North American Maintenance Excellence

In this Big Picture Interview, Frito-Lay describes how the NAME Award changed its operation.

The North American Maintenance Excellence (NAME) Award is a program of the Foundation for Industrial Maintenance Excellence, a nonprofit, volunteer organization. The 2014 NAME Award application form is now available, and the deadline for applications is June 30. The application and additional information are available at www.nameaward.com.

The award is presented to individual plants on the basis of their maintenance departments’ ability to provide “capacity assurance for operational excellence” in the areas of organization, work processes, and materials management. The 2013 winner was the Emergent BioSolutions plant in Lansing, Michigan, which had applied for the award unsuccessfully several years ago and used that experience to help to build its program to the level of excellence it now demonstrates. In 2011, the Frito-Lay plant in Fayetteville, Tennessee, received the NAME Award. Richard S. Cole, Sr., the plant’s director of engineering/maintenance, spoke with Plant Services about maintenance, OEE, training, and the NAME Award.

PS: The “green thing to do" seems to be an important concept for your maintenance operations. Can you describe how that idea drives maintenance decisions at Frito-Lay?

RC: There are many ways a maintenance team can impact resource conservation. First, the Frito-Lay team stresses running at capacity standards (true efficiency) and ensure quality uptime (not to compromise high quality standards). A line running idle or underperforming is an energy hog. When a line is running but not producing product, energy is wasted — motors to power equipment, facility mechanical components cranking out surplus units, fuels consumed to maintain cooking temperatures, and lights burning unnecessarily. Running below throughput standards also taxes the site's energy consumption as more run-hours are needed to generate the same amount of product. Second, the maintenance planners schedule mechanics each day a running PM to inspect production lines for proper setup of combustion systems, water recycle program, and excessive usage. Third, there are predictive maintenance tools that support sustainability efforts. On a weekly basis, the facility mechanics will walk the floor leveraging the ultrasonic tool to identify and correct energy issues such as air leaks. Finally, there are innovation challenges. The maintenance team has been instrumental in identifying energy reduction ideas via the Innovation Challenge, which recognizes and rewards best practices and conservation projects.

PS: Is OEE a component of your corporate measuring stick for equipment performance? Who gets the equipment availability (uptime), throughput rate and quality data that determine OEE? How does it affect the way maintenance people do their jobs?

Richard ColeRC: "Scorecarding" is a way of life at Frito-Lay. The site tracks uptime daily and posts the results where everyone will see as they enter into the production area. Performance is monitored by operators and mechanics on each shift. Downtime is tracked by category. There are five main categories: total, changeover, equipment, operations, and other, which are acts of God. Each category has a point person who leads a focus team to reduce downtime in their respective areas as they collaboratively work with others to reduce total downtime. Equipment reliability is important to achieving key metrics in quality, service, and cost. The results by site are compiled by the national reliability team and shared each period to all supply chain managers and their teams. Recognition and bragging rights are awarded to the top performers in absolute performance and percent improvement. Total downtime is one of only 11 KPMs used for the national awards and is also part of the bonus plan.

PS: Does the maintenance team at Fayetteville track the percentage of unscheduled maintenance that is performed on the plant? Who gets the information, and how is it used?

RC: The site measures the number of emergency calls, as well as the amount of time a mechanic spends on emergency calls. The philosophy is to drive down emergency calls, leveraging a proactive approach to maintenance that focuses on solid processes and systems — planning/scheduling, parts room management, PM/PdM, training and development of mechanics, technical competency, CMMS. In addition, Frito-Lay leverages a critical-care program to "keep equipment like new" with a partnership between mechanics, operators, and the sanitation team. Assets that create the most emergency issues have a higher priority on the critical-care schedule.

PS: Does Frito-Lay's modern, high-speed minimum changeover equipment place any special demands on the maintenance organization?

RC: There have been a rising number of changeovers in the snack food business in order to meet consumer needs regionally and locally. There are more brands in the Frito-Lay portfolio than ever before, and each brand has its regional flavor, or seasoning, which creates a large number of changeovers. Changeovers are a maintenance team's nightmare as every time you take a line down and break it apart to clean and then put it back together is a chance for failure. Instead of seeing the recent trend of more changeovers as a curse, the site and Frito-Lay saw it as a challenge. The team embraced the challenge and looked for ways to simplify the changeover, such as plug-and-play technology or swapping out components — redundancy — and cleaning the used components off-line after the line was back up and running. In addition, the operation team used a pit-stop mentality to changing over the lines by pre-kitting the line prior to the changeover. The site also has goals and tracks its performance against the changeover goals and reports on performance each week. Leveraging these techniques, as well as others, ensures that capacity is maximized and downtime is minimized. Due to more changeovers, the amount of planned downtime for maintenance each week has decreased. Thus the maintenance team had to figure out how to get PMs and corrective work done in less time. One approach was to see which activities or checks in the static PM could be converted over to the running PM. Leveraging ultrasound predictive maintenance while doing running PMs was one solution. Converting 80 hours/week of static PM actions into the current running PMs enabled the site to maintain its 92% PM completion which led to 99.4% equipment uptime.

PS: What is the educational background that you look for in a new maintenance person? Is there special training that Frito-Lay requires. If so, who does the training and where does it come from?

RC: The team at Frito-Lay is looking for a mechanic that has a multi-crafted skill set along with a teamwork approach to getting work completed. It’s desired that the mechanic have a two-year degree from a technical school as a minimum. Frito-Lay, like most companies, is constantly improving the production lines with new technology. Mechanics have to show that they have the ability and desire to learn in order to keep up with the ever-changing technology. To reinforce this behavior, the site has partnered with various community colleges and junior colleges in the surrounding area to source future mechanics. Frito-Lay has created an internship program with technical students from these schools. In addition, the maintenance department creates a development action plan for each mechanic that’s based on leveraging strengths and addressing opportunities. More than 36 different technical training classes are offered each year, which allows team leaders to match training classes to mechanics, based on needs. Some of the classes are provided through MRO partners, and others take advantage of online programs.

PS: How did preparing your organization for the NAME Award process and then winning the NAME Award help you to become a more productive and profitable plant?

RC: The preparation for the NAME Award was not a means to an end, but, rather, for the Frito-Lay team, it was a benchmark to evaluate the progress of the company, not just the Fayetteville site. Frito-Lay was using the Fayetteville site as its "bell cow," and how well the Fayetteville site did indicated the success of the company as a whole. The NAME assessment is very thorough and hence during the preparation the Frito-Lay team identified some opportunities through documentation and addressed them between the date of the application and the date of the field assessment. But, for the most part, the preparation was more or less an explanation of the engineering department's business plan to include its overall philosophy, three-year strategic plan, department staffing and crewing requirements, training and development approach, processes and systems used, along with tracking, reporting, and improving results. Once on site, the NAME Assessment Team offered a wealth of knowledge with more than 100 years of combined maintenance management and leadership. The assessors were outgoing and willing to share best practices during the process. They took a good thing and made it better where possible. When it was all said and done, the assessment provided documentation with a scored rating that identified strengths and opportunities. The site then put together a plan that would leverage its strengths to address the weaker areas. There is always room for improvement but the "excellent" rating was confirmation that Frito-Lay was implementing a national reliability plan that was on track. And a solid reliability plan ensures quality uptime, which equates to large savings for the operations team. The NAME mantra, "Capacity Assurance for Operational Excellence," is a living expression that rings true when a site or organization demonstrates it is worthy of the NAME Award.

PS: What would you recommend to an individual or organization that's thinking about submitting an entry for the North American Maintenance Excellence Award? What is it about the process itself that is beneficial?

RC: No matter where you are with the journey to achieve maintenance excellence, the NAME Award will provide a meaningful insight on what one does well and what one should do differently to achieve world-class results. The NAME leaders have taken steps to make the process smooth and simple to ensure one maximizes its efforts. There is a new, fast, and easy way to check your progress to maintenance excellence. The NAME Award Quick Check is a one-page application focused on results of key department indicators. Upon submitting this form, one will receive a free, personalized response. The feedback will be one of two things: the basics are in place to move forward with a full assessment; or some foundational blocks, maintenance processes and systems, need to be shored up prior to proceeding. In either case, recommendations are provided for improvement by a professional NAME board member. This is the case as you go throughout the process. Each step along the way, from the Quick Check and the on-site assessment to being a member of the NAME board and assessing future applicants, allows one to grow in the knowledge of what it takes to achieve maintenance excellence and then sustain it. The best part is that everyone is in it together.

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