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Refinery Maintenance: Defect Elimination

There is a famous quote, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”  By this definition, it is senseless for a refinery to all allow major equipment to fail the same way multiple times.  These types of failures can lead to expensive production stoppages and result in unplanned overtime, both of which come at a higher cost than Preventative Maintenance.

At Trindent Consulting we believe in using Risk Based Decision Making to support Defect Elimination – also known as Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA).

Defect Elimination is a process to identify the root cause of a failure, determine efficient ways to prevent the failure from reoccurring, and implement those changes.  But not all Defect Elimination programs are created equally, and there are key guiding principles that can greatly enhance the outcomes of the program.

  • Find the Balance – Once set up, a Defect Elimination program can be a powerful tool; however, it can also be a great burden. It can be tempting to try to use the program to prevent every failure, but this can result in misguided analyses and diminished returns.  A proper Defect Elimination program will have thoughtfully crafted criteria for investigation selection and prioritization.  We can help you find that balance.
  • Accountability – Your employees are hard at work, and Defect Elimination programs can seem like an unwanted distraction and disruption to the normal flow of work. Creating the proper RACI matrices and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) can streamline the process to become status quo. Without the proper accountability, momentum for the program may vanish.  We know how to implement changes in a sustainable manner.
  • Common Understanding – The foundation for any strong process is the underlaying system that enables the change to occur in a consistent manner.  SOPs are the backbone of a Defect Elimination program.  The proper SOP can facilitate the learning process, set clear definitions with terminology, improve the analysis process, and enable the optimal outcome.  SOPs create a common understanding that allow for a process to be repeated and reproduced in a consistent and reliable manner.  We know how to build strong foundations.
  • Right Tools for the Job – Using the right system tools, methodologies, and frameworks makes the overall program more efficient and drives results. Using incorrect tools can make the process burdensome, cumbersome, or altogether ineffective.  We have methodologies, frameworks and system tools that can be quickly tailored to your needs.  Using best practice templates expedite the execution timeline – allowing for quicker execution and savings.

To learn more about how Trindent can Make it Happen in your company, reach out to our team on LinkedIn or through our Contact Us page.

The author of this article, James Greey is a Senior Consultant at Trindent Consulting