Variability is the cause of most operating and business problems. Businesses typically aim to provide their clients with a consistent product or service. Meeting a specific set of specifications and properties is a priority and when the processes produces an out-of-specification product or service there is a problem.
Out-of-specification results are a waste of money, time and effort. Not only do out-of-spec results cost the business large amounts of money, they also upset clients. Clients may experience failures and increase costs because of your out-of-spec product or service.
With so much riding on consistency it is easy to understand why so much of an organization’s resources are devoted to controlling process variability.
Everything instance of a process that falls outside the specified limits must be corrected urgently. Any business not in pursuit of excellence in their process will not last.
When building your maintenance program, it is important to remember small improvements that effect the entire system provide improvement in a series bringing greater benefit to the whole system. If you select from the table those strategies that improve the entire system, then you get both chance of failure reduction as well as improvements in system reliability.
Chance Strategies: these reduce the chance of failures getting started
- Maintenance Standards
- Corrective Maintenance
- Failure Mode Effects Criticality Analysis
- Statistical Process Control
- Hazard and Operational Study
- Root Cause Failure Analysis
- Precision Maintenance
- Hazard Identification
- Quality Management Systems
- Planning and Scheduling
- Continuous Improvement
- Supply Chain Management
- Equipment Selection
- Reliability Engineering
Consequence Strategies: these reduce the cost of failure that cannot be prevented
- Preventative Maintenance
- Predictive Maintenance
- Total Productive Maintenance
- Non-Destructive Testing
- Vibration Analysis
- Oil Analysis
- Motor Current Analysis
- Prognostic Analysis
- Emergency Management
- Computerized Maintenance Management System
- Key Performance Indicators
- Risk Based Inspection
- Operator Watch-keeping
- Value Contribution Mapping
- Logistics, stores and warehouses
- Maintenance Engineering
How To Apply This Strategy
The big question you need to answer for yourself is, “What how big of a part does the heating and air conditioning (HVAC) system play in my business’ process?” This is going to require more thought for some and less for others.
If you run a bank, for example, you might be inclined to think the HVAC plays little or no role in your process. But you’d be wrong. Recent studies have shown comfort has a heavy impact on computational accuracy and speed, both being required skills of a proficient bank teller.
If you find, and it is a certainty if you put some real thought into the question, that your HVAC system has a role to play in your process, the next question becomes, “How do I reduce or eliminate the risk the HVAC system imposes over my process?”
It is important to understand how the reliability of an entire system can only be as reliable as the least reliable component in that system.
Going back to the bank example. If your tellers are great, but the HVAC is a real problem, then your entire process, is at risk.