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Assessing your company’s operational readiness

A successful asset reliability process requires strong relationships between internal and external stakeholders and an implementation plan that clarifies their roles.

Asset reliability roadmap
The OpX Leadership Network's Asset Reliability Solutions Group developed a roadmap that can enable CPGs to improve manufacturing performance with the four points shown in the graphic above.

While asset reliability (AR) means different things to different companies, one common definition that consistently emerges is the concept of zero unplanned downtime. Most everyone can wrap their head around the frustration of seeing a valuable asset sitting idly for no planned reason. The fallout can be devastating in terms of unplanned maintenance costs, reduced overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), missed deliveries and a myriad of other production problems.

Although there is substantial information and guidance regarding AR, PMMI’s OpX Leadership Network has recently commissioned the OpX Asset Reliability Solutions Group to explore the “white space” in this area to provide a useful and meaningful roadmap for consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies and OEMs of all sizes. This roadmap, focused on CPGs’ current asset base, can enable CPGs to improve manufacturing performance with four points shown in the graphic image below:

To inform and complement the work of the OpX Asset Reliability Solutions Group, one of PMMI’s Vision 2025 sessions at PACK EXPO Las Vegas focused on AR and some of the challenges and solutions.

Most notably, when asked where they were in their respective AR journeys — beginner, intermediate, advanced — most noted that they were just beginning, with a handful in the intermediate to advanced stages. This is an indicator that there is considerable “white space” or room for improvement in the AR process, at least for Vision 2025 participants.  

Overwhelmingly, the participants cite organizational dynamics as one of their greatest difficulties in improving AR. Specifically, they point to a traditional culture of silos rather than a culture of collaboration and cross-functional teams in addressing AR improvements. Most participants would like to see cultural changes that would help with AR improvements, such as stronger relationships with internal and external stakeholders, a team approach to the selection and validation of new equipment, and committing the right people to oversee AR – leadership, operations, data analysts, etc.

Another set of AR challenges for Vision 2025 participants revolves around legacy equipment, new technology, and the gathering and use of data. Most cite the difficulty in managing the data they collect, especially ensuring its accuracy, their ability to analyze it effectively and their ability to act upon it effectively to improve AR. To solve some of these problems, most agree that CPGs and OEMs need to build stronger partnerships that are transformational, not transactional. Such partnerships will allow them to focus on operability, maintainability and reliability that can help significantly with AR improvements.

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