Through Rapid Improvement Workshops and a Sense of Ownership
This Fortune 500 company owns midstream, chemicals, refining, and specialty businesses across the globe. Its goals include advancing midstream infrastructure and petrochemical capabilities while continuing top performance in safety.
Over several years, the physical condition of a large plant in Texas had deteriorated considerably. Plant management decided to upgrade and implement new aspects of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). Front-line reliability and operator care is necessary for production and reliability improvements. Without it, improvement efforts often fail.
What is needed is an effective partnership between operators and maintenance that is proficient at preventing defects, identifying abnormalities early, quickly responding to problems and determining root causes, while documenting standards for all activities.
GP Strategies Solution
GP Strategies partnered with the organization to deliver an assessment and recommendation. The solution included organizational alignment, Planned Maintenance Optimization (PMO), and Operator Asset Care (OAC) services.
To address the company’s issues around operators’ involvement in reliability, GP Strategies facilitates our OAC workshops for production and maintenance employees in all the production quadrants.
Each workshop consists of four days for 12 to 16 participants and takes on a “learn and do” approach. The audience for the workshops is a cross-functional group of production and maintenance staff, supervisors, reliability and maintenance engineers, and representatives for all three shifts.
The first half of the day is spent in the classroom discussing what pain points the staff is having, such as the most frequent trouble calls and knowledge transfer issues between shifts. The participants document these as a group and complete training on filling out problem tags for equipment. For the second half of the day, the GP Strategies facilitator performs a top-to-bottom inspection of the facility with the team, hanging these problem tags on equipment and creating work orders for any problems. In one instance, one group found 100 issues that had not previously been reported, even though there had been an operator inspection program.
Our GP Strategies facilitator works with the participants to define what equipment to look at, identify ranges, and identify quantifiable specifics. To enhance programs during the training, GP Strategies experts use the workshop as a method for coaching, creating an eye-opening experience for the participants.
Once the inspection programs have been improved, the GP Strategies facilitator teaches front-line problem-solving
tools such as the “5 Whys” technique and the situation, target, proposal (STP) method. Workshop content also includes material on visual controls and Five S. GP Strategies also developed and implemented operator communication control boards, visual controls, one-point lessons, and printed inspection protocols posted near equipment.
For the final day, the participants drive their workshop projects to completion. GP Strategies staff then develop a presentation for senior leadership that the participants of the workshop present to their management teams, creating ownership for the content and demonstrating what they accomplished.
The program originally started with four workshops. However, after seeing the success of those workshops, the company asked for 10 more to include the rest of the refinery. To date, six have been completed and another eight are in development.
This program ensures that employees feel accountable for what was taught and the changes made to maintenance and operator care programs since participants themselves helped shape program content with the guidance of GP Strategies experts. This process of ownership transfer creates a positive environment for sustainability of the program.
As a result of the workshops developed and delivered by GP Strategies and the upgraded programs, participants have said that mean time between failures went up significantly and the reliability of the plant improved. The positive impacts to OEE will continue to be realized over time.
Learn more about our maintenance & reliability solutions.