Maintenance Reliability

The Reliability of Everything Second Annual Culture Awards Winners

Gary Parr | March 1, 2021

The Reliability of Everything Culture Improvement awards recognize outstanding organizations in three categories.

By Gary L. Parr, Editorial Director, and Dr. Klaus Blache, Univ. of Tennessee RMC

Prior to March 2020, there was considerable support for the concept of a reliability-oriented manufacturing culture with a focus on reaching the Top Quartile. It wouldn’t have been too difficult, however, to find people who didn’t see the value. After a year of pandemic and the tremendous changes it has forced on the manufacturing world, it’s likely that most of those detractors are now converts. As enterprises have had to manage change at all levels, deal with constantly fluctuating manpower, adjust systems to accommodate off-site workers, and step up their implementation of IIoT technology, the need for a collaborative culture has become paramount.

In this changing environment, that has put more focus on enterprise culture than ever before, Efficient Plant magazine and the Univ. of Tennessee Reliability and Maintainability Center, Knoxville, recognize organizations that are leading the way toward a culture of reliability. This month we announce the winners of the second-annual Reliability of Everything Culture Improvement awards, recognizing the Best Sustaining Culture, Best Culture Innovation, and Best Culture Start-Up.

We are pleased, once again, to have Emerson, St. Louis (, as the signature sponsor of the culture-awards program. Emerson has a long history of supporting positive/collaborative corporate cultures and helping organizations move to Top Quartile performance. We appreciate their support and the recognition it gives to this awards program.

In addition to the descriptions of the award-winning organizations that follow, the companies were recognized in an award ceremony at the 25th Annual Maintenance and Reliability Conference (MARCON), broadcast online March 8 to 11 from Knoxville, TN.

Best Sustaining Culture

A three-year journey toward Top Quartile status at Weyerhaeuser’s Vancouver, BC, Parallam plant earns the team the Best Sustaining Culture award.

Weyerhaeuser, Vancouver Parallam
British Columbia, Canada

Weyerhaeuser’s Vancouver Parallam plant is located on Annacis Island, south of its namesake city. It was built as a prototype mill and is the birthplace of Parallam engineered lumber. The technology for Parallam was developed in the early 1980s and, since 1988, this facility has produced engineered wood for the western U.S. and Canada markets. The Parallam team is focused on creating value, gaining competitive advantage, and achieving progress through innovation, with a lean mindset.

The Vancouver Parallam SMP team from top left: Geoff Knowles, Niels Kristensen, Bruce Gibson, Dale Greve, Preeti Chawla, Andrew Fluskey, Cheryl Gutu, Mark Dickson, Dennis Yap, Tyler Pearce, Duane Postles, Andrew Morgan, and Keely Dolan.

In 2017, a reliability journey began, involving operations, engineering, and maintenance associates from across the plant, with corporate support. A plan was developed that followed a strategy of leadership commitment, training, assessment, implementation, and standardized practices. Personnel moved to new positions and new leaders came to the forefront. In the midst of it all, a process was established, a rhythm developed and, ultimately, the culture changed.

The results speak for themselves through improved methods, metrics/measurable results, and a sustainable process that enables continued transformation. Unscheduled downtime was reduced from 14% in 2015 to 6% in 2020 and return on net assets increased from a historical 92% to 132% in 2020.

Best Culture Start-Up

The Best Culture Start-Up award goes to the Consolidated Nuclear Security Enterprise Reliability and Maintainability Y-12 National Security Complex team in Oak Ridge, TN.

Consolidated Nuclear Security
Enterprise Reliability and Maintainability
Oak Ridge, TN and Amarillo, TX

Reliability culture change took root at the Consolidated Nuclear Security Pantex Plant, Amarillo, TX, and the Y-12 National Security Complex, Oak Ridge, TN, after the organization implemented its Enterprise Reliability and Maintainability Program. The plan has seven focus areas: program leadership, reliability, maintenance management, integrated scheduling, supply-chain management, enabling workers, and master-data maintenance.

Best Culture Start-Up award goes to the Consolidated Nuclear Security Enterprise Reliability and Maintainability Pantex Plant team in Amarillo, TX.

After assessing the then-current state, the focus turned to solidifying the proactive maintenance strategy through preventive-maintenance optimization and consolidation and augmenting the computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). To date, this effort has reduced planning time by a sustained 60% and increased efficiencies through automated parts ordering (CMMS), preparation of maintenance kits, and synchronization of tasks to optimize field performance. To adequately evaluate the implemented changes, two key metrics—preventive maintenance compliance and effectiveness—were added.

As the journey continues, there are several focus areas, including deploying an enterprise work-control manual, based on CMMS functionality improvements; expanding a condition-based maintenance platform; increasing skills-based training; practicing precision maintenance; and promoting reliability culture to other organizational stakeholders.

Best Culture Innovation

The team behind the Americold Operating System (AOS) Maintenance Excellence and Energy Excellence programs includes (l-r): Brian D. Dunn, Keith Ruprecht, William Guajardo, Carmen Dalton, Monika Pagan, Carlos V. Rodriguez, Tony Easterwood, Ted Royals, and Jeff Rueschhoff.


Americold is recognized for Best Cultural Innovation for its implementation of a 90-day boot camp and training program.

Americold acquired three cold-storage companies in 2019, consisting of 29 cold-storage warehouses. The organizations were missing CMMS systems and maintenance was fully controlled at the corporate level with no strategic plan for developing maintenance reliability.

Americold assembled a team of corporate and regional leaders to develop an acquisition onboarding plan. In a year, the plan developed lead technicians at each site into professional Facility Service Managers (FSM). This was done through an innovative boot camp and 90-day critical-few plan approach, focused on indoctrinating future leaders in a wide range of maintenance and reliability skills. Each prospective leader was provided with a mentor/coach and a 90-day road map to build confidence and demonstrate ability to lead a site.

People got onboard after the newly empowered leaders returned from boot camp to execute the Americold Operating System (AOS) Maintenance Excellence and Energy Excellence programs. Within 90 days these emerging leaders had their engine rooms 6s, were fully utilizing their CMMS (SAP PM), created development plans, and developed an expense budget. EP


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Gary Parr

Gary Parr

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