The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP) held its 14th Annual Conference in Birmingham, Alabama. More than 80 experts in the maintenance and reliability field presented 50 technical sessions highlighting actionable information structured around the SMRP Body of Knowledge, consisting of five knowledge domains: Business and management, operations process reliability, equipment reliability, people skills and work management. Sessions covered best practices metrics, benchmarking and reference material that enable plant professionals to optimize improvement opportunities.
The event hosted 770 maintenance practitioners representing every part of industry, as well as governmental and educational organizations and featured 61 exhibitors.
Elections were held during the Annual Meeting. The SMRP officers for the 2007 term include Chair Tom Byerley, Vice Chair Tom Goshert, Treasurer David Staat, Secretary Rick Baldridge and Past Chair Chuck Armbruster.
The SMRP used the event as an opportunity to announce its new and continuing initiatives for the coming term. The organizations Best Practices Committee Metrics Project has identified 47 key maintenance and reliability metrics, of which 17 have been peer-reviewed and posted to the SMRP Web site for comments at
(http://www.smrp.org/body_of_knowledge/bok_bpmetrics_eval3.asp). The committee conducted an interactive Best Practice Metrics workshop during which participants calculated metrics for a mock company.
SMRP Standards Committee believes that as equipment should be designed for maintainability, so standards must be written with the maintainer in mind. However, various other organizations are developing standards without adequate representation of the maintenance and reliability community. In response, beginning in January of 2005, SMRP began surveying existing standards that are applicable to the field of maintenance and reliability. These standards now number 5000 and will form the basis for developing new SMRP standards where gaps exist (see www.smrp.org/certification_standards/standards01.asp).
The SMRP Academic Liaison Committee has acknowledged that the maintenance field is experiencing a brain-drain as skilled practitioners retire without being replaced by younger workers moving up in the ranks. Even when such workers are available and willing to enter the field, employers spend one to three years and $100,000 to $300,000 to train each new maintenance technician. The SMRP Academic Liaison Committee seeks to connect the private sector, SMRP and educational institutions to enhance reliability and maintenance awareness and knowledge. It plans to do this by contacting at least 20 universities each year to help develop appropriate curricula (see www.smrp.org/education).
The SMRP Certifying Organization prepares and conducts examinations for recognition as a Certified Maintenance Reliability Professional (CMRP). This years conference gave prospective members three opportunities to sit for the examination that covered the five pillars of maintenance. In the past five years, SMRP has certified the competency of more than 1,500 practitioners. These professionals are entitled to append CMRP to their names.