The RAM Review is dedicated to providing thought-provoking, technical perspectives, practical tips, details on value-adding solutions, and industry news and views related to reliability, operational availability and maintenance (RAM). Whether it’s our weekly newsletters or associated website our goal is simple: to be a trusted source of information that helps you improve not only your individual performance, but that of your equipment, line, department, plant, or facility. We intend to achieve that goal by supplying timely information that drives usability, safety, environmental compliance, and profitability across your operations.
As listed below, our editorial team members bring more than a century’s worth of practical experience in putting successful RAM on plant floors around the globe, as well as focusing on it in a variety of books, articles, columns, conference presentations, and technical-training courses. Other contributors who are at the top of their respective fields will provide added insight on a range of crucial RAM-related matters.
Jane has spent the past 20 years in the editorial trenches of several RAM-related publications, including Efficient Plant, Maintenance Technology, Lubrication Management and Technology, and Pumps & Systems. Prior to those multi-tasking deployments, she was involved in the management and marketing of an industrial-engineering-based ergonomics-and-safety consultancy. A Native Texan, she holds a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Arkansas.
MEch (UK), CMRP, MLE, Editor
Ken has 40+ years of experience in the RAM industry. For the past 30, he’s been a Managing Partner and Principal Asset Management Consultant with Engtech industries Inc., where he has specialized in helping clients implement best-practice asset management programs worldwide. A founding member and past director of the Plant Engineering and Maintenance Association of Canada, Ken began his career as a mechanical design engineer in the UK. He’s currently a certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP), a certified Machinery Lubrication Engineer (MLE), and a Certified ISO Management Consultant who has implemented programs under ISO 55000. Ken has authored several books, including three on machinery lubrication, one on predictive maintenance, and one on energy-reduction strategies, and is currently writing one on planning and scheduling. He also has published more than 600 magazine articles.
Heinz P. Bloch
Eighty-six years young, Heinz has spent six decades specializing in failure avoidance, machinery-maintenance cost reduction, and machinery-reliability improvement. As of 2019, he has authored over 730 technical papers and conference publications and has written 21 books (46 Editions—some translated into Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese) on practical machinery management and oil-mist lubrication. He holds seven U.S. patents relating to high-speed machinery. A graduate of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) with B.S.M.E. and M.S.M.E. degrees, he is a Life Fellow of the ASME and retains life-time registration as a Professional Engineer in New Jersey. After an initial high-speed machine design career with Johnson & Johnson and later moving to Exxon Research & Engineering, Heinz retired from his position as the U.S. Regional Machinery Engineer for Exxon Chemicals. In the years since, he has continued his involvement with industry as an internationally respected reliability expert, teacher/mentor, and editor. In early 2019, he was recognized in the inaugural group of 10 distinguished alumni of “NCE 100,” NJIT/Newark College of Engineering’s Hall of Fame. The “NCE 100” distinction is bestowed upon honorees who have made tangible contributions to human welfare through major achievements in science, technology, engineering, literary works, public service, or business.
CRE, CMRP, Editor
Drew has 30 years of experience in the RAM arena. Currently a Principal with T.A. Cook Consultants, he was a Co-founder and former CEO of Noria Corp.. A trusted advisor to a global blue chip client base, this industry veteran has authored or co-authored more than 250 books, chapters, course books, articles, and technical papers and is popular keynote and technical speaker at conferences around the world. Among other things, he also serves on ASTM E60.13, the subcommittee for Sustainable Manufacturing. Drew is a Certified Reliability Engineer (CRE), Certified Maintenance & Reliability Professional (CMRP), holds B.S. and M.B.A. degrees, and is Master’s degree candidate in Environmental Sustainability at Harvard University.
Robert (Bob) Williamson
CMRP, CPMM, MIAM, Editor
Bob is a long-time contributor to the people-side of the world-class-maintenance-and- manufacturing body of knowledge across dozens of industry types. His background in maintenance, machine and tool design, and teaching has positioned his work with over 500 companies and plants, facilities, and equipment-oriented organizations. He has written more than 400 articles, spoken at hundreds of conferences around the world, and developed a product line of equipment visuals for “Lean Machines.” A Certified Maintenance & Reliability Professional (CMRP) and a Certified Plant Maintenance Manager (CPMM). Bob holds degrees in tool design, vocational-technical education, and vocational-education administration.
From Drew Troyer, Editor
- CUT THE FLAB: Fasteners, lubrication, alignment, and balance (FLAB) are, collectively, the foundation of proactive maintenance that drives operational reliability up and operational costs down. Reducing FLAB problems is crucial.
- PLANT RELIABILITY IN DOLLARS AND SENSE: It’s important to understand the relationship between RAM management and the performance of your corporate dashboard elements of profit and shareholder value, quality, health and safety, environmental sustainability, and customer satisfaction.
- SHUTDOWN, TURNAROUND, AND OUTAGE (STO) MANAGEMENT: No single event has the potential to impact the operational reliability of a plant more than an STO, particularly a major one with a large capital-project component. Understanding the critical elements of effective STO management, e., the mission or premise and governance; the STO strategy; the project-management team; scope management; risk management; and execution and closeout, is key to keeping STOs on schedule, on budget, safe, and high-quality, with no environmental impacts.
- THE SUSTAINABLE PLANT: Climate change has made environmental sustainability a critical issue for industrial plant owners and managers, and, in turn, serious consideration and implementation of sustainable manufacturing practices a must.
From Ken Bannister, Editor
- LUBRICATION CORNER: Breaking down the myths surrounding lubrication and implementing some easy, practical solutions can significantly reduce mechanical failures due to poor lubrication practices.
- PLANNING AND SCHEDULING: A cornerstone of any best practice organization, quality planning and scheduling practice ensures first time quality work is performed in a timely manner based on asset and stakeholder needs. A number of fundamental issues must be understood to implement a best-practice planning and scheduling approach that optimizes maintenance-staff utilization and MRO-inventory assets.
- THE MECHANICS OF CHANGE: How do you deal with and make changes to “that’s the way we’ve always done it around here” situations on the plant floor? These perspectives will emphasize tactics.
- RAM BOOK OF THE MONTH REVIEW: A look at the latest, greatest RAM-related book releases that can expand your domain of knowledge.
- WHAT GETS MEASURED, GETS NOTICED: Understanding specific RAM-based Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and how to set up effective management-system/data-collection tools can help you benchmark and trend your RAM performance.
From Heinz Bloch, Editor
- THE BLOCH FILES: Quintessential Heinz, these advice columns on a multitude of RAM-related issues offer plenty to chew on and discuss with others.
- PLANT-MACHINERY MATTERS: When it comes to RAM, the care and feeding of your site’s “moneymaker” pumps, compressors, and turbines can’t be taken lightly.
From Bob Williamson, Editor
- ENGAGING ORGANIZATIONS FROM THE BOTTOM UP: There are numerous proven approaches for engaging plant-floor teams to achieve and showcase RAM improvements. But it often requires a “skunk works” approach to demonstrate what improvements look like and their possible results.
- LEADING CHANGE FROM THE TOP DOWN: Changing the culture to address sustainable step changes in RAM require Top Management take the lead. Aligning the top leadership’s vision with all levels of leadership to the front line is key to sustainable improvement.
- ISO 55000 – ASSET MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS: These perspectives will delve into the principles of ISO 55000: 2014 and discuss how to deploy an Asset Management (AM) System that fuels RAM improvements and ultimately an AM culture change. The importance of leading change initiatives from the top to the plant floor (aligning top leadership’s vision with all levels of leadership to the front line) will be emphasized.
- TRAINING AND QUALIFICATION (T&Q) SYSTEMS: Recruiting, training, and retaining critically needed skill sets in an organization is more than an HR function. Formal T&Q is foundational to RAM in that it helps determine training needs, structure training, provide trainers and coaches, and formally qualify people to perform critical job tasks.
- RAM’s HUMAN FACTORS: Plants and facilities are growing more complex, requiring more precise human intervention. Equipment-specific and task-specific procedures (work instructions) based on performance requirements of the equipment serve as a basis for training, qualifying, and driving out human errors and human variation, the biggest causes of equipment failures. Making key points VISUAL in instructions and on equipment help mistake-proof the performance of procedures.