE. Without any additional costs and demands on the organization, except to include the 3Ts into its standard operating procedures, and where needed, providing appropriate test devices, a business can be well-protected against all defects and failures.

With 3T defect elimination and failure prevention methods overlaid on standard operating practices the possibility of problems developing and getting deep into a business are greatly reduced. The business systems shrink in complexity because each person is now clearly responsible for product quality and conformity. Accuracy and quality are inherent in the system of work and become the only acceptable way to do a job.

PEW SOLUTION: Using 3T’s to improve Supplier Performance and Craft Workmanship Quality
Duration 3:09

By using the 3Ts you create statistical process control in human dependent activities. The target is set as the very best results that you want. The Tolerance is set as the very worst results that you will accept. The proof test confirms that the result is correct. Target provide precision, Tolerance set the quality standard, and Test delivers reliability work.

Answer to the Question: “How do you get the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to work to a higher quality?”
Duration 6:23

Use Two-Sided Error Proof Quality Control
Duration 0:43

I recommend that you start with using the design standards specified by the equipment designers. Ensure that all work tasks meet the equipment designer’s requirements.

Start by getting the equipment into the condition and environment the manufacturer expects. By starting in this way you can contact the equipment manufacturer for all the information you need. In the end it will not be good enough to become world-class, but it is a good place to start. Because equipment is a series arrangement of parts and components and the reliability of the series depends on the least reliable item, you must select the most demanding manufacturer’s standard for the whole series. For example, a long coupled centrifugal pump set has a motor, coupling and pump. Depending on the coupling design it will still let the shafts turn even if they are misaligned by 2mm. But the motor manufacturer has used bearings that tolerate 0.01mm radial misalignment. So the radial alignment standard for the pump set will be the 0.01mm.

When you set standards you are applying the power of ‘cause and effect’, which is a Universal Law. By stating the exact requirements to meet you are causing people to take all necessary actions to achieve them. So setting a standard will, in time, cause it to be met, which has the effect of delivering the performance that the standard was meant to deliver. Setting Standards, and sticking with them till you reach them, produces the change you want to see happen.

Write SOPs that include Failure Prevention
Duration 0:22

The 3T method reduces the need for having supervisors and managers because each worker can see for themselves when a task is well-done. Employees receive positive feedback and satisfaction from the job itself when they see that their work is of top quality. Employees become their own quality control inspectors and learn to improve their performance until it is up-to-standard.

ACE procedures have in-built structure to prevent failure and the introduction of defects. Each task can be done correctly because each has a measurable target and tolerance to work to. When all tasks are done right the procedure is correct. Using the ACE 3T method in standard operation procedures makes them highly valuable work instructions that are far superior to the average standard operating procedures. As well as acting as guidelines for the work, they set clear performance criteria for every step in the job process. They make it clear to the employee the degree of accuracy that must be achieved. Nothing less is suitable. It turns people into experts.

Continuous Improvement with Accuracy Controlled Procedures
Duration 0:40

The way we write our procedures needs to change to the layout shown in the slide. This layout makes it clear to users exactly what they must achieve in every task. Each task has a boundary and test to confirm compliance. The only ‘rule’ is that no new task is started until the previous task is proven to be done right.

With the ACE 3T layout you still use your current procedures’ text. The one new requirement is to incorporate the 3Ts to provide the statistical control needed to ensure task accuracy.

Activity – Putting 3T Quality Control in Procedures
Duration 4:42

Duration 2:41

Precision Maintenance of Machinery is …
Duration 1:49

Precision Maintenance is a set of activities performed by the maintenance crew and operators that produce highly reliable machinery. It requires the achievement of very high standards and tolerances, combined with critical observation and assessment skills to identify and remove potential failures.

The ‘Fourteen Rules’ of Precision Maintenance listed on the slide produce equipment that is exactly as the OEM designed them to operate. This gives the item the maximum chance of running reliably for long periods of time.

PEW SOLUTION: Outstandingly Reliable Machines Require Low Stresses in Their Parts
Duration 1:07

Precision Maintenance is a set of activities performed by the maintenance crew and operators that produce highly reliable machinery. It requires the achievement of very high standards and tolerances, combined with critical observation and assessment skills to identify and remove potential failures. It’s a sure strategy with successful techniques that always produce exceptional equipment reliability improvement.

Introducing Precision Maintenance requires training in best-practice precision skills, supported in the workplace by a top-class engineering ‘body of knowledge’ including machinery and maintenance standards. If you want equipment in your operation at consistently high reliability, the maintenance and operations people need to develop higher work skills and quality practices that they do not yet have. To develop those skills requires setting high levels of excellence and then training people to them. Many managers, operators and tradespeople will not believe they need such high skills in their operation. This of course is a fundamental error in their thinking. They do not realise that their current processes are not capable of delivering the reliability they want, and explains why many businesses that are busy with improvement efforts still suffer poor availability and breakdowns; they are improving practices that have naturally wide ranges of outcome. Providing tradespeople with a tension wrench to tighten fasteners has little effect on the number of loose and snapped fasteners. If you require tension in fasteners to be accurate to ±10% and provide your people with a process that delivers ±25% variation, there is no chance of consistent success.

The last item in the list of key Precision Maintenance requirements is the glue that keeps the rest together. It requires installing a business process that ensures the other requirements are delivered to every machine and equipment item in the operation. The solution is to use the Accuracy Controlled Enterprise procedural tools to turn precision into standardised procedures. With ACE in place you have the tool to drive amazing equipment reliability and production results. You solve equipment performance problems forever. And, more importantly, it lets you make Precision Maintenance a habit throughout your operation. In a nutshell introducing a Precision Maintenance Program consists of:

Corporate approval to implement precision maintenance and precision practices
Agreement across the operation on the plant and equipment to be precision maintained
Agreement across the operation on the precision standards to use for the plant and equipment
Agreement across the operation on the best practices to be applied to meet the standards
Agreement across the operation on the measurement methods that will prove compliance to standards
Writing ACE 3T procedures for all maintenance and inspection activities on the selected plant and equipment
Conducting a gap analysis to identify necessary test equipment, specialist tools and facilities
Identify any needed skills to be learnt by on-the-job training and expert support
Applying the ACE 3T procedures and refining their use
Monitoring the effect of the program on plant performance
Continually improving the use of precision skills and practices
Expanding the program to other plant, equipment and sites

PEW SOLUTION: World Class Standards produce World Class Equipment Reliability
Duration 1:26

Asset Management in a Nutshell
Duration 1:13

Business RISK performance of an asset is influenced by two things:
Its inherent reliability established at the design stage.
Its achieved availability, which depends on how well the asset is maintained and operated through its life.

Contributes to the success of the organisation
It’s purpose is to eliminate the need for maintenance (by ensuring continuous equipment reliability improvement)
It’s goal is to do everything in its power to
Increase the quantity and quality of production, and

PEW SOLUTION: A View of the Plant Wellness Way (PWW) Journey to Reliability Excellence
Duration 3:01

Integrated System to Reliability and Plant Wellness
Duration 1:52

Need System Wide + Life Cycle Wide Solutions
Duration 1:03

In order to influence the entire organisation and all its people to support the drive for reliability we must adopt a systems perspective. We must be aware of the interactions and knock-on effects between the many functions and duties required of people and departments in an organisation. We know that every stage in the life cycle must be performed highly reliably in order to get the operating availability that leads to maximum life cycle profits.

Changes should only be introduced when we are sure they will work correctly and will produce the desired results. The process of change needs Change Management using a system-wide view if the best outcomes are to be achieved in the shortest possible time.

We must plan (the changes must work on paper first), prepare and get authorisation from everyone if we want the changes to succeed.

World Class Practices Required at Every Step
Duration 1:13

Since defects will arise unless they are purposefully stopped, our only means to control them is to be eternally vigilant. We must teach and use the appropriate world-best practices and preventive methods at every point in every process.

To achieve masterly control is actually more demanding than simply being eternal vigilant in all things. We must manage, track and control our efforts so they are precisely focused toward becoming continually better. Setting up systems and processes that apply best practices is helpful, but insufficient in providing on-going and long term success. Once people who are taught the good practices leave the organisation, the good practices go with them and they are replaced by ‘ignorant’ others.

As well as being eternally vigilant we need a system to control our efforts and to promote continuous improvement of our people and processes – we need a ‘quality management system’.

Follow the Plant Wellness Way EAM Processes
Duration 2:22

As each philosophy is introduced and embedded into an organisation it gets more and more equipment reliability improvement and moves closer and closer to operational excellence. Many businesses reach a ‘barrier’ that can only be breached by learning more, and then applying that knowledge and skills. They progress to a second barrier that can only be passed by taking on a new view, or mindset, of the value plant wellness brings to a company. It needs leaders with vision and commitment in order to cross the barrier and reach ‘sunny skies’.

Develop the People of Plant Wellness
Duration 1:03

People want to feel valuable, and to be valued. You can do both when you increase their worth to a business. This diagram shows where you need to take your people, and as a consequence they will bring your business with them.

Observe the Financial Steps to Plant Wellness
Duration 1:19

Don’t forget that your financial recording and analysis systems will need to keep pace with the informational requirements the Plant Wellness philosophies.

Teach the Leadership Culture of Plant Wellness
Duration 1:05

Culture is ‘the way we do things around here’. You want a culture of continual improvement, where people naturally come up with new ideas and are helped to trial them. You don’t want the culture of ‘that’s the way we’ve always done things around here’.

PEW SOLUTION: The ‘Wholeness’ of Plant Wellness Way EAM
Duration 1:20

People, money, machines and processes all working together in an integrated learning system, where business life cycle risk is controlled to maximize machine and equipment health and wellbeing, so the business and its people profit – that is ‘Plant Wellness’.

PEW SOLUTION: The Plant and Equipment Wellness Way to Operational Excellence
Duration 3:24

PEW SOLUTION: Do the Six IONICS Processes to Plant and Equipment Wellness
Duration 0:33

World-class is defined as ‘the best there is’. With the systems and processes you develop and build using this methodology, you will move your operation toward world-class performance. The Figure is a simple flow diagram of the methodology. It shows the six process steps to create a lifetime of highly reliable plant and equipment. Work through them one after the other. Nothing that you will do in the methodology is difficult. But you must do it. If you do not, you cannot have the results that this methodology can deliver.

The Plant Wellness Way: A Business-Wide, Life-Cycle Long, System of Asset, Operations and Maintenance Management Excellence
Duration 1:43

The PEW/PWW Strategy … for World Class Equipment Reliability Improvement
Duration 1:00

Maximise life cycle profit, by
Markedly reducing human error, and
Proactively minimizing component stress, thru
Greatly increasing work quality results, to
Produce the world class reliability, that
Delivers the least maintenance commitment, and
Brings Operational Excellence performance, by
Creating a holistic business system, to
Address life cycle cost issues and reduce variation, that
Produces the least operating equipment risk profile, and
Results in the least operating costs forevermore.


The Industrial and Manufacturing Wellness Book also explains plant and equipment reliability improvement in good detail


The new Industrial and Manufacturing Wellness book contains all the latest information, all the latest templates, and worked examples of how to design and build a Plant Wellness Way Enterprise Asset Management (PWWEAM) system-of-reliability. Get the book from its publisher, Industrial Press, and Amazon Books.

The PLANT WELLNESS WAY EAM TRAINING COURSE teaches you to use and master the Plant Wellness Way EAM methodology. Follow this link to read about Training for New Users in the Plant Wellness Way EAM Methodology for World Class Reliability.

You are welcome to go to the Plant Wellness Way Tutorials webpage and look at worked examples of Plant Wellness Way EAM techniques and read in-depth explanations of the latest version of many PWWEAM presentation slides.

Use the head office email address on the Contact Us page if you have questions about the videos.