Reliability Radio Interview with Mike Train

If your responsible for reliability and maintenance practices at your facility, I’m sure you’re very aware of Uptime magazine and the Reliabilityweb.com site. Last week at the Emerson Exchange conference in Austin, CEO and Publisher Terrence O’Hanlon recorded a 9:11 podcast interview with Emerson Automation Solutions Executive President, Mike Train.

Terrence opened the interview asking Mike about the recently announced Operational Certainty technology and engineering-based program to help manufacturers and producers achieve top quartile operational performance. Mike noted that based on extensive conversations with customers and research, there were four key areas to drive operational improvements—safety, reliability, production optimization and emissions & energy management. Firms such as Solomon & Associates benchmark performance in these areas and share where a manufacturer’s performance fits within 4 quartiles.

Zeroing in on reliability, Mike explained that is all about increasing overall availability and avoiding unplanned downtime. Top quartile performers spend up to three times less on maintenance activities than lower quartile performers, yet have higher availability and have less time spent with the process in abnormal situations. Safety incidents are far more likely to occur during a period of transition such as a shutdown or startup than when it is running at steady state.

Top quartile performers establish an overall reliability strategy that includes top-level leadership and support, apply continuous condition monitoring technologies and implement well-established workflows for planned activities that should be much greater than reactive activities. This improvement process starts with a conversation among the plant staff and Emerson reliability consultants to assess current performance, understand the business objectives and current obstacles, develop a cross-functional vision for improvement opportunities and develop and execute a strategy to achieve this vision as well as top quartile performance.

Terrence ask about the role leadership played in Operational Certainty tying back to the keynote address on leadership by ex-NFL quarterback Tom Flick. Mike noted how Tom’s message of “winning the next play” and how leaders lead through change while managers optimize the status quo applies to reliability in making the changes required for top quartile performance.

Mike closed by inviting manufacturers and producers to connect with Emerson and explore the newly relaunched Emerson website including the reliability section of the site. You can also connect and interact with other reliability experts in the Reliability & Maintenance group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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