My Take: Do Share — Calling All Tipsters

Jane Alexander | March 13, 2017


Several recent conversations with David Mayfield, author of February’s feature “Boost Troubleshooting Skills at Your Site,” led to the focus of this month’s “On the Floor” Reader Panel discussion. They also kicked me into gear on one of those wanna’, shoulda’, coulda’, woulda’ things on my endless list.

Mayfield, a retired Canadian industry veteran, spent decades on plant floors and in the vocational training arena. Time and again, during those years, he saw the value and self-confidence that personnel in one type of operation could derive from reading about/hearing about successful work-related solutions, strategies, and tactics of others, regardless of industry sector. (You may have seen or experienced it yourself.)

With Mayfield’s encouragement, those nuggets, i.e., Reliability and Maintenance (R&M) “tips and tricks,” are what I asked our Reader Panelists to share with us—and you—this month. Our respondents came through with plenty (so many that we couldn’t include them all). And good ones, too. So why stop? Let’s not.


Here, I’m inviting all readers to share their own favorites through our new “Tip of the Month” program. Do you have a quick, proven problem solution; a clever workaround; or a better way to perform a task, evaluate a situation, document an issue, or communicate information? Please tell us about it and why it could help other R&M pros. We’ll be posting these submissions online, and select one each month to publish in the print edition of Efficient Plant. Anything goes, as long as it’s work-related.

Email your tips (as many as you wish) to Include your full contact information (name, title, organization, location, phone, and email) in case we need to reach you. That’s the only way we’ll consider posting and/or possibly selecting your submission as a “Tip of the Month.” If you wish to remain anonymous, we’ll honor your request. We still need your contact information, though.

Share a proven problem solution in MT's new “Tip of the Month” feature.

Share a proven problem solution in EP’s new “Tip of the Month” feature.

Relax. You don’t have to be a member of the EP Reader Panel. We welcome R&M tips from everyone.

BTW: Since David Mayfield helped get this ball rolling, I asked him to share one of his favorite tips. Here it is:

“Determine if your department has any missing skills or poorly performed skills that affect production or reliability, i.e. a skill gap. By checking this aspect of maintenance performance, you’ll know what parts of your system could be vulnerable. This can be done by checking what processes were delayed or didn’t perform on time after servicing and then determining if the issue was hardware non-compliance because of weak maintenance. The lack can be in-house or contractual, but in all cases this gap must be corrected to prevent future losses.”

 According to Mayfield, an audit may be required to identify whether the skill is an “enabling” one or a “terminal performance” skill. Enabling skills permit more complex tasks to be performed, say reading diagrams, using measuring instruments, and calculating values. Terminal performance skills include, among others, replacing machine components using diagrams and measuring tools and calibrating machines for production.

 Mayfield says that a missing part of the equation for most plants is the lack of a current inventory of skills available within the plant (or for hire). When a site knows for certain that specific skills are required and who in its current maintenance team can almost perform the missing skills, gap-filling strategies can be identified and employed.

Now, it’s your turn. Do share.





Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander

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