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Rubbing Off the Right Way

The local trainees also enjoyed the process. They started doing the same things the contract workers did, and soon they were active, sometimes too active. All this was good, as we were getting them to stop accepting failures. Getting reliability between the ears was the objective, and I felt we had taken the first steps forward.


  • 1. Achieving high reliability requires people at all levels to behave appropriately. They have to stop accepting failure as normal and question any that occur.
  • 2. Workers who think reliability is important often achieve more than large Reliability Departments. This mindset does not need either a high level of skill or a large knowledge base.
  • 3. Operators are often more willing to listen to technicians than to implement reports from Reliability Departments.


Reliability issues can all be traced to human errors at some stage in an asset's life cycle. Human reliability is the key to achieving good reliability performance.

Work can be a great source of fun. That itself can be a better motivator than many of the conventional methods. Human beings love solving problems, but the scientific management theories of F.W. Taylor in the early 20th century removed most of the fun elements. Using his theories, people like Henry Ford made each worker an expert in one micro-element of the production process, thus converting them into high-speed robots. In the last quarter of the 20th century, Toyota reversed this philosophy, bringing in teams to work on complete automobile assembly, not just in putting on wheel nuts. Their commercial success and leadership in automobile manufacturing showed that people who enjoy their work are also more productive.

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