I was just diagnosed with skin cancer – basal cell carcinoma to be exact. I noticed a strange lesion near my neck and shrugged it off as dry skin. It didn't go away, so I decided to have my doctor take a look at it. She agreed that it deserved further investigation; so she biopsied it and some of the surrounding tissue. The results proved it was smart to take action before things got worse. While the pathology report stated that the carcinoma was completely excised, my doctor ordered me to make a follow-up appointment with a dermatologist to do a full body scan to ensure I don't have any other issues.
I guess you could consider the biopsy and future dermatologist visit reactive maintenance. Preventive maintenance would have been to wear sunscreen and a big floppy hat anytime I stepped outside on a sunny day. Message heard and will be heeded from this point forward.
Oddly enough, I started thinking about getting my skin looked at after a Chemical Processing webinar that I moderated. The topic was asset management and one of the speakers, Michael Eisenbise, global reliability implementation specialist for BP Downstream, spoke of the importance of monitoring aging plants and equipment to get the most out of your assets. I suppose when something weighs on your mind, you start to see signs in unlikely places. Anyhow, Eisenbise is no stranger to Chemical Processing. He has served as speaker on several webinars regarding condition monitoring, asset management and preventive maintenance. You can access these free 60-minute on-demand webinars by following this link: http://webcast.streamlogics.com/audience/index.asp?eventid=60911195. Once there, scroll down to the bottom to see the “Available to View Now” area.
Eisenbise also provided PDFs of a key reference on reliability-centered maintenance to house on the ChemicalProcessing.com website. The PDFs explain basic concepts, principles, definitions and applications of a logical discipline for development of efficient scheduled (preventive) maintenance programs for complex equipment, and the on-going management of such programs. Authors F. Stanley Nowlan and Howard F. Heap prepared this document for United Airlines in 1978. According to many maintenance professionals – including Eisenbise – this document is the bible for maintenance and reliability professionals. You can access the PDFs here: www.chemicalprocessing.com/reliability_centered_maintenance.
In addition to these resources, Chemical Processing covers the topic of reliability and asset management in nearly every issue of the magazine. You can read all the materials including articles, white papers, news items and products at our resource center dedicated to the topic: www.chemicalprocessing.com/resource_centers/reliability_asset_management.
Preventive maintenance is one of the most important tools you can use to achieve efficient, safe and economically competitive operations. Don't miss the opportunity to stop problems before they happen. And if you do notice something strange, don't wait around until it's too late. It's a good lesson for work and life.
Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing's senior digital editor and former sun worshipper. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.