Alan Tait,
Managing Director,
Pragma Africa
8 May 2012 – Managing director of Pragma Africa, Alan Tait, who will be speaking at the African Utility Week (AUW) conference, which takes place from 21 to 23 May 2012 at the Nasrec centre in Johannesburg, will discuss the concept of Zero Unplanned Stops (ZupS). That is a group of business processes aimed at a culture of companywide continuous improvement. It is based on reliability engineering and change management practices and is the next level of physical asset management (PAM) service after maintenance management.

“ZupS has been created to prevent downtime and slow running. To prevent downtime and slow running, plants need to be operated within specification, machines need to be kept clean and in good shape, preventive maintenance needs to be done, and the root causes of stops need to be analysed and eliminated.

“Downtime can further be reduced through efficiency, by monitoring the conditions to predict failures, through operator asset care, effective maintenance planning and/ or scheduling to minimise changeover downtime. Furthermore, waste needs to be eliminated by reducing the production of material waste, energy waste, overtime and unnecessary stock.”

ZupS can be implemented for production equipment, services, support equipment and facilities or infrastructure. “An asset management improvement plan (AMIP) is a prerequisite for ZupS, which includes 17 key performance areas. The other key performance indicators include a high level of loss and waste analysis, the identification of leverage areas from best practices as well as the proposal of initial focused improvement (FI) projects for savings. These can be used to justify the bigger ZupS programme. The AMIP will be the deciding factor in whether one should start with maintenance management, maintenance management with FI business process or ZupS.”

Tait continues, “A ZupS client understands world class manufacturing or total productive maintenance, has the resources for implementation (which includes facilitators, trainers and technical staff) and sees major opportunities for performance improvement or cost savings. Furthermore, the company should have a culture of measurement and improvement, absolute commitment from senior management and a dedicated champion, as well as the budget and appetite for such a big intervention.”

The ZupS road map includes several steps. “Firstly, we use the physical asset management improvement plan framework which includes the strategic planning phase, followed by the execution. This is followed by performance measurement and focused improvement.”