Cream of the Crop

IAM Award-winning case study

IAM Next Generation Award winner, Laurie-ann Smith, has been featured in the IAM’s Assets magazine. The article is reproduced below.  Laurie-ann proved her exceptional skills while working with a major dairy.

PEME is a small to medium-sized enterprise engineering company that helps manufacturers and utilities to maintain, improve and expand their production assets through a range of integrated engineering services.  These include design, software, project installations, reliability, condition monitoring and plant maintenance.

PEME has utilised elements of ISO55000 to improve the engineering services it delivers to its clients, many of whom have not yet adopted a robust asset management strategy. Clients’ assets range from basic equipment to fully automated, high-precision machines. PEME maintains but does not own these assets, so it cannot deliver all the elements of ISO55000 – just the maintenance and reliability aspects.

One of PEME’s clients, a major dairy, required additional resource to deliver a maintenance strategy intended to reduce unscheduled downtime and meet productivity targets with ageing plant. PEME reliability engineer, Laurie-ann Smith, winner of the inaugural IAM Next Generation Award, was responsible for launching an asset care initiative to improve preventive maintenance for critical assets – and following that, to drive continuous reliability improvement. She acted as a central point of contact for the engineering, maintenance and production planning functions.

Laurie-ann also contributed to:

  • the implementation of a condition monitoring programme, determining asset condition and predicting when maintenance would be required

Figure 1

Following the implementation of the new preventive maintenance regime, Laurie-ann remained on-site to:

  • carry out reliability analysis on the top three engineering losses
  • investigate engineering-related failures with root cause analysis reports
  • maintain and improve preventive maintenance task lists on the dairy’s computerised maintenance management system (CMMS)
  • identify and plan upcoming work for the maintenance team, and liaise between the dairy and PEME engineers on planned work
  • generate work orders from the remedial actions recommended by condition-based monitoring
  • carry out mechanical engineering tasks, including those related to projects and shutdowns.

Laurie-ann tailored and moulded best practice reliability techniques into a fasttrack methodology, designed to bring about significant improvement in relatively short timescales; and structured the workflow to deliver against a rolling implementation programme, allowing the dairy to realise business benefits early and to provide feedback to inform further improvements.

The dairy’s maintenance planning, reporting and communication were all significantly improved. This made relevant data more visible, improving decision-making and collaboration between production and maintenance.

The initial asset care initiative provided the dairy with updates to its CMMS, in the form of an updated asset register; and with tailored, focused preventive maintenance tasks detailing what needs to be done, by whom, at what intervals. Producing this maintenance plan helped quantify the level of effort required to deliver the planned maintenance.

Figure 2

With the revised maintenance programme in place, a continuous improvement initiative driven by maintenance engineers’ feedback provided further enhancements, including:

  • more remedial and preventive maintenance tasks completed (Figure 1)
  • fewer breakdowns (Figure 2)
  • increased visibility of maintenance-related Key Performance Indicators
  • an improved evidence audit trail for end customer audits.

Laurie-ann believes that her organisation and communication skills, combined with her determination and confidence to see activities through to the end, enabled her to achieve this successful outcome.