With the support of MaxGrip, one of the world’s leading dairy companies has succeeded in implementing a simple and highly effective failure reduction methodology. Root Cause Analysis (RCA) studies have pointed the way to full control over asset performance.
This company employs more than 22,000 people and sells products in over 100 countries. Great opportunities are presented by the worldwide reputation of Dutch dairy, the growing demand for sustainable food, and the recent withdrawal of EU milk quota. With its future strategy as the main guideline for adding value, the company is preparing for global growth.
MaxGrip is this company’s partner for maintenance improvement. We helped to improve the maintenance maturity of dozens of plants. Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a tried and tested method to unveil the underlying causes of equipment failure. The company adheres to the highest safety and quality standards, and every product has to pass the mark with flying colours. Even the smallest spare part can have big consequences in terms of reliability and availability. RCA is the obvious starting point in the search for technical and non-technical root causes that could affect safety, quality, costs and production performance.
“Asset Performance Management is basically about balancing three main factors”, says MaxGrip consultant Siebrand Weening. “These are the performance of the installations, cost control, and risk management. Maintenance plays a crucial role in this balancing act. Preventive maintenance is based on risk analyses and identifying the right adaptations. Corrective maintenance raises questions about the real causes, especially when failures tend to recur. We want to enable continuous improvement, and in 2006 we defined RCA as a key asset management competence area for the company. Our RCA solution typically yields more than a tenfold ROI.”
At the time, maintenance at this company was mostly a local affair. Operators and technicians found failure causes and improvements by trial and error. Data were recorded on paper. With the first RCA study, completed in a few days, MaxGrip helped realise very sizeable cost savings. Moreover, the newly acquired data and risk mitigation measures were processed with Optimizer+ and proved to be directly applicable across multiple plants. The massive potential of integrated solutions for failure analysis was made clearly visible by Optimizer+. For example, 80 percent could be attributed to the human factor, rather than purely technical matters.
The company started (re)training its operators and technicians, laying the foundations for a culture change. They introduced maintenance teams with people from all disciplines, and standardised the RCA procedure. In their Global Solution Set, the new standard methodology was secured with SAP and Optimizer+ for all locations. Siebrand Weening: ‘RCA studies are all about commitment to control. The first condition for effective RCA and continuous improvement is accurate information, and we don’t stop until it works and everybody is seeing real results.”