By Charles Scott
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2010, a privately owned tissue-converting facility in New Brunswick (Irving Tissue) considered itself a well-oiled machine, being able to product 10 million cases of product annually—a huge leap forward from where it started in 1990, with 200,000 cases. The site was piloting a PMO on one of 12 production lines when a vision was pitched to the site leadership team: implementing PMO’s activities and principles on each production line would allow the site to streamline its efforts and result in increased production, with a higher product quality and fewer injuries.
This pitch aligned with several of the company’s core values and allowed the leadership team to see there was still substantially more gains to be made at the facility that didn’t necessarily require capital investment, but simply changes to work processes. While this plan didn’t come to fruition, it aligned the leadership team to make reliability a focus rather than just production. This alignment paved the way for several reliability-centred improvement initiatives at the site.
The cornerstone achievement of this shift toward reliability was the implementation of “Reliability Windows.” This regular cleaning (two to three times weekly), inspection, and PM task-oriented activity shared between the operations and maintenance groups helped move asset care to a joint effort, rather than just being the responsibility of the maintenance department. This initiative has been a major contributor to the site being able to produce 15 million cases in 2020 (about a 50% increase from 2010—without any additional production lines). This has been a huge advancement in ROA.