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We had a number of initiatives running on the site in our drive for better performance. A concern that we might have too many, and efforts would be dissipated is always there. We went to a lot of trouble to explain what this pump initiative was all about, and in aligning efforts into a coherent whole.

We focused people's attention at all levels on the bright new tomorrow where there would be fewer pump failures. This took attention away from the poor past performance. We minimized blame and finger pointing.

We got the basics in place within a few months and felt confident that we

Pump Reliability 339

Centrifugal Pump MTBF Improvements

Figure 44.2 Centrifugal Pump MTBF Improvements

were building on a sure foundation.

Reliability results never come overnight, but an improvement trend became obvious quite quickly. The reduction in repeat failures was particularly welcome. With time the results worked through into the MTBF figures, as shown in Figure 44.2. After three years, we exceeded the initial target MTBF of 3 years.


  • • Fragmented activities, however well-meaning, produce little performance improvement
  • • Alignment and coherence is vital
  • • Concentration on the basics is a must


  • • Move away from a repair focus to a reliability culture.
  • • Institutionalize failure elimination at all levels in the organization.
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