Anyone who cares to run a Google search on ‘Maintenance Excellence and Reliability Engineering’ will get an indication how prominent the subject has become within the corporate agenda (more than six million results). This is particularly true of the biopharmaceutical industry – one of the most heavily regulated – where such concepts are becoming more widely adopted in attempts to reduce risk and reduce costs. Unfortunately, all is not smooth sailing. Many techniques are still in their infancy and, while leaders are pressing for wider adoption, organizations are often slow to adopt because many of the new concepts are counter-cultural.
Reliability Engineers spearheading the change find themselves constantly challenging existing mindsets, having to educate the non-believers by introducing sound reliability concepts. Across a large organization this becomes a difficult and time-consuming task. In this brief Survival Guide, we go back to basics, focus on common misconceptions and we introduce some of the key concepts behind Reliability Engineering – very much in layman’s language. So, if you are not sure about the difference between random failure and a bathtub curve, preventive and corrective maintenance, or the reasons why increasing the frequency of maintenance can be counterproductive, please read on.