About Claudio Insaurralde

Maintenance - Reliability - Management 10+ years delivering robust maintenance plans to several industries. Melbourne, Australia

9 Points for Effective Brainstorming (Part II)

BrainstormingIn the first post I described the main key points for planning a successful brainstorming session. They were basically the tips related to the preparation of the workshop. Now let’s focus on some useful points to lead the session itself. Continue reading

How to Validate your Decisions Using Statistics (Analysis of Variance) – Part I

Are we producing the desired effects?In manufacturing environments, as well as in many other settings, we take actions and modify parameters, procedures and processes to obtain a specific result (usually to improve the situation). In these cases we need to know if the obtained result is a expected consequence of our changes or we’re just observing variations inherent to the population, that are not related to our actions.

One of the techniques we can use is the Analysis of Variance which is a powerful tool used in statistical design of experiments, Lean Manufacturing, Reliability Engineering and in situations involving many variables and/or samples from different populations.

It’s true that many software can perform this calculation automatically; however, it’s important to know how the method works – at least with a simple example like the one below – to be able to interpret and take advantage of the results the software we’ll give us when solving more complex problems. Continue reading

9 Points for Effective Brainstorming (Part I)

Brainstorming SessionBrainstorming is one of the most popular tools used by professional teams to find innovative solutions and ideas. It’s a quite popular technique and I’ve heard many times of people suggesting a brainstorming session to find innovative solutions for difficult problems. However, to be effective, this technique needs to be carefully led. I’ve seen many brainstorming meetings that derived in a disorganised discussion without achieving any concrete results.
After leading many brainstorming meetings I’d like to share with you 9 tips for running a successful brainstorming
session. Continue reading

Maintainability and its relation with reliability and maintenance

Relations between Maintainability - Reliability - MaintenanceAll people involved in maintenance activities know that some equipment are really easy to maintain while others can make maintenance work a real nightmare. This attribute is referred as maintainability and I’m going to discuss it and relate it to maintenance, reliability and availability concepts.
I will start by simply defining the different terms, you can skip this section if you are already familiar with them. Continue reading

Applying 5S series – (Part V) The last two S: Seiketsu and Shitsuke

Information BoardIn previous posts, I introduced the 5S methodology and explained the first three 5S (Seiri, Seiton and Seiso). At this point in the process, we have sorted everything, set them in order and cleaned the whole place to eliminate sources or dirt. Now it is time to talk about standardization and self-discipline.

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Labelling Employees: Don’t Do It any more!

Don't put labels to your employeesMaintenance managers, supervisors and team leaders usually have a perception about their people and most of the time that perception is considered permanent. For example, ‘John’s lack of enthusiasm’, ‘Tom’s laziness’, ‘Kate’s intelligence’ and so on.
Sometimes a person that is shy and looked at as incompetent only needs an opportunity to stand out. I will tell you a story that changed my perspective about this matter. Continue reading

Applying 5S series – (Part IV) Third S: Seiso – Shine

Clean places facilitate failure identificationSince the introductory post of the 5S series I have talked about the first two different steps of the methodology: the first S -get rid of all the things that are not necessary- and the second S -organize the place in the most efficient manner-. In this post I’m going to talk about the third step: Seiso – Shine.

This step is the one that people usually associate with 5S: a deep clean. However, it is not just about cleaning, it also involves taking measures to reduce the time spent in cleaning activities. The main idea is to systematically prevent the area from getting dirty by eliminating the sources of the dirt. Continue reading

Moving to 24-hours production schemes – 9 considerations for the transition (Part I)

24 hours productionGoing from one or two shifts to a three shift production schedule is good for the company, it means that we are increasing our production so we are selling more products. However, this is not an easy transition for our maintenance department and must be carefully planned to avoid negative effects on our equipment reliability.

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Applying 5S series – (Part III) Second S: Seiton – Set in order


Every item in its place and a place for each item

As I mentioned in the first introductory post, 5S is one of the best methodologies to organize our workspace. It has five steps. In the first one, we need to get rid of all the things that are not used at the location. Here, in the second one, I will tell you how to organize those things in an efficient manner.
In my case, I carried out steps 1 and 2 in parallel, which is a very common way to do it. Specifically, in this second step we apply the concept: “every item in its place and a (specific) place for each item”. Continue reading

Applying 5S series – (Part II) First S: Seiri -Sort

Interpl untidyIn my previous post I explained 5S methodology and began to discuss planning the implementation. As I mentioned previously, I will use an example to illustrate each of the five steps of the method. In this opportunity I am going to talk about the first S: Seiri or Sort as the English equivalent.

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