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A Maintenance Miracle

Autonomous Maintenance is a powerful technique that can eliminate between 40% – 60% of unplanned downtime. Autonomous Maintenance is the focus of our Maintenance Miracle Kaizen event. The article below provides insight from a past event we held at Acushnet’s Ball Plant III.
To learn more about our next Maintenance Miracle session visit our training and certification section.

During the 4-day Maintenance Miracle Kaizen event, cross-functional teams comprised of Acushnet employees and those from outside companies learned about then applied the 7 steps of Autonomous Maintenance using a hands-on, team based approach. It was a great week of bonding, learning, and implementing. The event highlighted the importance of teamwork as participants, plant management, and maintenance all worked seamlessly together to make improvements. Jimmy Lowe of Barber Foods said it best, “It really makes you understand the importance of involving all from top management to shop floor operators.”

The morning sessions were spent in the classroom where the principles of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) and AM were taught. Afternoons the teams worked to immediately apply what was learned out on the shop floor. Throughout the 3 application days, teams implemented the various elements of AM, including running TPM Scans, cleaning and inspecting ‘their’ equipment to detect abnormalities and writing up TPM Tags to identify abnormalities and improvement ideas. Once the abnormalities had been detected and tags created, teams consulted with Acushnet’s maintenance crew to come up with solutions (many at low to no cost) to address the problems. The structure of the event made it possible for the principles to move from the textbook to the real-world (shop floor) in just a few hours. Lori Crovello of Acushnet commented that “This is an absolutely “makes sense” program – or should I say “process”!

On Friday morning, the event concluded with each team giving a report-out of their findings and experience during the week’s activities. Report-outs were reflected on Activity Boards which included before and after photos, results achieved, etc. (See photos of team reports below)

A sampling of the results achieved by the teams includes:

  • 200 abnormalities detected – 48% corrected• 29 improvements identified – 14 improvement tags written.
  • TPM scans improved by 30% per team during course of the week.
  • 14 ‘show stoppers’ identified (show stoppers: an abnormality that had digressed to the point that it would have caused a safety, quality and/or unplanned down time issue within 30 days had it not been addressed by the team.)

Attendees were surprised with what they were able to accomplish in just 4 days’ time, but Ellis New, program facilitator for Productivity wasn’t. “This happens all the time when you have a great host plant and a group of dedicated people looking closely at the process. I get the biggest kick watching a group of people that were strangers on Tuesday, bond and become a team. By Friday you would think they’d known and liked each other their whole lives.”!

Perhaps it is best summed up by two attendees, Ken Alverson of Del Monte who commented “…the benefit of this process is clear” and Brian Watson of USSynthetic Corporation who noted “the host plant was EXCELLENT!”

We couldn’t agree more.

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