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 Meeting with groups of fellow reliability-minded practitioners, i.e., RAM Professionals, and sharing my four-plus decades of on-site and in-plant experiences is always a pleasure. The bonus comes from learning firsthand about the participants’ most challenging obstacles to improving (or sustaining) equipment performance and reliability.

That was the case when I recently presented a day-long seminar hosted by the Oklahoma Predictive Maintenance Users Group (OPMUG) in Stillwater. The last time I was with an OPMUG group was exactly five years ago. I pointed that out and recounted the group’s greatest challenges from back then in my April 4, 2022, article for The RAM Review (see link below).

Click Here To Read The Referenced Article
“Calling Out Industry’s Top Maintenance Challenges”

This year, I kicked off my OPMUG seminar with “Lessons from NASCAR Race Teams” and a discussion of their never-ending pursuit of 100% reliability. Then, we examined a few industrial-reliability case examples that brought race-team principles to the plant floor and field by sorting through multiple and fragmented data sources, pinpointing reliability barriers, and mapping equipment-performance timelines.

Of course, my seminar also provided an opportunity to survey the group (as I did five years ago) regarding the challenges they are currently facing and what they see looking out 3 to 5 to 10 years in their industries. What has changed in the past five years for the OPMUG members? This year’s discussions and survey responses referenced concerns over unavailable and back-ordered parts, new employees, training, and much more.

At this point I’m not sure if the group’s cited concerns are regional (Oklahoma, Texas, and nearby states) or comparable to those that others in the RAM community are dealing with and projecting nationwide. I’ll try to find out. Again, please stay tuned. The nearly 50 detailed responses from the OPMUG group will take a bit of sorting, sifting, and compiling. My next article will explore the findings in detail.

So, who/what is the Oklahoma Predictive Maintenance Users Group? It was established in 1992 to provide maintenance professionals throughout Oklahoma and surrounding states with an opportunity to share and obtain firsthand knowledge about predictive maintenance (PdM). ​The group is made up of individual and company-sponsored members from many different industry sectors, including utilities, manufacturing, refineries, municipalities, government, service organizations, educational institutions, and leading vendors of PdM-related products/services. A non‐profit organization, OPMUG offers a variety of professional training by industry leaders. Learn more at

In the meantime, let me add that the OPMUG organization and member participants were very gracious hosts last week. Being back in the saddle among some familiar faces from years gone by and many new and younger faces was truly a pleasure and greatly appreciated.TRR

Bob Williamson 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 vast background in maintenance, machine and tool design, and teaching has positioned his work with over 500 companies and plants, facilities, and equipment-oriented organizations. Contact him directly at 512-800-6031 or

Tagsreliability, availability, maintenance, RAM, predictive maintenance, PdM, workforce issues, training and qualification