Six weeks to reliability glory or bust!

Nov. 14, 2019
Hot tips and cool tricks that will either get you quick reliability wins or help you look cool trying.

Dear Captain, we’ve been at this reliability thing for years with minimal results. What can we do in six weeks to make a big impact? Thanks in advance!
– Dodger from Orange County, CA

Dear Dodger, I just want to ensure that I understand the question. You’ve made minimal results over a few years, and you want to know what can be done in six weeks to make a difference? Did you read that before you sent it?

Never mind; let’s reply anyway. Here is my list of top tips for achieving quick wins:

1. Promote anyone who was responsible for the lack of results so far. You probably can’t fire them, so the next best thing is to promote them on to another level of incompetence. The following step is to not replace the person who was promoted and call that a savings: win-win baby!

2. Buy bigger hammers. Nothing makes an impact more than a bigger hammer. Don’t believe me? Google “Thorminator.” That thing will make a huge impact and often does.

3. Put up fancy boards. Nothing screams you know what you’re doing more than fancy boards that look great but add no value. The cleaner the better – as a matter of fact, by the end of six weeks, it should be completely void of any actual data. No one is looking at it anyway, so it won’t matter. But its presence will scream success.

4. Create a report that shows the improvement. Put some dots on a chart and draw an arrow showing an upward trend of improvement.

5. Stop your PMs. They probably aren’t effective anyway, so why do them at all? In fact, just don’t touch the equipment and you should see great improvement!

6. Install sensors on your machines to track your throughput. I recommend putting the input sensor at the beginning of the conveyor and the output sensor at the end of the same conveyor. This will keep your numbers looking consistent and show no losses on your line.

7. Find all of the positives in the negative situations. Find every positive that is going on in your area. Then take the credit for it.

8. Manipulate your OEE. Here are a few secrets to this:
     (a) First, take all of the downtime you can and make it scheduled downtime, as this does not adversely affect your availability. In fact, it will drive the availability up tremendously.
     (b) Do not use design rate for your performance bucket. Use a metric such as “average throughput daily” as your performance number. This will also tremendously increase your numbers. You can easily go from a 30% OEE to a 110% overnight.

9. Create some reliability growth plots to show the improvements. Once you manipulate your availability within the OEE metric, you have improved your MTBF. Show “before manipulation” and “after manipulation” to demonstrate just how great you are doing.

10. Create a few Weibull Analyses so you can show everyone how smart you are and that you know what you are doing.

About the Author: The Captain

Captain Unreliability is a satire of the state of the manufacturing industry in ’Merica today and is written by an industry professional known for using humor to get the point across. Stay tuned for more useless advice, and if you have topics you’d like to see covered or questions you’d like The Captain to weigh in on, contact The Captain directly at [email protected] or follow on Twitter @CUnreliability.

Also, here are some top mistakes to avoid:

  • Do not waste money training people. Why train them when they are just going to leave anyway?
  • Do not leave your office. Problems go away when you ignore them.
  • Do not focus on eliminating your losses. This just creates an atmosphere for change, which is what you want to avoid at all costs. It is hard to be a yes-man when you go against the grain.
  • Do not focus on making processes or people better. That is somebody else’s job. You will never be promoted if you become a change agent.
  • Do not focus on your maintenance strategy. If you want to see fake improvement, don’t touch the equipment.

Well, Dodger, I hope this helps. It seems there are lots of options to show improvement within the six-week time frame. If you implement these, I know that you can show progress all the while maintaining the status quo.

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