Operator Driven Reliability programme increases productivity

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Maintenance and machine availability improve while operating costs decrease with the SKF Operator Driven Reliability programme

Operator Driven Reliability programme increases productivitySKF is delivering benefits to Stora Enso, a global paper, packaging and wood products company, via its Operator Driven Reliability (ODR) programme. By using control and monitoring technologies, combined with a planned maintenance methodology from SKF, operators at the plant have significantly improved the efficiency of maintenance procedures, increased machine availability and reduced operating costs.

Stora Enso operates in more than 35 countries worldwide with some 26,000 employees and total sales of EUR10.3billion. Its Varkaus pulp and paper mill in Finland produces fine paper and newsprint, as well as recycling milk and juice cartons. However, the amount of unplanned downtime on its paper machine line three (PM3) was affecting overall productivity at the plant. As a result, the company decided to implement an ODR programme, cooperating closely with SKF.

Initially, a pilot project was set up with a steering group laying the foundation for launching the ODR programme. Jani Markkanen, an ODR Specialist from SKF, explains: "It is extremely important to be clear on everything and that your goals are well defined."

ODR specialists from SKF ensured machinery operators received a two-hour theoretical introduction, with a two-hour walk-through on site, and provided the reliability equipment needed. Designed to empower machinery operators to play a proactive role in the maintenance process, operators received the SKF Microlog Inspector handheld computer with a Wireless Machine Condition Detector (WMCD) to record day-to-day readings such as data plots, notes and images from the PM3 machine. As well as recording data, this device was also used to alert operators of changes in machine condition, giving advanced warning of machine deterioration.

In addition, the SKF Microlog Analyzer GX instrument was used by the plant's maintenance team for more comprehensive on-the-spot data recording and analysis for specific areas of the PM3 machine. This information was then uploaded using the SKF @ptitude Inspector software package where the data can be further analysed, reported and shared across the plant.

This predefined route of collecting machine data as well as visual inspection reports followed a more systematic approach at the plant, allowing trends to be monitored and potential problems to be reported to maintenance planners who can prioritise and plan the actions needed. It also enabled time for important issues to be discussed with machine shift operators and allowed potential problems with the PM3 machinery to be identified.

A focus on critical assets

The use of the SKF Microlog Analyzer GX instrument has also allowed the maintenance team to work in a different way, by focusing more on the critical assets and improving analysis to find the root cause of a problem. In fact, in the first six months of implementation, around 20 critical failures were found, contributing to a 0.5 per cent reduction in unplanned stops during the first year.

Each of the ten ODR inspection routes for the PM3 takes approximately 15 minutes to undertake, allowing the operators to fit this ongoing maintenance process into their schedule without any need for overtime. The initial investment to implement the ODR programme paid for itself in the first month and now, due to its success, Stora Enso is implementing the programme in the remaining Varkaus units, as well as the company's other Finnish production sites.

Juha Helkala, the Maintenance Director for Stora Enso in Finland, comments: "Looking forward, operator maintenance is one of our strategies and the ODR programme has provided a framework for improved inspection, recording of data, communication and response times that have led the Varkaus plant to maximise productivity levels, manage risk levels and minimise running costs."

For further information about the Operator Driven Reliability (ODR) programme, contact Phil Burge, the Communication Manager at SKF (UK) Limited, on +44 (0)1582 496433 or .

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