“Because its on a difference maintenance cycle … there’s two aspects to that – one, in some cases because of that different maintenance frequency, there’s some areas we expect we’ll see less growth work; in other words, the ship will be in better condition. Most of that would be outside the propulsion plant.
“And then in other cases there’s work that it’s not really suited to be performed while it’s overseas so we’ll do that work during this availability. We really can’t go into the details of that aspect of the work, it’s just that that work is more suited for us to do here.
Due to the additional propulsion plant work required the shipyard began an “early smart start” phase to begin prepping the ship for the overhaul and tearing out equipment and ship systems to be refurbished, replaced or simply stored in a warehouse until the ship returns to the fleet.
On a carrier we discovered the catapult trough walls – we normally overhaul the entire catapult system – the catapult trough walls had more deterioration than we had seen in the past Shipbuilding team didn’t make that discovery until the overhaul had already begun.
“So there’s a lesson learned. That wasn’t part of the plan for 72, that was a discovery item that we had to react to. For 73, we got in early, recognised it had the same issues, and from a lessons learned perspective we could get ahead of that, plan for it, have the new steel already being made in our shops.
And as part of that we basically take the catapults while the aircraft carrier was still at the shipyard for the early smart start period, we take them down, pull all the cylinders out, send them off to get refurbished, and then get all the insulation off the trough walls. We actually blasted the trough walls so we could see how bad the damage was and basically get ahead of that.”
On another carrier, we planned to test the ship’s rudders as a precaution but assumed they would be fine. “What happened was, when we did the test it failed. That required us to take on emergent work, which required pulling out rudders and reworking them, which is fairly significant work to do that.
“So that was emergent work that caused some churn in our plan on 72. So what we’ve done on 73, instead of just expecting them to be okay, we actually planned to rework them if necessary, if the test fails, and have the resources already identified that would do the work, the material that’s required to support that work … and to include that work in our schedule so it won’t cause as much churn to the overall schedule if in fact that has to be done.
If it doesn’t have to be done, it’s easier for us to back that out, and it actually provides us an opportunity to do better on schedule rather than it causing problems.”
“Nimitz class of aircraft carrierwas designed on paper, so we’ve done a significant amount of scanning. So a ship check: we used to send hundreds of people to go manually track systems, do drawings and everything. 73 – and it was a forward deployed carrier, it – so think about the cost of sending hundreds of people overseas, to manually ship check all these systems.
“So on 73 we used the laser scanning technology, sent a significantly smaller team, were able to use the scanners to scan systems and bring those back and use them to build our work packages. And between just the cost of scanning, the people we didn’t need, and the travel costs, we saved a couple million dollars, just in the ship checking cost.”
Other changes for George Washington include new manufacturing processes, such as a change that will allow the new radar mast to be constructed in a single piece instead of in two parts, and allow that mast to be laid on its side to be outfitted with cables and insulation and paint, rather than installed in two pieces and then outfitted on the ship.
Additionally, the blocking on the dry dock was re-engineered so the carrier will actually be held six feet up in the air instead of just five feet from the bottom of the dry dock, allowing more workers to walk underneath comfortably.
“Now you can walk can walk under the ship without bending over – that means the workers that are down there are in a more comfortable position, it gives us more room to hang better lighting to make it a better environment for our folks to work, gives us room to run cables and other services. … It’s just really opened up a whole lot of things we can do to make it a better work space for our team.”
Eventually the shipbuilder will begin cutting holes into the hull to access tanks and other spaces that need to be blasted and coated, and cutting one large hole down the center of the ship, from top to bottom, to give the team access to the propulsion plant. In total, about 35 percent of all maintenance and modernisation work the carrier will ever get in its 50-year service life will take place during this four-year overhaul.
1. Track maintenance metrics. Using metrics and key performance, maintenance organisations can efficiently manage maintenance activities and focus improvement initiatives on driving value.
2. Employ maintenance planning and scheduling. With effective planning, work can be completed with the least interruption to operations and the most efficient use of maintenance resources.
3. Consider an operator-driven reliability program. Without the ownership of your equipment in the operator’s hands, it’s difficult to be reliable. Using a well-planned approach involving all workers, equipment reliability will have a direct, positive impact on your bottom line.
4. Improve basic work systems. Many organisations spend too much time searching for new reliability and maintenance concepts, and very little time on implementing and improving what they just started.
5. Use joint reward systems to drive results. If an organisation is serious about a closer integration between departments, the rewards systems must be designed to drive everybody’s actions and performance toward the same goal and rewards.
6. Construct your maintenance plan. Creating a maintenance plan is generally not difficult to do. But creating a comprehensive maintenance program that is effective poses some interesting challenges. what makes the difference between an ordinary maintenance plan and a good, effective maintenance program.
7. Listen to your equipment. Do you listen to your motors complaining about overload? Do you see your pump packings leaking a flood? Do you hear your bearings complain about contaminated lubricants? Do you notice your steam system choking on excessive condensate and complaining about strained elbows?
8. Stop rewarding failure. Managers can talk all day about the organisation desire to be proactive, improve reliability, reduce costs, etc. But people don’t pay attention to what you say; they pay attention to what you do. If you talk “reliability” but pay and recognise for failure, guess what you’ll get? What gets rewarded gets done, period.
9. Set high targets. A lot of preventive maintenance activities do not add value and should be eliminated. Some of these activities could be replaced with condition-monitoring technologies and a predictive maintenance approach.
10. Go all-in with condition-based monitoring. There is little to no payback from using one or two condition- monitoring technologies – or applying technique to a small amount of your assets and hoping it will develop into a successful program.
11. More accurately estimate labor hours. Experience shows the best labor estimates are routinely way off. A job might take more than time estimated or much less
12. Get the right leaders onboard. Rreliability leaders say that if they could do it over again, they would spend more time choosing the right people for key leadership positions. With the right leadership in the right areas pushing the right things, you have success.
13. Employ a multi-tool approach for more savings. In one example, maintenance team addressed an issue found during a routine work order using multiple condition monitoring tools.
14. Build a detailed and accurate equipment list. Despite what you may have heard, the foundation of a successful reliability program is a list – a detailed, accurate equipment list ideally recorded on your network. It contains the vital information you need to design, develop and engineer your maintenance program from the ground up.
15. Never accept “good enough”. In a maintenance improvement process, there are several areas where there is always a desire or undercurrent to shortcut the process. One of the most important actions of maintenance and reliability leadership is to expect and set the bar to allow the entire organisation to practice “Good Enough Never Is” every day.
16. Improve work processes. Operating practices are a vital part of any maintenance program. Good practices prevent failures. Poor practices encourage failures. There are sample business practices that must be implemented to improve overall job site reliability.
17. Use the right predictive maintenance metrics. What gets measured gets improved. Or conversely, what doesn’t get measured never will be improved. Tracking and reporting on key metrics lets you focus squarely on the behaviour changes you want.
18. Create a clear, concise vision. One of the first responsibilities of leadership is to provide a simple, clear view of what the future can and should look like. Having a clear, concise vision to improve your operation is important. This vision must be simple and visible.
19. Learn root cause analysis techniques. When a reliability problem arises, most organisations either address at the symptom level or seek immediately to lay blame on a person or group. Root cause analysis is a systematic process for understanding and addressing the underlying causes of a problem.
20. Look, listen, pay attention. Regardless of whether you're doing inspections with handheld computers or a paper system, can trend data or not, or have key performance indicators or not, you won't be successful unless your people can do quality inspections on equipment.
21. Decide on a lubrication staffing model. The question of who in an organisation should be responsible for day-to-day machinery lubrication tasks is common. Learn the most common organisational structures and create your own.
22. Create a planned backlog. The first maintenance scheduling principle is the prerequisite of having a planned backlog. Learn how to prepare and use a schedule as a control standard to improve maintenance productivity.
23. Use Reliability-Centered Maintenance analysis. A Reliability-Centered Maintenance analysis should be viewed as a serious exercise for your business. Such an analysis is an investment that takes time, resources and money to complete, but is worth the effort.
24. Implement Total Productive Maintenance in a reasonable number of steps. Implementing using these steps will start you on the road to “zero breakdowns” and “zero defects.” Achieving 100 percent reliability takes discipline and teamwork.
25. Break out of maintenance budget jail. If you are in budget jail and have tried to get out by preaching reliability to the people above you but have made little headway, there are ways to break you out.
26. At some time in the future, a defect entering a machine will cause a functional loss of some kind. As a defect lingers in a machine, the machine functionality decreases over time. At some point in the future, total failure of the machine occurs.
27. Create an equipment bill of materials. An equipment bill of material lists all the components of an asset, including its assemblies and subassemblies. With a reliable equipment bill of materials, a planner can determine exactly what parts are needed. And in an emergency, it provides valuable information to craftsmen and others to ensure that the right parts are identified and procured.
28. Use target intervals to map and avert failures. The target interval is a valuable piece of information for any maintenance team, and you don't need special training to use it. Use target intervals in determining the right maintenance to perform at the right time
29. Consider a continuous monitoring system. Apply dedicated devices for collecting maintenance data to aid in a condition monitoring program. With each passing year, this technology gets cheaper, and the desire for more complex and more robust monitoring gets larger.
30. Build a strong relationship with operations. To get better at maintenance, you must get better at building a positive relationship with operations. To achieve maintenance excellence, you must have an excellent relationship. This means having maintenance in full alignment with the larger goals of your operations and your company.
31. Quantify the cost of a functional failure mode. What is the real cost of a failure? Unfortunately, we don't know until after the failure has occurred - and reliability is about avoiding the failure.
32. Develop standard maintenance procedures. Job sites often fail to see the importance of having well-written procedures for most tasks. It’s important to have good procedures/details needed to develop well-written standard maintenance procedures.
33. Manage assets by criticality. Through proper construction of the criticality analysis model, reliability engineering will be able to illustrate what reliability enhancements must be made to manage criticality, thus improving their ability to manage assets by criticality.
34. Operators in a reliability-focused regime should ask questions and be very observant. The inclusion of smart tools in their skill set will benefit the organisation by the early identification and resolution of problems, leading to increased asset reliability.
35. Get more out of systems containing the right basic capabilities in support of your maintenance program. Tool package success depends on how they are implemented and, more importantly, how they are used.
36. Optimize outages with effective task planning. Outages can have elaborate schedules, but often are unsuccessful due to ineffective advanced planning, which results in inefficient work execution and outage schedule overruns. Outages can only be successful when the outage work is planned effectively before the work is scheduled and/or started.
37. Put multiple condition detection tools to use. It is essential to understand how equipment performs in the field and to be able to predict and prevent failures before they happen. The results of the combination of condition-based monitoring technologies will give the reliability engineer even greater confidence when communicating to management when an asset is approaching an impending failure.
38. Apply the correct maintenance strategies. True reliability is achieved when the most cost-effective methods are applied to the assets at your job site, maximising reliability with the minimum total cost.
39. Benchmark your lubrication program. Benchmarking provides a much-needed scorecard for areas of lubrication that may not be obvious or often considered for improvement. It is true that we “don’t know what we don’t know”.
40. Detect machine problems early. This massive list of inspection items will allow you to detect problems early, and hopefully eliminate downtime and/or reduce maintenance costs.
41. Remove process bottlenecks. If your process bottlenecks are linked closely to the maintenance and reliability of your equipment, it is most likely you have a highly reactive maintenance s. To move from a primarily reactive regime, significant focus must be placed on developing and deploying systems that move the organisation toward being proactive.
42. Optimise your typical tasks. Unfortunately, most tasks lack the detail that will provide quantitative data for equipment history, and they are written without considering failure modes. The solution is to write procedures that are value added, comprehensive, repeatable, organised, and specify a correct duration and interval of execution.
43. Create a lean and effective oil analysis program. Oil analysis is a powerful tool in a maintenance program. This case study presents alternatives to expensive in-house test equipment, good utilisation of outside labs, oil storage solutions, methods of reporting findings to further the program, and selling the program to upper management as well as to operations and maintenance.
44. Put maintenance checklists to use. While most groups will say they have checklists, requiring their use and the accountability are often major factors for success. In your organisation, what processes do you have in place to ensure workers use maintenance procedures and checklists?
45. Avoid the biggest risks. Asset management is an integrated approach to optimisng the life cycle of your assets, beginning at conceptual design, through to usage, decommissioning and disposal.
46. Acknowledge and pay attention to primary risks to effective asset management, you can put in place plans to mitigate the effects these might have on their program.
47. Give maintenance technicians equipment ownership. How do you strike a balance between equipment ownership and building the skills through cross training, and having the ability to get the work done all the time? Is it based on the values of the organistion?
48. Be smart about kitting. Kitting for maintenance crafts to perform their tasks is one of the easier and more effective ways to allow quality completion of the job with minimal productivity impact, especially when accompanied by a well-planned and functionally scheduled job.
49. Work towards zero failures. Experiences and data show that zero failures are possible in a maintenance program. As someone once said, “If you think you can’t, you’re probably right. If you think you can, you’re probably right.”
50. Manage the change process. The most difficult but most beneficial aspect of leading a maintenance and reliability improvement effort is managing the change process in organisations from a reactive state to a proactive state is a challenging transition for any maintenance program