Blog: Does operator driven reliability (ODR) make sense?

Traditionally, the industrial O&M is run by the production and maintenance teams operating in separate organizations, performing their own tasks. Yet efficient O&M requires seamless cooperation of both crews to ensure trouble-free operation, steady availability and excellent safety. At its best, all silos have been completely demolished: job responsibilities are flexible, interaction immediate and smooth. Everyone takes equal responsibility for the plant and its equipment.

What is operator driven reliability?

Operator driven reliability (ODR) is a rising trend: added responsibility for the maintenance is allocated to plant operators, who are in charge of the simplest maintenance tasks. These tasks include checking, cleaning, lubricating and adjusting of machines. Operators could also take care of minor repairs and replacements of parts.

The selection of ODR targets and actions is based on device manuals, failure history and criticality classification based on failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA).

What does it require?

1. Support of the factory management. Introduction of ODR is a major change of operating way, and without management’s determined commitment, practices cannot be fully implemented.

2. Improving the operators’ skills. Allocating time and resources for training is incremental.

3. Detailed work instructions. Work instructions with photos are often necessary. To gain the operators’ approval and commitment, it may be best to begin with the simplest possible tasks. ODR should be managed through a maintenance or ERP system, enabling the data collection.

4. Change of attitude. Operators may find it difficult to embrace the increasing responsibilities. They need to be able to see that their new expanded role is important. Therefore, the observations, performance, and feedback from ODR should be periodically reviewed together. Positive atmosphere and feedback are especially important.

The biggest benefits of ODR

  • Improved availability and reduced unplanned downtime
  • Cleaner work environment that increases safety and productivity
  • Closer co-operation between production and maintenance staffs, which increases team spirit and mutual know-how
  • Operators’ better understanding of equipment which helps to identify failures and improves the quality of failure reporting
  •  More time for the maintenance team to perform maintenance tasks that require special skills

Juho Tuomisalo, Development Engineer, Productivity and Digital Solutions
Tel. +358 40 124 2899, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Blog: 4 greatest benefits of Criticality Classification in practical maintenance


In industry, we may come across a situation where equipment is rated into A/B/C critical classes, but the findings are not systematically utilised in everyday maintenance.

What are the benefits of criticality classification, and how does it help you manage your daily maintenance effectively? How can the equipment’s criticality classes help in practice?

1. You know how to prioritize maintenance works and resource allocation

Limited resources + high workload = haste. In a hurry, criticality classes prove their strength, as you can immediately detect the most critical equipment and maintenance work, thus focus resources on them. The most critical equipment for production and safety is serviced / repaired as quickly as possible, less critical later.

2. You can define the right proactive measures

Criticality classes are formed according to information on both the causes of equipment failures and the consequences to production and safety caused by the defects. Preventive maintenance measures can be targeted at the most critical devices, avoiding excess and insufficient maintenance. You can choose the right maintenance actions and maintenance intervals to prevent faults.

Criticality classification offers great help in identifying the right condition monitoring targets and the critical signals. For example, sudden failure of a large bearing can result in months of unexpected shutdown due to the long delivery time of the spare part. Monitoring the condition of such a part is vitally important in order to get timely information about the approaching failure and have time to take action before the device malfunctions.

3. You are able to optimize spare parts stocks

When you identify the most important devices that may malfunction, you will also identify their components and the delivery times of spare parts. Identifying the most critical parts is important to know which parts should be in the spare parts warehouse – thus you can ensure the availability of spare parts.

4. You can also identify other necessary actions

Criticality classification also identifies process bottlenecks and security risks. At the same time, you will get valuable information on investment and modernization needs and the necessary redevelopment targets. From the results, you will also notice whether the maintenance or production methods need to be developed further in order to increase the reliability and usability of the device.

Typical problems are related to implementation

The biggest obstacles of criticality classification are related to its implementation and taking it into action. For example, the original Reliability-centered Maintenance (RCM) method is in many cases too heavy and time-consuming, which may also lead to a phase-out. There are also cases where a comprehensive Failure Mode and Effects Analysis has been performed, resulting only in some development targets listing rather than a true criticality classification of the equipment.

The key to criticality classification is that the criticality analysis results in a clear and reasoned breakdown of equipment criticalities and the results are put into practice.

Maintpartner manages critical ratings

We use a simulation tool based on the Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) we have developed for criticality classification. We collect data from process experts, failure history, and process charts to identify the most common and worst defects in equipment with their effects.

The criticality of the equipment consists of the given input data in interaction of different factors:

  1. Usability of the device (how much time the device is available)
  2. Device reliability (whether device is easily broken, average failure rate)
  3. Does the device cause the loss of production costs when broken?
  4. Repair costs (repair time + spare part delivery time)
  5. Price of spare part
  6. Does the device cause environmental risk when broken?
  7. Does the personal safety risk arise in the event of a failure?

As a result, approximately one fifth of the equipment is determined class A devices. We present criticality classes and results for each category in tables and graphics. We are also able to fine-tune the weight of the categories with the customer's desired values.

Criticality classification sunburst blog 2019 06

We also provide a quick criticality classification that fully bases on plant’s failure history. It allows criticalities to be updated based on maintenance system data.

Please feel free to contact us for more information.

Juho Tuomisalo, Development Engineer, Productivity & Digital Solutions
Tel. +358 40 124 2899, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Blog: 3 benefits of a maintenance system’s comprehensive equipment hierarchy and how to build it

Does it seem to you that the current equipment hierarchy in your maintenance system (CMMS) does not support maintenance operations well enough? Alternatively, is there no hierarchy at all? I will share the three biggest benefits with you that can be achieved by using a correct equipment hierarchy. I will also give you tips how to build a hierarchy, which supports daily operations.

1. Helps you to use maintenance system and target work orders.

A well-built equipment hierarchy supports daily maintenance operations: you can easily find all necessary equipment from a logical hierarchy without spending extra time for searching. With accurate equipment hierarchy, you can target work orders and work reports directly to specific equipment. This way you also collect equipment failure data to the right location, namely the equipment level. You can use failure history to determine right maintenance actions for each equipment.

2. Gives you specific information on equipment maintenance costs.

When you collect equipment failure and work data to equipment level, you can monitor and analyze the maintenance costs for each equipment. By analyzing the costs you can notice how effective preventive maintenance actions are, and you get valuable information on possible investment needs.

A lot of resources can be spent on preventive maintenance of equipment but this does not always reflect in higher reliability. In the picture below you can see how the preventive maintenance costs amount to 9000 euros per year but monthly reliability is only 30 per cent.

Prev maint reliability


In this case, the equipment’s preventive maintenance tasks should be reassessed. Preventive maintenance tasks may have been poorly targeted or calculated, or ineffective actions have been taken. The preventive maintenance program of equipment should be updated based on failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) or root cause analysis. The equipment may also be at the end of its life cycle, meaning that an investment to new equipment may be well founded.

3. Equipment criticality, technical and spare part details are available

With a comprehensive equipment hierarchy, you can gather important information about each equipment into CMMS. This helps in daily maintenance operations.

  • Criticality level of each equipment. This helps in prioritizing maintenance work orders and planning preventive maintenance actions.
  • With the technical information and equipment drawings in the CMMS, you can easily order new spare parts.
  • By linking spare parts to equipment, you can see the warehouse inventory: which spare parts are in stock and their quantities.

A good equipment hierarchy equals to plant’s equipment base

Using equipment hierarchy should be easy and quick. It should also contain all the necessary information to effectively complete daily maintenance operations.

Equipment hierarchy consists of functional locations (in the picture below: -P at the end of ID) and equipment (-L). They both have unique IDs. An ID is often hierarchical: lower level ID inherits a higher level ID with an extension. Functional locations are objects that are bound to certain process locations. Equipment are individual, physical objects that perform the required action, like a pump.

The picture below shows how logical hierarchy path runs from the plant level to the equipment level. This KKS (Kraftwerk-Kennzeichensystem) ID coding is often used in energy plants. When you know the ID, you should be able to locate the equipment easily from the hierarchy.

equipment hierarchy2



Tips for building a comprehensive equipment hierarchy

1. Equipment hierarchy is often recommended to be built based on how equipment are situated in the process. This way you can see how dependent the process is on each equipment.

2. Use enough hierarchy levels to make a hierarchy that is visual and easy to use.

3. When deciding on equipment hierarchy precision use maintenance work targeting needs as a guideline.

  • If equipment hierarchy is not precise enough, you cannot target work orders to equipment. Therefore, when you analyze the failure history it is very hard to identify which equipment caused failure.
  • If equipment hierarchy is too precise, there is a risk of outdated data. This applies e.g. to equipment which is often replaced and you do not update its technical information regularly.

4. Use the help of piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&ID) and process experts when deciding on CMMS’s equipment hierarchy precision.

With a comprehensive equipment hierarchy, you can effectively control the daily maintenance operations, get reliable information on the effectiveness of maintenance and, with the precise data collected, identify the development possibilities.

We will also be happy to help you with the development of your current equipment hierarchy!

Contact us:

Finland: Juho Tuomisalo, Development Engineer, Produtivity & Digital Solutions
Tel. +358 40 124 2899, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sweden: Stefan Altkvist, Local Manager, Maintpartner AB
Tel. +46 72 961 0791, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Poland: Krzysztof Biliński, VP Sales, Maintpartner ASI S.p.z.o.o
tel. +48 60 956 7191, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Blog: Can industrial environmental performance be improved by small-scale investments?

The inspiring presentations at the recent Nordic Business Forum made me think of how an industrial service company could in a concrete way reduce the negative environmental impact of its clients’ plants.

I believe that we can help industry reach their own energy efficiency targets by jointly improving the operation and maintenance of industrial facilities. Our professionals see how the customer processes function – or do not function.
Small improvements at production lines can provide significant savings in energy consumption and costs. In addition, well-serviced machines consume less spare parts and energy, and produce less waste.

I’ve been in the industry for a long time and seen how environmental awareness has risen to an important role especially in big industrial enterprises. The staff at the plants is familiar with the machinery and equipment and is able to provide us with good and practical proposals for small improvements that require only a minor investment in order to improve the environmental performance of the plant.

Good examples of such improvements are detection and repair of compressed air and heat leaks, optimizing heating in production spaces and utilization of waste heat. With regular lubrication we avoid unnecessary wear of equipment and eventual stoppages due to machine breakage. The same applies to process equipment and parts – regular monitoring and service along with optimal use are the key elements.

It is clear that this type of actions do not suffice to reach the environmental targets, but each one of them is a step closer to the goal. The most important thing is to listen to the personnel at the facility, be open to their proposals and make sure that there is a functioning channel for them to present their ideas.

What have we at Maintpartner done? We are committed to reducing the use of natural resources, like energy and raw materials - both our own and those of our customers. In our own operations this is visible for example as reduced waste and recycling. We also prefer video conferences and minimize the use of cars, and optimize heating.

Also EU with its energy efficiency directives, increasing regulatory requirements, and the emission levels determined by each industry bring obligations to improve environmental performance and speed up the work to make the existing processes and cleaning technologies more efficient.

Laura Kauppinen



The author heads the support functions People and Tools & Materials at Maintpartner Group. HSEQ is part of the People function.

Blog: Price of production disturbances

As a sales leader, I meet tens of existing and potential customers every month. During the past few months I’ve realized that something has changed in their behavior. Instead of focusing 100% to direct operation and/or maintenance spend with an accuracy of a euro cent there has been vastly increased focus on productivity. Perhaps this change is caused by improved economic operating environment, a strong push from CxO-level to investigate the possibilities of IoT or something else, but I sincerely believe that this is a positive development.

It is surprising how differently customers from different industrial sectors are aware of the value of lost production. In energy industry, the most educated companies know exactly what the value of each unavailability event was. Other companies, who produce a greater variety of products, may only have a vague idea of the cost of disturbances. In both situations, it is beneficial to gain more understanding of what caused the disturbance (i.e. the root cause), how it could have been prevented and what was the actual impact.

Latest predictive analytics tools can be utilized to analyze the behavior of even the most complex production plants to predict failures well in advance. This enables operators to react to abnormal behavior and even help them to prevent disturbances to production. By doing this, production losses and unavailability costs can be at least minimized, if not eliminated.

In some of our service solutions, in which we have combined predictive analytics with effectively managed operation and maintenance services, we have achieved up to 90% reduction in production losses. However, this requires seamless cooperation between operation and maintenance personnel and proper management tools and structures to ensure implementation of corrective actions in timely manner. In any case, predictive analytics can be used to optimize more traditional maintenance services such as predictive maintenance program. This also greatly increases the productivity of maintenance personnel and eliminates over- and under-maintenance of critical devices and thus disturbances to production.

Rules of the game

I have with interest followed the recent events in sports, like the discussion about lip balm. A Norwegian skier raised the interest by using lip balm that is apparently suitable for many different purposes. Without going deeper in this issue I’ll say simply that the rules of the game concerning this skier most likely will be changed. Future plans may be affected also for those two Swedish top swimmers who removed the logos of their sponsors in social media publications. Both examples show that there are limits which need to be followed.

Also in business there are limits and operational models. Though a bit reversely, because in companies undergoing a heavy change the old operational models must be given up and new, modern ones taken into use. Maintpartner is a company which helps its customers to be more successful by applying state-of-the-art digital operational processes. From us this requires a strong change in the way we use the existing systems.

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