An alternative way to meet your staff’s training needs

Training method to face machine failuresHaving a training plan for your personnel is always a good practice. However, sometimes it’s not possible to find the adequate course because the topic is too specific, the course is not available at that moment or is too expensive.

Many years ago, while working at a maintenance department, I was looking for a training course for our personnel and couldn’t find one that fulfilled our requirements in terms of cost and availability. Still, I really needed to train our technicians so I found an alternative way to do it. 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

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