Employee Spotlight: Larry March

Posted by Larry March on June 28, 2018

Larry March Cohesive Solutions Asset Management Performance Management Data Quality

Realizing Data in a Maintenance and Reliability Program

Now more than ever, there are rising pressures for operational managers to reduce costs and improve reliability. This puts a challenge on maintenance and reliability engineers worldwide who strive to keep their organization as a leader in cost and quality. 

While we may be a world tethered to challenges, we are a world rich with solutions, ideas, and viable best practices. For example, SMRP (Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals) is the perfect community for sharing breakthroughs. Our team member, and this month’s spotlight, Larry March attended the June SMRP event in Memphis.

Larry is a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional and has over 26 years of experience in Enterprise Asset Management. Years ago, he joined General Motors after completing an apprenticeship as an Electrician in the construction trades.  He became part of the plant training department and soon joined the corporate staff for planned maintenance.  When General Motors designated Maximo as the corporate EAM system, Larry co-led the North American deployment and training efforts.  In those 12+ years as a customer in Maximo, he helped deploy the EAM solution in North America, Europe, China, and Korea. Larry became a Maximo consultant and has assisted clients in Manufacturing, Facilities, Oil & Gas and Transportation. Larry joined Cohesive Solutions seven years ago and is currently a senior Maximo consultant and work management practice leader.

Earlier this month Larry while at the symposium for SMRP listened to one session that resonated well with his experience.  Scott Larson of LSI presented the session titled, Realizing Value with Data in a Maintenance and Reliability Program.  Larry is sharing some of his thoughts and critical takeaways here for our June employee spotlight.

Mr. Larson was very knowledgeable of the needed factors for success. Here are a few items from his presentation that should be shared and repeated as often as possible.  

Purpose of Data is to effect change

I agree!  Data is the only thing you can act on, and the only way to know if the change had the desired effect.

The six steps of Condition Based Maintenance are:

    1. Connect to relevant sources
    2. Collect and archive data
    3. Assign Context (Asset Based)
    4. Execute Condition monitoring logic
    5. Visualize real-time conditions
    6. Alert and Notify

You must be able to validate that you are collecting relevant data so that you can begin to look for patterns and the real cause and effect relationships.  Simple statistics is not enough. You need to be able to define your desired output so that you can collect the correct data in the correct methodology.  After that, your analysis will have value.  A simple example would be collecting RPM history on a single speed pump.  RPM would not be a factor in any failure mode for that piece of equipment.  You would also need to have data history to identify changes and trends.  Data is always more valuable in context and as opposed to isolation.  Can you correlate and validate real-time conditions with the data you have collected?  Then you need to determine your notification points to filter out the noise from the truthful information.

TIME is not a condition

Right, while it may be hard to believe since time is a part of everything. This cuts across our old way of thinking and is crucial to moving from Time Based (or Calendar based) maintenance to Condition Based Maintenance.  In this case, we are talking about Run Time, so we are looking to see what changes in the equipment conditions are having an impact on its functionality.  None of these Equipment Condition changes are solely a factor of Run Time. 

Connectivity is key – Integration

The key point of integration is the ability to break free of the data silos and to look at multiple streams of data to find key indicators for process improvement and asset health.  Technology can help, but it cannot overcome the human process hurdles unless the barriers are intentionally removed.  Leadership must lead the effort in focusing on process and asset health improvement.  

Need to get input (and buy-in) for data collection devices

    • Input on routes and sequences
    • Better data for analysis
    • Get a baseline to establish trends
    • Get metrics right first
    • Create a health index
    • Document findings for ROI
    • Consider both technical and cultural challenges

Excellent ideas here, the only thing I would add is; creating and articulating a Vision and a Purpose.  This will keep us focused on exactly what we are trying to accomplish.  

Get as much input as possible on Output (KPI’s and Metrics) and Input (Processes, Procedures, Methods and Systems, and Devices/Use Cases)

Start by defining the goal of your data collection!  Maintenance and Reliability vs. Operational Data.  This is best illustrated by an old Stephen Covey Quote – "Begin with the End in Mind."

In summary

If you take anything away from this post, please consider these main points:

1) It's not about the technology; it's about the data

2) In-depth knowledge and understanding of the assets and their functions is critical for planning

3) Defining the goals and desired business outcomes at the beginning is essential to avoid false starts

Learn more about our solutions that can help you focus on reliable and trustworthy data by visiting our Propel solutions web page.


Topics: Data Confidence, Trustworthy Data, Reliability Centered Maintenance, employee spotlight

Written by Larry March

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