In most industries it is unlikely that your CEO will be very happy if you tweet and facebook via linkedIn every time you encounter a new machinery issue, however it is rare that anyone will be facing problems that have not been faced and solved before.
So to that extent why not impress your CEO and tell everyone about your successes – you will have found many a solution and your team stepped up and made it right. After all your CEO probably signed your employment papers and your company only employs the best people! Right?
In a condition based environment we manage the asset population by a combination of strategies targeted at avoiding unnecessary maintenance. However, failures do occur – we like to call them – anomalies – as they come from nowhere, when we thought we had all bases covered. In reality these “outliers” are to be expected – the measure of our capability is how effectively we learn from them and bring them back into the protected environment so we can minimise their likelihood of reoccurrence and minimise their effect.
As is probably well known to you all, making mistakes and falling down is unavoidable in the real world. We learn from these events and we move on. Repeating mistakes however is unacceptable and we would do better to remember this by ensuring that;
1 – Every time we find an issue and fix it, we make sure that we check other similar systems and confirm that they are protected accordingly.
2 – We ensure that all our systems are setup to automatically capture evidence of similar events – which we may miss – so we can fix them.
3 – We tell our peers to look out for these issues and become active in the community.
Business advantage via reliability enhancements sounds attractive on one level but every time someone is killed or injured because we did not share the knowledge required to fix it – in some way we are all responsible.
This is NOT whistle blowing but professional engineering practice.
See the UK Engineering Council‘s statement on ethics here
As CBM gears up and starts to look attractive to the industry the first thing that will happen is a wealth of experts will suddenly materialise claiming that they have been in the industry for so long and are the best qualified to help you either set-up or run your CBM programme.
The truth is that in the majority of cases this will simply not be true or at worst very difficult to demonstrate.
I believe that we need to ensure that our skilled folk are accredited accordingly so that their judgement cannot be questioned and this we can eliminate this negative issue before it takes hold.
I suggest specifying the standards such as the ISO 18436 training standard. This is geared up for all CBM technologies and is an internationally recognised standard for CM.
Many providers will have the skills but will not be accredited against this standard – we are encouraging CM practitioners to approach their local body, perform the gap analysis and get accredited to ensure when professional qualifications are requested in the area of CM and CBM we can all specify an internationally agreed minimum standard.
There are many bodies able to provide this accreditation wordwide. In the UK the BINDT is the national body that is leading in this area.
Of significant interest to the marine community is that they have also created a standard which meets both ISO 18436 and the MNTB training standard called Marine Machinery Condition Monitoring. This is a standard intended for use of multi-skilled practioners in the marine industry, i.e. with recognised VA, LA and TA etc (vibration, oil and thermography) competencies. Putting the industry and local skills first and then massing a range of competencies accordingly. This is also achievable at equivalent Category 1, 2 and 3 levels. Where practitioners will be expected to be a minimum of Category 1 in two or more subjects.
Too often we have so called experts in this area who cannot substantiate their qualifications – I say check them and make sure you are happy. Then make sure all your team are up to date and can also demonstrate competence when and where it is needed.
In the field of condition monitoring there are a number of specialist technologies such as Vibration analysis; Lube oil testing; Thermography; Acoustic emission; Electrical signature analysis where competence can be assessed under an agreed standard.
Shipping companies engage directly or via contractual arrangements individuals to provide CM support, diagnostics and prognostic advice as part of their planned preventative or condition based maintenance strategy.
The problem for the shipping company is that it is completely acceptable for an individual to claim that he or she is certified at Category I through IV in standards such as the ISO 18436 suite of standards, furthermore it is acceptable for that to be based upon a first party self assessment basis.
It is also acceptable to become certified to this standard within a company scheme, a second party approach.
Both of these methods of demonstrating compliance are considered unacceptable by professional CBM practitioners as this undermines those who seek to differentiate based upon clearly verified competence.
It is therefore is strongly recommended to cite third party independently certified persons within tenders and commercial contracts as this demonstrates a sufficient depth of control to ensure that both the individual and the certifier have been thoroughly examined and can demonstrate competence and compliance.
Ask to check and demand it!