Machinery Criticality Index—Major Updates Needed TestOil Survey Says

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TestOil, an industry leader in lubricant analysis, initiated a survey of industry leaders on their current satisfaction with generally accepted machinery criticality indices and rating scales. Respondents said they do need an effective criticality assessment system.

TestOil CEO Dan Richards

TestOil CEO Dan Richards

Getting all the stakeholders on the same page regarding machine criticality promotes alignment on the most prudent allocation of time and financial resources.

TestOil, an industry leader in lubricant analysis, initiated a survey of industry leaders on
their current satisfaction with generally accepted machinery criticality indices and rating scales. They found the following:

  •     95% of respondents said a criticality index is something they either definitely or probably need.
  •     53% of respondents said they are not currently using a criticality rating system.
  •     For those that are using a criticality rating system, 52% developed the method in house and 48% did not.

    TestOil CEO Dan Richards said. “We used the survey to take the lead on this longstanding disconnect between plant operators, maintenance teams and their supporting vendors. Getting all the stakeholders on the same page regarding machine criticality promotes alignment on the most prudent allocation of time and financial resources. Let’s face it, some problems are more important than others.”
    Features of the systems survey respondents are currently using include:

  •     A 1-5 rating on a weighted matrix of potential safety risk, production risk, parts availability and estimated downtime due to likely failure modes
  •     A criticality matrix that takes into account: function; redundancy; likelihood of failure; consequences of failure; and the likely downtime
  •     A 3-tier system: normal, caution and alert
  •     A system that considers utilization rate, impact, consequences, maintainability, reliability, replacement value and the lead time to substitute equipment with a spare
  •     A system that assesses potential failures for each piece of equipment and consequences of those failures to safety, health, environmental, production and cost of repair/replacement
  •     A scale of 1-9 with 1 being most critical. Scoring criteria are based on the impact of equipment failure (loss of function) including safety, environmental compliance, regulatory compliance, availability and heat rate (efficiency)
  •     System ratings based on: safety/environmental concerns; and operational efficiency--entire plant down, multiple lines down, single line down and no production loss
  •     A criticality number based on a 1-10 scale with a defined reason as to why it was set that at number.

    TestOil’s Chief Operating Officer Mary Messuti said, “We continue to take leadership positions on a number of pervasive industry issues, including criticality rating standards. Where we see a need, we will step in, research the situation and provide a well-thought out solution that benefits everyone. Taking positive action is in our DNA.”
    Another survey question asked for job titles of people responsible for identifying/prioritizing critical machinery. These include:

  •     Maintenance and Engineering Managers
  •     Mechanics
  •     Fleet Maintenance Coordinators
  •     Reliability Engineers and Specialists
  •     Senior Results Technicians
  •     Technical Consultants
  •     System Owners/SMEs
  •     Technical Service Engineers

    TestOil’s Business Unit Manager Carolann Kolar said,”I spend a good part of my time out in the field with TestOil’s clients. Because I am on the front line along with them, I know how important it is to catch machine failures before they happen. A new and better criticality rating system would be an excellent step in that direction.”
    Additional survey comments included the following:

  •     Criticality needs to be clearly defined. We are wrestling with this right now. Trying to figure out which asset is critical to the process is the other stumbling block. One person may think it’s high critical but to another it’s much lower. It is a difficult process to define.
  •     Service maintenance is executed via a program based on a regular schedule and managed manually over a

12-month period. We do however drive the schedule via engine run hours and treat 80% of unscheduled breakdowns as critical.

  •     The problem with no rating system is everyone has a different idea on what they consider critical. The best we have done to date was to put a severity code on the result of asset condition monitoring testing we do.
  •     Don't lose sight of the fact that what anyone does directly or indirectly affects other machines, other groups or other individuals.
  •     I see criticality as being the crucial underpinning of any good reliability and maintenance program. It should be step 1 for any greenfield plant, and certainly something any existing plant should implement as a matter of urgency.
  •     Having a criticality rating system, determined by the oil analysis, would assuredly help in performing

needed/unknown maintenance before the asset actually breaks down, possibly causing more damage.

    Richards added, “We are most appreciative of the time and attention of the survey respondents. We will use this information to arrive at an effective Criticality Rating System that is straightforward, easy-to- implement and actionable.”
    With more than 30 years of experience in the oil analysis industry, TestOil focuses exclusively on assisting industrial facilities with reducing maintenance costs and avoiding unexpected downtime through oil analysis program implementation. As industry experts in diagnosing oil-related issues in equipment such as turbines, hydraulics, gearboxes, pumps, compressors and diesel generators, TestOil provides customers with a guarantee of same-day turnaround on all routine testing. With in-house certified training professionals, TestOil offers lubrication and oil analysis training, private onsite training, certification training and exams, and educational webinars. For more information on partnering with TestOil on oil analysis programs or training opportunities visit http://www.testoil.com. Contact: 216-251-2510; sales@testoil.com.

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