Asset reliability is the term used to describe the ability of an organization to achieve its objectives through the use of its assets. Organizations need to maintain their assets to ensure that they are reliable and available when needed. Maintaining reliable assets can be costly, but it is a necessary investment if an organization wants to be successful. Many factors contribute to asset reliability, and managers and technicians need to understand these factors so they can take steps to improve reliability.
What is Asset Reliability?
First, assets can be characterized as either physical or intangible, and each has its own set of reliability requirements. Once you define your assets, reliability is the ability of an organization’s assets to perform their required functions over a specific period. The key measures of reliability depend on the specific operating conditions and production expectations of each asset. But, one thing is consistent, maintaining high levels of asset reliability is essential for any organization, as uninterrupted operations are necessary for success.
Asset Reliability vs. Maintenance
Reliability is a buzzword that is commonly used to describe maintenance improvement initiatives. The reliability of your assets cannot be solely defined by improvements in maintenance or predictive maintenance initiatives. In fact, both operations and maintenance drive reliability. The operations team focuses on providing reliable processes while the maintenance team focuses on providing reliable equipment. Asset reliability performance measurement must be standardized between operations and maintenance departments for them to become true partners.
The Importance of Reliability
Some industries must manage reliability to comply with certain regulations. The chemical processing and oil and gas industries, for example, follow Process Safety Management (PSM) and Risk Management Plans (RMP). Furthermore, there are other industry standards for best practices in asset management. All of which are crucial for achieving business objectives and keeping facilities safe.
However, asset reliability isn’t important only to remain compliant. It has a huge impact on the bottom line. Higher asset reliability means less downtime and repairs, resulting in increased production and profitability.
How to Measure Asset Reliability
Tracking quality, time, and speed performance is the most common way to measure overall production reliability. It is important to include all available hours in performance calculations.
Then, plug those percentages into this formula:
Quality X Time X Speed
For example: 80% X 80% X 80% = 51.2% asset reliability
An alternative way to measure asset reliability is with the reliability index. That requires calendar production time, total production losses, number of production losses, and quality, time, and speed performance.
Then, you need the following formulas:
- Mean Time Between Production Loss (MTBPL) = Time Running / Number of Production Losses
- Maximum Possible Loss (MPL) = Tons Lost / Number of Production Losses
- Reliability Index = MTBPL / MPL
Implementing a Reliability Plan
Defining your goals is the most important step in setting up your reliability program. There are a few things to consider, including:
- The scope of your asset management system
- Internal and external environment
- Business Goals, Objectives, and Needs
- Stakeholder Requirements
Having an effective reliability team is vital to achieving asset reliability. The key to a successful reliability team is to understand the process of reliability and clearly define each person’s role and responsibility. Also, the team must consist of more than just maintenance and reliability professionals. To be successful, a reliability team should be comprised of a cross-section of the organization, touching on every aspect or function of the organization. You should include individuals from supply chain, engineering, accounting, operators, and management departments. Each of these areas has an impact on asset reliability either directly or indirectly. Once your team is in place, you can strategize how to accomplish your goals.