Highlights from reliableplant 2016

At Reliability 2016, the purpose behind our presentation was to communicate the importance of looking at your manufacturing process as a series of sub-processes that are tightly integrated with one another.  Most facilities manage their core operations extremely well, with the necessary checks, balances, data review and on-going innovation necessary to stay competitive.  The challenge becomes optimizing processes that are further and further away from the core manufacturing processes and taking them to a world class level.  


World Class is a forever changing ideal.  Achieving 100% quality, 100% on-time at the lowest cost possible is a forever moving target.  As technology continues to march forward, bringing down the cost of many aspects of our business, its critical to keep evaluating and tweaking all the processes and re-configuring how they are integrated with one another to maintain quality and deliver while reducing the net cost.    

We talked about Moneyball, using it to illustrate the point that reliability focused professionals know that the only way to move the ball (sorry no pun intended) is to truly understand root cause, ie the contributing factors that impact the result we are after.  Too often incorrect assumptions are made.  Cause and effect mistakes happen all the time in a manufacturing setting when lack of data and deep understanding of the process leads people to draw incorrect conclusions.  The "Ugly Girlfriend" scene is a classic example where data-less managers are connecting unrelated cause and effect.  Ugly girlfriend, means he has no confidence which means he can't hit good.   



We talked about the Matrix, saying that we believe that every reliability professional has the need to seek out the truth, the root cause to whats standing in the way of reaching their objective (ie increased up-time, lower net costs, etc.) but because the truth can be tough, take time to uncover, is sometimes not pretty, they are often being asked to contain the problem, deliver the quick fix vs the far more sustainable and long term beneficial root cause 


We wanted to remind reliability professionals that they need to let management know that there is a big difference between the Blue Pill (ie containment, quick fix,address the symptoms) vs the Red Pill, where you "go down the rabbit hole" to uncover the truth about what is standing in the way of achieving your defined goal.  Reliability professionals are the 5 Why guys, we keep asking "why", (as annoying as that can be, ask any parent) until they dig down into the real cause often several layers away from the core. 

Where Client Eastwood brought us the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, processes that are keeping a plant from world class can be boiled down to:

  • The Unidentified
  • The Incorrect
  • The Contained
  • The Incomplete
  • The Broken and 
  • The Obsolete

Each reliability professional needs to identify the processes that fall into one of these 6 categories. Once the process is targeted, and the symptoms determined, its necessary to apply the expertise, establish the robust systems and then build the data driven execution and accountability necessary to bring these sub-processes to world class standards.


Our goal at this conference was to encourage and remind Reliability Professionals to go back to their plants to start looking at all the processes that support their core operations.  These are the processes that are often misunderstood or ignored, yet can have a very significant negative impact on the operation if not managed properly.  Technology continues to march forward, and in addition to identifying broken or missing processes, often technology can completely transform the way a process operates and interacts with the rest of the facility.  World Class continues to be a moving target as we compete on a global scale, and its on us to continue to improve the robustness and predictability of our processes while relentlessly looking for ways to reduce cost. 

Attention Reliability Professionals:  

It takes guts, conviction and smarts to seek the truth when containment is so much easier. Leave us your contact info below to be entered into a draw to be held on April 15, 2016.  Let's "see how deep the rabbit hole goes" to identify true root cause and take all your processes to World Class.     

Please enter the code:

Note: Please fill out the fields marked with an asterisk.