With the advent of Industry 4.0, facility management may be reevaluating or extending the role of the reliability engineer (RE). Given its process-centered, highly technical focus, Industry 4.0 presents a perfect opportunity for REs to shine. Nevertheless, in my opinion, organizations that assume the majority of the RE’s work will be process centered are making a grave miscalculation.
Profit margins for forest products industry firms are volatile, at best, due to raw materials availability and pricing, competitive pressures and market forces. PCA helped one paper mill gain a measure of predictability — and save $1 million per year — by moving to best practices machine parts purchasing.
Earlier this month, PCA Associate Jim Clifford shared a true story of storeroom staff mismanagement that illustrated how just one bad personnel decision can snowball into a big problem (with corresponding significant financial loss.) Here, the author expands his tale to discuss the damage that non-committal employees, whether in the storeroom or outside of it, can do.
For personnel involved in maintenance repair and operations (MRO), how storerooms are staffed may be one of the greatest mysteries of all time. In reality, the answer is often disappointingly simple: whoever is available at that time and will not object too severely to being put in there. Unfortunately, that’s generally the worst possible course of action. In this article, PCA Director of MRO Services Jim Clifford shares a painful, real-life experience and explains why careful selection of MRO storeroom staff (and especially storeroom management) is critical to the efficient storeroom operations that help boost bottom lines.
In every industry, spare parts are crucial to equipment reliability. That sometimes leads purchasing managers to overstock items that are frequently used. This approach is OK (if not great) as part of a cohesive inventory management plan to use those parts efficiently, but most of the time, it is not. In a modern, well-run facility, there simply is no room for excess spare parts. This article explains why overstocking is so detrimental.
MRO purchasing is often overlooked by procurement professionals, and opportunities are masked by the transactions themselves which are high-volume but low-dollar. Resources are often allocated to other areas, and responsibilities for the purchasing function are transferred to maintenance or the storeroom where procurement capabilities are limited. In addition, the imperative for rapid repairs drives immediate, reflexive action and prevents the development of long-term strategic initiatives.
The Maintenance, Reliability and Operations (MRO) spare parts storeroom is an indispensable appendage of the Maintenance and Facilities departments. Yet, despite the clear value of a well-run MRO spare parts storeroom to ensure operating efficiency, it is rarely managed to function at optimal levels. The result is reduced productivity, excessive MRO spare parts expenses and unnecessary waste and downtime.
PCA hosted a booth at MARCON 2019, staffed by our MRO experts. They had discussions with a continual stream of attendees, all of whom were eager to hear our advice on topics ranging from ensuring availability of critical spare parts to controlling inventory spend. The hottest topic, by far, was the importance of having a robust set of work management processes in place — and the challenge of achieving that goal.
In our last blog, we talked about MRO inventory management—ensuring that the right parts are available at the right time and in the right place. This effort is one pillar of a best-practices MRO program, but it is not the only one. In conjunction with optimizing storeroom inventory and the storeroom itself, organizations must develop an ecosystem of best practices that support handling and usage of MRO parts and tools.
For many, the term “inventory management” conjures images of neat, orderly warehouses and storerooms. While well-organized storage is an important component of inventory management, it’s just one link in the chain. Properly structured, inventory management ensures that the right parts and/or materials are in the right place and always available at the precise time they are needed. Furthermore, inventory levels are kept at an optimal level to meet demand. Anything more wastes both space and money. This may sound simple in concept, but it’s complex in practice. Inventory management can be applied in two ways—materials for production and/or parts and materials for equipment maintenance.