All entries for Thursday 02 May 2013
May 02, 2013
Resources utilization is what generates revenue back from assets. Therefor, utilization should be up to the optimum level. There are different approaches such as the theory of constraints and Linear programming. Linear programming is a calculation method to optimize an objective where constraints are linear.
Using such an approach to calculate optimum utilization can help get the optimum output without the fear to burn out the assets as these concerns can be formulated as the constraints. This will help identify the current gap in performance and can be a start to generate an improvement project.
Currently our resources are utilized 20 hours a day. It would be interesting to validate this utilization to understand the resultant lifecycle of such an optimization. it would also be useful to calculate the utilization load increase to understand at which level another asset investment is beneficial.
There is a misconseption when investing in an asset, investors tend to focus on the acquisition cost solely. However, this can be a fraction of the cost when investing in a multi million equipment, such as, an aircraft or a manufacturing plant. Other costs should be taken into consideration such as transport, installation, operating, maintenance and disposal. Moreover, such a decision should be done concurrently by consulting finance, engineering, process operators and understanding the involved regulations.
Understanding the total cost of ownership can then be compared to the revenue generated by such an asset from productivity, reliability and quality. Quality aspect tends to be intangible when it comes to non-measurable aspect although tools like QFD and decision analysis can be used, the final decision can be subjected to biasness and heuristics. Nevertheless, having understood the whole picture can contribute significantly to profitability and customer satisfaction.
Main fixed assets in my department "Flight Simulators" are invested in by strategic decisions. However, for moderate investments such as modifications and new components can be done by this approach. It would be useful to suggest the use of Excel to understand the effect of asset investments and the use of QFD to link this decision to the customer perspective.
The old era of maintenance was "fix it when it breaks down". However, with time people started to understand that preventive maintenance is needed to avoid loosing productive time. Tasks such as greasing, changing filters and consumables will be carried out to extend the productivity and overall lifecycle. Maintenance should be managed which starts with complying with the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) maintenance guide. Nevertheless, it is also important to understand that some of those guides are designed to avoid failures within the warranty period, therefor, on a regular basis maintenance should be treated from an organizational learning to achieve optimum equipment productivity with the most efficient cost.
My work environment is maintenance engineering with preventive, predictive and corrective tasks scheduled. However, it would be interesting to carry out an investigation on what tasks are done more than needed leading to in-efficient cost by using engineering mechanics analysis calculation to understand the concerned component capability and need for maintenance. Also, to analyzed the most recurring failures and suggest a possible preventive task on avoid downtime.