68 Percent Infant Mortality: Not in my plant!


OK, you may have seen the graphic that shows the six failure curves from the original Nolan and Heap study. This information was part of the foundation of what we know today as Reliability Centered Maintenance or RCM. 

So if you are like many, you are struggling seeing how it could be possible that 68 percent of the failure modes in your site fall into the infant mortality curve. I would like to help you with a check list of things that you may be doing to drive infant mortality within your site.

  • Do your crafts install bearings with a hammer and chisel?
  • When your crafts do use a bearing heater do they like to use the ultra fast torch and rose bud method?
  • Do your crafts open up your equipment just for a quick look while leaving the PdM tool cabinet closed?
  • Is alignment tools an optional exercise?
  • Do your crafts think that a v belt is tight when it sings like a banjo string?
  • Do you filter your incoming oil for particles smaller then the drum bung hole?
  • Do your crafts understand soft foot and know how to select the correct shims?
  • Do your crafts know how to select the proper key stock?
  • If your crafts believe that if a little grease is good then a lot has to be better.
  • Do your purchasing groups check with maintenance and engineering before changing vendors, parts, or materials?
  • Do you provide calibrated torque wrenches?
  • Is training something that always gets cut when the budget gets tight?
  • Do you have lubrication standards that cover type, amount, and interval?
  • Do your operations folks have start up procedures?
  • Does operations use them?
  • And one of my personal favorites: Do your crafts remove filters so they will not clog?

Now I could go on but what I would like to do is hear from you all: What do you see that drives infant mortality as your predominate failure curve with in your facility?