What a week!!
We have been without one of our team members all week. Before we all assume it was due to COVID19 it was much more serious. Apart from the obvious, getting him on the road to full recovery, it hit home as to how well are we looking after our assets and what information we are using to support our decision making?
Let’s call him Tim.
Tim had just finished his regular swim at his local pool. Part of his regular routine, a couple of days a week swimming for about half an hour each time. He was reasonably fit but not at the point of doing an ironman triathlon.
Around half an hour after his swim, Tim suffered a major heart attack in a shopping centre carpark while going about his business.
An ambulance was called, and he made it to the emergency dept. Not long after arriving at the hospital his heart stopped, and he needed to be revived by hospital staff using CPR and a defibrillator. Catastrophic asset failure!
He was successfully revived and underwent surgery to repair the main coronary artery that had been blocked by a blood clot forming around plaque that had ruptured.
A massive shock to all of us. Tim was active, he ate well, regularly bringing in his tuna for lunch. We then discovered there had been a previous episode that resulted in the lifestyle he had been leading.
He mentioned he’d had a stent fitted 12 years prior, had always been active and watched what he ate. He had 6 monthly blood tests programmed and in fact had one less than a month ago and was given the all clear from his doctor. His preventative maintenance program was as good as could be expected. Especially for his critical assets. This was a critical asset failure that he thought was being managed appropriately and had even received specialist advice for the development of the Preventative Maintenance plan. He even undertakes an annual stress tests as part of what we could call a “condition assessment” program. We would say, he had all avenues covered.
We have undertaken PM Optimisation programs for multiple customers in the past, looking at failure modes and establishing various data sets to monitor. We have developed multiple maintenance plans for organisations as part of their operational readiness work handed over from project teams. Tim’s event then triggered some questions for us:
- Do we assume our maintenance programs (preventative or run-to-failure) will manage the risk of failure for the broader business?
- At what point do we need to review our maintenance plans?
- Do we wait for the assets to fail or identify different ways to track performance? This one could have been so much worse and ended Tim’s life.
- Do you have critical assets that could potentially cause significant risk to your business continuity in the event of catastrophic failure? Are you simply accepting an OEM maintenance plan?
- What information are we using to monitor our performance? How accurate is this and does this need revising?
- Are our data setpoints or KPIs still relevant?
- Are we even operating the assets in the same way as we were when the current maintenance plan was implemented?
- What is the overall condition of your assets? What is the remaining life? Do they need renewing or changes to how and when they are maintained?
Tim’s example has certainly hit home for us on both a personal and professional level. We hope this may trigger some questions and actions for you too.