PdM words of wisdom from the experts

Top tips from Plant Services' series on how to restart a stalled predictive maintenance program.

Does this story sound familiar? You design and implement a predictive maintenance program with the best of intentions, nudging your team away from their reactive comfort zone to embrace a more proactive mindset, but after several months your team's forward motion grinds to a halt.

In a series of recent articles, contributing editor Sheila Kennedy sought out maintenance and reliability experts who have learned, sometimes through failure, what it takes to keep a PdM program alive and how to restart a program that has been unsuccessful. Below are notable quotes from this series:

“I have witnessed a few failures and walked into plants that have remnants of what was once a good program. Usually it was due to a combination of three things: The program manager failed to show the value PdM provided to the organization, the management changed, (and/or) there was insufficient knowledge and training.”
Joe Anderson, senior reliability manager at The Schwan Food Company

“They start out with great intentions, but the program is not implemented thoroughly or completely, or the program is downsized to the point of delivering little value as a result of a plantwide austerity or cost-cutting program.”
Tracy Strawn, president of oil and gas services at Marshall Institute

“When reliability practitioners have a vibration program but ‘don’t have enough time’ to use other PdM technologies, that’s when I know there are missed opportunities.”
Paul Dufresne, reliability improvement specialist

“Find the right person to lead or drive the effort – someone who is passionate about the technology and a firm believer in the program.”
Bob Kazar, director of reliability for operational excellence at The Wonderful Co.

“PdM will tell us what part is deteriorating, but we must employ other means to uncover and then rule out failure causes. All too often, the root of the problem is a lack of insistence on conscientiously implemented details."
Heinz P. Bloch, consulting engineer

“I have seen programs stall or fail because they do not have the talent or knowledge to use the technology. The how, when, and where to utilize the technologies is all a part of being successful."
Larry Hoing, senior manager of asset care at Wells Enterprises

“The current state did not happen overnight, and you need to continually follow up to get it back on track. It’s all about being an ambassador for reliability.”
Ron Bitely, global E/I reliability manager at Arizona Chemical, a Kraton company

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