Over the years it has become common practice to discard failed parts without any review or inspection. When the failed part is thrown out without an inspection, the opportunity to learn from the failure and drive a culture of quality preventative maintenance is also thrown out.
With our commitment to deliver practical solutions Bluefield has implemented for several clients a failed parts process. The process starts with a failed parts bin or location to put the parts after they are replaced during a breakdown. It is a very simple and effective process to extract the maximum learning and improvement from each and every failure. By reviewing the failed parts with the technicians and/or supervisors, in order to identify why the failure was not detected during the preventative maintenance program, everyone involved in the review learns from the experience. When management takes the time to review the parts and ask why it was not detected during the PM program, it drives a focus on detecting defects and correcting them before they become breakdowns.
When Bluefield has implemented the practice in the past, management are often skeptical at first that something so simple will be of any benefit. They are usually surprised and excited by the response and improvement they get from simply taking the time to look at the parts and ask why.
If your site does not have a location for failed parts it is a very simple process to set up and the cost will be negligible (see photos). Simply, set up a location and process of regular review and discussion with the technicians and supervisors. From Bluefield experience the benefits will be as follows:
- Work quality becomes visible
- The workforce learns from reviewing the failed part not just the person who replaced it
- A culture of equipment ownership and preventing failures develops and the workforce is energised by the focus on failures
- PM quality improves as a result of the focus on quality and equipment ownership culture develops
- PM checklists can be improved as root cause is often obvious when looking at the failed part
- Parts like the brake chamber in the following picture will be replaced during the PM rather than allowed to run to failure