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Article published in Solutions, SMRP magazine, April 2013, Volume 8, Issue 2

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  1. 1. The Heart of the Matter 4 How Complex Should Maintenance Procedures Be? 7 The Hidden Treasure Behind Root Cause Analysis 10 The magazine by practitioners for practitioners. April 2013 | Volume 8, Issue 2 Manufacturing Process Reliability Manufacturing Process Reliability
  2. 2. Features 4 The Heart of the Matter Keith Diepstra, CMRP 7 How Complex Should Maintenance Procedures Be? Sam McNair, P.E., CMRP 10 The Hidden Treasure Behind Root Cause Analysis (RCA) Victor D. Manriquez, CMRP Departments 2 Officers and Directors 2 From the Chair SMRP Board Sets Strategic Direction SHON ISENHOUR, CMRP 15 BOK corner Benchmark Committee Update Paul Casto, Best practices COMMITTEE CHAIR 16 Member Spotlight Meet Gina Hutto, CMRP 17 SMRPco Corner CMRT Focus on Industry and Academia Larry Hoing, CMRP, SMRPCO chair 17 certification update 18 member Corner 24 chapter round-up 26 Welcome New Members SMRP Welcomes New Executive and Individual Members. 31 NEW CMRPs SMRPCO Welcomes New Certificants. 33 SMRPCO SUSTAINING SPONSORS 34 event Calendar SMRP Solutions (ISN#1552-5082) is published bi-monthly by the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals, exclusively for SMRP members. The annual subscription rate is $15 for members, which is included in dues. If you would like to subscribe to SMRP Solutions and you are not an SMRP member, the magazine is $15 for an annual subscription. The Society was incorporated as an Illinois not-for profit corporation in 1992 for those in the maintenance profession to share practitioner experiences and network. The Society is dedicated to excellence in maintenance and reliability in all types of manufacturing and services organizations, and promotes maintenance excellence worldwide. SMRP’s Mission is to develop and promote leaders in Reliability and Physical Asset Management. The products featured in SMRP Solutions are not endorsed by SMRP, and SMRP assumes no responsibility in connection with the purchase or use of such products. The opinions expressed in the articles contained in SMRP Solutions are not necessarily those of the editor or SMRP. Back Issues: The current issue and back issues of SMRP Solutions can be downloaded from the library area of the SMRP Web site. Original versions of the current issue and some back issues of Solutions are available by contacting SMRP Headquarters ($5 per copy for members, $10 per copy for non-members). SEND ADDRESS CHANGES AND INQUIRIES TO: SMRP Headquarters, 1100 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30342, 800-950-7354, Fax: 404-252-0774 E-mail: This publication was printed on 30% post-consumer recycled fiber. April 2013 Volume 8, Issue 2 4 10 7 10 SMRP SOLUTIONS April 2013 | Volume RCARCA
  3. 3. 10 SMRP Solutions April 2013 | Volume 8, Issue 2 RCARCA
  4. 4. 11SMRP SolutionsApril 2013 | Volume 8, Issue 2 The Root Cause Analysis Approach As we know, the Root Cause Analysis (RCA) reunites different methods directed to identify the root causes of events, in order to find solutions to these problems. In our organization, as part of the reliability tasks, we have been making RCA using the “Ishikawa diagram” or the “Five Whys?”, but we didn’t do in a systematic way and had no standard to write the RCA reports. In September 2011, we received training in a cause-effect methodology (Apollo RCA). After that training, the maintenance manager put emphasis in the development of RCA for chronic or major equipment failures. At the same time, I was designated as RCA Leader of the RCA Program. First, a protocol for the analysis meetings was established, integrating personnel from the areas of maintenance, operations, and engineering. The meetings are driven by the RCA leader who supports the assistants to define the problems, answers the basic questions, and determines the event relevance. Then comes the analysis, identifying the causes, propos- ing solutions, evaluating which should be implemented, who is responsible, and deadlines. In the RCA report, we included a section for these issues: Problem definition, event summary, solutions to be implemented with responsible names/deadlines, and the graphic for the RCA analysis. We also understood the important issue was to apply the solutions found in the analysis to eliminate or control the root causes in order to avoid the repetition of similar events. Consequently, we have established an RCA control that follows the implementation of the proposed solutions. This control has defined three statuses for the RCA: • Preliminary • Evidences • Closed An RCA is “preliminary” from the moment the event happens. The RCA is proposed and the analysis meeting ends. In this meet- ing, solutions are suggested, analyzed, and delegated to a person responsible for implementing the actions. After the preliminary analysis is validated by the assistants, the next step is what we named “evidences,” because each person responsible should present the evidence that the actions agreed in the meeting have been implemented, or they are in the way to do it so. Finally, once all the solutions have proceeded, the RCA is “closed” and uploaded into the maintenance information system. The hardest part comes after the meeting to implement the solutions. Sometimes an RCA could be just a “good intention” if we don´t apply the proposed solutions. And we can see how the same problems repeat one time after the other. We incorporated also the cost evaluation of the events ana- lyzed as a mean to show to the management the advantages of a solid RCA program. When we do this, we found the important amounts of money involved in these events, which is why we called this article “the hidden treasure.” The Hidden Treasure Behind Root Cause Analysis By: victor d. manriquez, CMRP
  5. 5. 12 SMRP Solutions April 2013 | Volume 8, Issue 2 But an RCA program is not exempt from some obstacles, especially during the analysis meetings. You will have to deal with some people’s attitudes, including: Looking for blaming someone, buzzwords, use of vague words, find the “ultimate cause,” ego fights, hurriedness, or perfectionism. Results We are going to show the results from the RCA program. In our first operation year (2010), we developed 11 RCA. After the training, in the period from September 2011 to nowadays, we have developed thirty RCA. Our monthly average was substantially increased. From January to December 2012, we have completed the actions for more than 50% of the events analyzed what is shown in Figure 1: The Hidden Treasure Behind Root Cause Analysis (RCA) Figure 1: View of the Drying Plant Figure 3: RCA Status by area (January–December 2012) We conducted a weekly revision of the not closed RCA, asking those responsible to show the evidence of the actions implemented. Sometimes some solutions are going to take a reasonable time and budget approval. In these cases, people must show these actions are on the way. The performance of the different maintenance areas has been as follows (Figure 2): Table 1: Total Costs of RCA Events (all amounts in US $) Area Quantity Mine $ 2,050,214 Elect. Aut. 363,100 Drying Plant 2,438,350 Process Plant 982,800 Total $ 5,834,464 Let’s see the Table 1 with the 2012 data concerning the total costs of the events. Now let´s show production and maintenance costs associated with the RCA events. Is important to point the summary of the costs related with the RCA-analyzed events. During 2012, these events cost close to U.S. $6 million, and the total of events analyzed since September 2011 are around US $13 million. These costs include the emergency maintenance cost (unscheduled) and the production losses, which is last is the main cost component. Table 2: Total Costs of RCA Events – Maintenance Actions Area Quantity Mine $ 2,050,214 Elect. Aut. 600 Drying Plant 124,300 Process Plant 32,800 Total $ 2,207,914 First in Table 2 the corrective mainte- nance costs. Taking into account the maintenance annual budget for year 2012 was US $45,870,868, these events represented 4.8% of this budget; nothing negligible and a great opportunity for improvement. Figure 2: RCA Status in all areas (January–December 2012)
  6. 6. 13SMRP SolutionsApril 2013 | Volume 8, Issue 2 The Hidden Treasure Behind Root Cause Analysis (RCA) The RCA is one of the most important tools to recover the maintenance costs by eliminating the causes that took the equip- ment or system to the failure state, and to avoid similar events to happen again. At the same time, it is a powerful indicator to put in front of the managers to support the RCA program. The efficacy of the RCA program will reside in a tidy manage- ment and the follow up of the solutions proposed as part of the maintenance management in our organization. According to the SMRP principles, operation and mainte- nance should act like partners, so the RCA program gives a great improvement opportunity for working together. Victor D. Manriquez, CMRP, is a mechanical engineer with Pan American Silver in Peru. He can be reached at or Pan American Silver is a silver mining company with operations in Peru. Table 3: Total Costs of RCA Events – Lost Production Area Quantity Mine Elect. Aut. $ 362,500 Drying Plant 2,314,050 Process Plant 950,000 Total $ 3,626,550 As you can see, the cost of lost production has been the main consequence of these events and the most important damage to the operations (1.6 times the maintenance costs). Considering that a nominal production day in the drying plant represents US $1,200,000, these events have represented almost two days of lost production. Success in reliability isn’t as easy as pressing a button. © 2013 Bentley Systems Incorporated. Bentley, the “B” Bentley logo and Ivara are either registered or unregistered trademarks or service marks of Bentley Systems Incorporated or one of its direct or indirect wholly owned subsidiaries. Other brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. They say you cannot change a company culture but with the right proactive process and discipline to that process, you can make reliability a way of life– the way you do business every day. Combined with the latest thinking in reliability, and state of the art Ivara EXP Enterprise software to drive adherence to the process, the possibilities become reality.