When somewhere between 50% and 70% percent of equipment failures are self-induced with the maintenance and commissioning performed on the equipment, it is understandable the importance many organisations place on Quality management in maintenance.
Quality management in maintenance picks up on QA (Quality Assurance) and QC (Quality control) processes. Where QA (Quality Assurance) processes typically work on building in processes so quality is assured and Quality Control the focus often is in the quality of work done.
While the importance and benefits of Quality management are clear in maintenance, it is in the implementation that often where many companies get hung up. In my own experience working as Engineering and Maintenance manager at a large 24/7 dairy site, I got to experience a very fuss free just get on with it approach where my Reliability Manager would just randomly pick through completed work orders and go for a walk with the trade/s to talk through the completed works. The objectives were very much to focus on the process rather than the person, and, understand how the work was performed, any problems that they had and whether there was any follow up needed to improve. This QC approach had a direct impact on the quality of maintenance work performed, as trades had an expectation that their task could be checked up on and audited, but it was also done in a way that not only built ownership for trades in work they did, but also meant that they were more inclined to do a quality job in the first place.
As side effects, this approach would take the reliability manager to the shop floor, so could get a deeper understand of the work performed and problems faced from by the team, but also tapped into the subject matter expert in the trade on what could be done to further improve on quality aspects of the work to impact on Safety, quality, cost and effectiveness of the tasks. It also usually led to discussions on the Quality Assurance aspects of the maintenance works as well, in what could be done to assure quality of the tasks in the first place.
A large food manufacture who are an active SIRF member, I have found to also have a good process for improving Quality Assurance of Maintenance tasks. Here the maintenance planner would have a schedule where they would work through of list of tasks, they would put on the schedule for the trades not to execute bit instead to review with the objective to closely understand what aspects of the maintenance task could be improved upon to assure quality of the works. It could be specific tools or parts needed for the task, or could be a refinement of more precise procedure or tightening of tolerances on adjustments or settings. All that to assures the maintenance tasks lead to improved operation or maintenance of performance of the equipment rather than building in variability or opportunities to accelerate wear or failures.
With that in mind, what is it that you are working on to implement quality management in maintenance via QA and QC processes. Are there any aspects that are hindering your progress or are there some aspects you have found really useful in supporting your quality management journey?
If looking for an opportunity to share and learn with others on this important topic, SIRF has an online Common Interest Work Group (CIWG) on the topic coming up on 24th Feb,
As part of this workshop, Energy Australia’s Yallourn power station who has put some efforts into Quality management processes, will share on their Quality management in Maintenance journey, where they are coming from, what they are working on, where hope to get to, how they plan to get there and any insights and learnings they have had along the way. Come join this workshop as an opportunity to come together on an important topic to learn and share!
IMRt State Manager Eastern Aus