Home Health Case Studies in Maintenance and Reliability: A Wealth of Best Practices
Facility: Automobile Parts Manufacturer
This large company made fuel injection pumps for diesel engines and spark plugs for petrol engines. The factory had about 3000 machine tools, many of which were of high precision and cost. They had a European principal who provided technical expertise and governance. The principal operated similar factories in five other countries. In this site, they had about 8000 employees, working six days a week. About 2500 production staff, mainly machinists, worked in each of the first and second shifts. About 1500 production staff worked in the third shift. There were about 1500 employees in the 'day' shift.
Company employees had a strong work ethic; people were disciplined, kept to schedules, and worked to high quality standards.
Facility: Petroleum Refinery
This facility was a semi-complex petroleum refinery, with process plants, utilities, product packaging, and storage facilities. The process plants were grouped into two main sections. The primary processing units included crude distillation, high-vacuum distillation, and bitumen blowing units. The secondary processing plants consisted of a fluid catalytic cracker and a reformer (or platformer) unit, grouped with the utilities.
There were two other operational sections, responsible for the storage and handling of crude oil and products. One of them managed bitumen and liquefied petroleum gas storage, packaging, handling, and dispatch. Another managed the storage and handling of crude oil and products. The maintenance areas were aligned to these sections, with a supervisor in charge of each area.
Breakdowns and trips of equipment were common, resulting in excessive downtime and costs. Maintenance in the refinery had become a firefighting activity. Craftsmen were constantly being moved from job to job, resulting in low productivity and quality. As a result, morale was low, both in Maintenance and in Operations.
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