May 05, 2013

Data collection

Data collection is the main source of developing organizational knowledge. However, this can be put into perspective if employees are aware of the value of sharing knowledge to the organization. It is only then an organization can work as a single entity with an integrated knowledge of thousands of employees.

Knowledge management is not only about having collegues share the same knowledge. it is also about integrating functional boundaries in an overlapping manner where knowledge gaps and duplication of effort is eliminated.

There are various tools help to understand this aspect such as forums and blogs. However, there should be an executive effort to integrate functional knowledge using systems thinking to have an organization that combines all efforts towards the improvement of overall performance

Reliability Manangement

Asset reliability is an essential part of asset management. Failure to manage it is failure to succeed. It can result in loosing customer satisfaction, profitability and possibly lost of lives. Maintenance plays a significant role in holding the asset performance to a reliable level as failures are predicted and controlled. Reliability requires sufficient understanding of the used assets which can be achieved by developing a useful knowledge management system.

This aspect is important as it saves cost of faliure, cost of customer dissatisfaction and most importantly human safety.

Assessing possible system failure using fault tree analysis and other troubles shooting tools can help demonstrate critical aspects of an asset. Following, process operators should be aware of it, risk mitigation plans should be created and reliability should be enhanced. THis can eliminate the risk of COPQ. Upon successful use of KM an organization can then improve its operating standards, meet and exceed regulatory legislation and continuously develop the sector as suggested by EFQM.

Lean maintenance

maintenance is considered as a burden on organisational operating cost as it consumes lot of money with the hope to get it back in reliability and extending the asset lifecycle. The use of Lean can have a significant effect on maintenance performance especially when considering operating working capital. lot of cash is tied up in inventory, while the use of lean principles can improve processes work flow and eliminate was

This can have great benefit when major maintenance tasks are carried out and machineries have to be turned of and production stops. using VSM can illustrate value adding tasks to increase the speed of the task and reduce its overhead cost.

My employer is constantly acquiring new aircrafts and demand on training is increasing noticeably. The use of lean can ensure cope with this demand and reduction in current maintenance cost while also benefiting the department cash flow. This can be started as mapping every week scheduled maintenance to involve only value adding steps and eliminating all forms of waste. This will also give more time for engineers to give attention to other aspects of the asset management to improve the quality and reliability of pilots training. This also shows that there is a strong link between KBAM and organisational learning as focusing asset management improves the organisational knowledge on its existing assets.

The need for KM

Knowledge is organization's ultimate asset, it is used to operate all physical assets. The main concept of knowledge management is to provide the necessary knowledge for each employee to maximize the productivity of his/her job. This follow 4 steps acquisition, storing, disseminating and using. IT is one of the useful tools to facilitate knowledge management and simplify access to it.

KM is ver important where complex work environment. ensuring the required knowledge availability and accessibility can play a significant role in standardizing an organizational performance to the desired level. it also help in continuous improvement and sustainability.

One of the problems we face at work is that for the devices we maintain there are hundreds of documentations, yet some roles are solely dependent on key people as they hold certain tacit knowledge. It would be useful to carry out a robustness test by trying to carry out sampled tasks by referring to existing documentations and procedures, identify gaps and bridge the gap by developing the existing KM system. there are useful tools also to assess the current standing such as KM Maturity Model. Such initiative can be the first step towards organizational learning.

May 02, 2013

Resources Utilization

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.

Lifecycle costing

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.

Maintenance management

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.

May 01, 2013

Knowledge Management tools

Knowledge Management (KM) tools are targeted to facilitate knowledge use towards organizational success. In engineering, manufacturing or maintenance, it is important to scedule tasks and track their progress. A simple software that can be used is Microsoft Database. Tasks can be scheduled with emails sent to concerned people and progress can be recorded.

This gives two benefits, first knowledge and performance is shared among employees, second, details can be used for performance measurement.

This approach currently exists in my workplace, however, the knowledge is not organised and shared efficiently. There can be tasks found not replicable.Understanding the EFQM knowledge management best practises can be a useful improvement point. Moreover, using the data generated can be useful to analyse performance to understand the current shortages in KM that is affecting performance improvement.

Asset Management tools

Asset Management (AM) tools are numerous, some are very simple and some are rigorous and costly. However, having tools to manage assets is essential and useful to optimize the cost/benefit. Simple tools such as total productive maintenance, Asset lifecycle costing using Excel, using concurrent decisions for asset investment and use linear programming to optimize work flow using Excel solver.

Such tools are useful for SMEs, however, it should not only be exclusive for SMEs unless a more effective systems is in place. Assets are the source of income for businesses, therefor, assets are managed to operate them in the most cost effective manner and optimize there performance and lifecycle. The use of AM tools facilitates this process to manage in the most effective manner.

When i go back to work, it would be useful to assess the current practises of asset management and analyze the current tools used. Any of these tools can be effective for a starting point to get focus on this aspect. For example, using Linear programming to optimize the occupation% of a device against its lifecycle can show the optimum utlilization. This will also help the department have an awareness of AM and take its associated aspects into consideration.

April 29, 2013

Asset Management

Asset management is meant to optimize the gain of the asset by understanding its total cost of ownership, utlization, risk and disposal. There are various models that demonstrates all the aspects of asset management from its lifecycle perspective where it starts with planing, acquiring through operating and maintaining and up to disposal. Each aspect should consider financial and technological management to achieve an optimum utilization for beneficial and profitable gain.

Managing assets is very important for one simple reason "Because companies can't afford not to". It is not just cost effective, it is also ensure reliability, customer satisfaction and risk mitigation. Assets are the main source of income and managing all types of assets puts the organization in control of its operations to ensure success.

My field of work is in the core of asset management, it is flight training facilities maintenance. Appreciating the concept of asset management helps me understand my current role in maintenance in terms of the bigger picture. Using a framework to assess the current asset management practises can help me identify what should be covered in our operations to in control of the whole asset lifcycle to ensure an optimized urilization and profitability.

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Most recent comments

  • Good point, you dont have to consider it while using the decision tree as the available data is limi… by Ahmed Alali on this entry
  • Good point Bu Salim. However, i failed to mention that a decision objective is linked to the busines… by Ahmed Alali on this entry
  • I do agree with you Ahmed that certain modification enhance GA performance, however, even if someone… by Waddah Alharthi on this entry
  • as u said, the time scaling and sentivity need to be taken into account… i agree but do u think in… by Tzu-i Yang on this entry
  • i agree with u … choosing tools is not easy… we might fall into trap info….it was whyi decisio… by Tzu-i Yang on this entry

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