ODR takes the driver’s seat

Few proactive maintenance strategies have gained as much ground in plants across industries than Operator Driven Reliability (ODR). Even in the best-running facilities, where up to 80% of machinery failures can still be random, ODR programs are ideally suited to be the front-line defense in optimizing performance.

03/15/2008


Few proactive maintenance strategies have gained as much ground in plants across industries than Operator Driven Reliability (ODR). Even in the best-running facilities, where up to 80% of machinery failures can still be random, ODR programs are ideally suited to be the front-line defense in optimizing performance.

An ODR process engages a cross-discipline team approach with shared responsibility to help keep plants running better, longer, cost-effectively and competitively by reducing unscheduled downtime and increasing uptime. Owning and operating plant equipment constitutes one of the biggest cost items in a production facility. An ability to increase asset efficiency can deliver a significant profit stream.

Under ODR, front-line operators are involved with %%MDASSML%% and, in some cases, perform %%MDASSML%% basic maintenance activities beyond their classic operator duties. ODR enlists operators to observe and record overall machine health by checking for leaks; listening for noises; monitoring oil condition, temperature and vibration; and taking responsibility to monitor abnormal machine conditions. Operator-performed maintenance efforts can expand to cover cleaning, minor adjustments, lubrication and even simple predictive and corrective tasks traditionally handled by a maintenance department.

ODR serves as a deliberate process for gaining commitment by operators to keep equipment clean and properly lubricated; detect symptoms of deterioration; provide early warnings for catastrophic machinery failures or unsafe conditions; make minor repairs (with the proper training); and assist in making selected repairs.

In some cases, senior management may tend to view maintenance as a function that adds cost to the organization, while production adds value . A culture of “blame” may be present among production management, who would point fingers at poor quality maintenance as reasons for missing manufacturing targets. And, in many organizations, maintenance and operations departments may function virtually independently of each other.

Such situations do not bode well for plants striving toward world-class production targets and profitability. However, ODR can build a bridge by fostering and promoting internal dialogue and offering a cost-effective means to improve machine and process operation.

Basic tips to guide implementation of an effective ODR program include: