Operator Driven Reliability (ODR) is an asset management program that involves operators in the maintenance reliability of their assets. This concept has been an integral part of an overall proactive maintenance strategy, yet many modern industrial facilities have been hesitant. The objectives of the ODR program are to increase asset availability, eliminating causes of asset defects and waste, only that it will be the operators doing the maintenance. In simple words, it is to transfer basic preventive maintenance tasks on the assets from the maintenance team to the operators who use the assets. Thissaves time and resources for the maintenance team to concentrate on higher and more complex maintenance activities.
Let us consider two benefits of implementing an ODR in the workplace. The first will be that implementing an ODR in the workplace means involving the operators in the maintenance process. This in turn frees up resources for the maintenance technicians to concentrate on higher level of predictive maintenance.
Secondly, these operators spend a great deal of time with these equipment and as such know of the equipment’s activities better than anyone else. This makes the operators highly valuable in the maintenance chain. Preventive maintenance will be much easier and cheaper if the operators are able to head off problems before they occur with basic maintenance activities. The idea is to find and assign task that creates less downtime for the operators to perform than if a maintenance technician was required to carry out the task.
When the operators begin to take care of equipment even before they run into failure such as checking for plugged lines, leaks and noises, oil filling, screwing nuts, and general eliminating of defects, the cost of downtime will fall, production will increase which totals to more profits. When operators carry the “flags” for reliability, breakdowns are seriously minimized.
Planning for ODR
ODR cannot just be implemented upon, there’s a need to plan for it. First, it is necessary to clearly communicate to all member within the organization. This step is very important and must not be neglected because in most organization, there’s little working relationship between Operations and Maintenance department. Often times, this is as a result of competing goals: the Operations is to meet production expectations while the Maintenance is to keep the equipment in good shape.
For the both department to function well, there is the need for shared goals and this can be done with clear communications.
Next, there is need to provide proper preventive maintenance training for the operators. ODR is basically the Operators taking up basic PM from the maintenance technicians. A good and detailed documented PM program should be made available for the operators. Good spare parts, or maintenance supplies should be available too, alongside properly documented work order systems to help identify specific tasks for maintenance.
One of the perfect reasons to implement an ODR in the workplace is that it reduces the culture of blame and promotes overall reliability. Operators will longer blame maintenance for equipment breakdown and vice versa.
Now that you have understood what an ODR really is and how beneficial it can become to your organization, how then will you go about its implementation?
First, there is no unique formula for implementing ODR. Different organizations follow different approaches, so it is important your organization finds one that synchronizes well with its workers. However, below are a few basic tips to implementing an ODR:
- Begin with asking the reason for developing an ODR: to increase productivity and reliability or to free up maintenance technicians. The latter rarely gets successful
- Examine the PM tasks currently being performed by maintenance technicians.
- Review the work order history to look for routine tasks that operators can perform easily.
- Open the lines of communication within the organization to foster program understanding and cooperation.
- Depending on how advanced the ODR program will be develop, it will be advisable to break down the tasks into categories for easier implementation.
- Organize and deploy leadership-driven team consisting of operations, maintenance and reliability personnel.
- Document existing predictive and preventing maintenance procedures and include into the ODR program.
- Refine the ODR program as an ongoing and continued process contributing to maintenance strategy.
Always remember that an ODR does not constitute as a complete maintenance, and so the maintenance technicians should not be ruled out.
Finally, the most effective ODR program benefits from enabling advanced technology in the workplace.