The Opportunity

Our client’s plant is located where extreme winters are the norm. To ensure production stability a Winterisation preparation program is executed annually with Preventative Maintenance (PM’s) being undertaken on all equipment. Historically the client has been unable to complete the Winterisation program prior to the onset of winter resulting in freeze up incidents these then create Priority 1 rush Work Orders (WO’s). These WO’s are a large draw on maintenance resources as well as being  costly, production is  halted, they  also have a negative impact on planned maintenance work.

The client wants to complete all equipment winterisation by mid October & reduce Priority 1 rush WO’s .

Approach Taken

Experienced maintenance & engineering resources were brought together to Value Engineer the Winterisation Scope. The team created a Value Stream Map of the winterisation where numerous issues & possible opportunities were identified. They then executed a 4 day Kaizen, starting with Root Cause Analysis (RCA) of each issue. 

During the Kaizen Event the team addressed: the documented winterisation process creating a new lean process, rationalised the winterisation scope by redefining what was part of the program & what should be done during summer months, scheduled & optimised operations Preventative Maintenance (PM) activities re-organizing the method for assigning tasks to Operators, created performance records for all assets, set parameters to avoid repeated walk downs where issues were already identified & streamlined the scaffolding process utilising recent data removing the need to do site visits. 

Benefits Realised

Winterisations tasks were reduced from 500 to 334 with PM’s being spread throughout the year & removed for equipment not currently in use, the winterisation program was completed as planned by mid October. 

Optimising PM activities, avoiding unnecessary walk downs & replication of scaffold builds reduced the manpower requirements on the maintenance team allowing them to balance their workload,  accurately schedule activities & achieve their planned dates. 

Reduction in Priority 1 rush WO’s was realised, with the additional benefit of reducing the pressure on the maintenance team.

As the maintenance team defined the improvements their morale & engagement significantly improved.


PBI Success Story – Winterisation Value Engineering Improvement Project