Effective mechanical integrity programs are essential to assure safe operation of plant facilities. The current economic downturn is difficult and most manufacturing companies have experienced headcount reductions, early retirement programs and budget reductions. Companies are concerned with short term viability rather long term optimization. How should professionals responsible for the mechanical integrity (MI) programs respond?
Effective communication with management is essential. MI professionals must clearly and concisely present the causes and effects of reducing or eliminating inspections, preventative maintenance, repairs, and replacements. MI experts must put recommendations in terms management can easily understand focusing on safety risks, legal compliance, production impact, and budget/cost implications.
This paper will encourage MI professionals to: 1. Make reasonable requests with sound knowledge of business positions and budget restraints. 2. Forecast repairs and replacements two to three years in advance to avoid economic surprises to management, 3. Support increased business risk and reliability risk, not safety risks. 4. Challenge recommendations within the MI group before taking the recommendation to management. Are there any lower cost options to extend the life of the equipment while assuring safe operation? 5. Dialogue with management about the consequences of not doing MI recommendations. Make communication clear, not dramatic, not watered down or converted to politically correct gibberish that is not clear.
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