I think I may have had an epiphany, only a little one mind!
In these austere times most minds are focused upon taking cost out of the business. None more so than in the marine industry! Therefore long term improvements that may not deliver any tangible win within the usual financial periods will probably not be considered worth focusing upon for investment approval. I wouldn’t do it so why would anyone else?
I do know that the whole of the CM community struggles with defining a robust cost benefit analysis, so I may have a solution – a really simple one!
1 – The introduction of condition monitoring is traditionally implemented back to front – i.e. someone buys some kit and tries to see if it will add value. Mostly it won’t, unless by some lucky coincidence, they uncover many machines that they did not know were in need of maintenance and as a result pick up a quick win early on.
2 – Up to a third of the worlds fleet are already equipped with a vast array of data gathering devices which are built in to meet the needs of various standards and regulations and basic engineering watch keeping.
3 – A great many of these data streams are poorly managed and are only utilised because of tradition. It is quite feasible to consider using these for other purposes such as routine performance monitoring – shall we call this Condition Based Operation or CBO (I think his is a recognised term).
4 – So if we can add value by simply offering a higher level of data manipulation to this existing set of data we can look to manage the day to day operational performance in certain areas.
5 – What if the same data set could also be manipulated to build in some functionality for Condition Based Maintenance? Surely this is simply reviewing the diagnostic output for a different outcome or motive.
Now what I see here is for the company that would like to get in to CM and CBM but cannot justify the required investment capital and change management costs.
To spin it simply and make it easy for even the CEO to get their heads around – We can improve the operational cost base by using existing data to identify areas of weakness where we are wasting money unnecessarily, time, fuel, effort etc. nice and easy cost benefit analysis to present. …….Oh and by the way we can initiate a CBM development programme for free as a result. So the company can start to look at making the necessary evolutionary changes to integrate CM and CBM into the workflow.
My only caveat here would be to ensure that as part of this evolutionary event that the company is encouraged to consider its business strategy and the positive and negative impacts that would be attractive to them and those which they would wish to avoid. This could then drive any development and be used to evaluate any gaps for later investment.
What do you think – do we have a subtle game changer here?