You might be wondering how live-in culture can be a challenge for implementing Autonomous Maintenance. Autonomous Maintenance also known as Jishu Hozen in Japanese, is one of the key activities to bring in employee involvement and to develop a culture of “I operate, I maintain”. Before the implementation of Autonomous Maintenance, the operators are typically in the mode of “I operate, you maintain”. As a result, in the event of a failure, the breakdown duration is so much extended that it takes a long time for the maintenance team to first clean the equipment to reach the defective / damaged portion of the equipment. And when they are able to access that portion, it takes time to identify the root cause, as the symptoms just before the failure are not known to them.
Live-In Culture – A Challenge For Implementing Autonomous Maintenance?
So, the need was felt, that if the person operating the machine is equipped to carry out maintenance, then he would be fully aware of the equipment’s condition and would take proper care of the equipment as well. But then there are several challenges associated with it.
With the cultural advancements, we have generally seen that people do not want to commit themselves. One of the evidence is the increase in sales of two door cars. People don’t want to get married and they are happy with the live-in culture. For these two people, a two door car is sufficient enough. If they get married, they would have children and a lot of commitment would be required from both the partners.
In such a culture, where the people are not ready to commit even in their personal lives, it becomes a great challenge to ask these people to carry out Autonomous Maintenance Activities, which requires a lot of commitment.
“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.” – Peter F. Drucker
Jishu Hozen requires a lot of self-commitment and developing a sense of ownership for the equipment. Not only you have a to be very regular in doing the CLIT (Cleaning, Lubrication, Inspection and Tightening) activities at the same time you have to be extremely sensitive in understanding the equipment’s requirements and upgrading your knowledge and skill so that you understand the equipment in a much better way. And all this requires time and commitment.
I have found the Management to be struggling with this reason. And this is a practical problem that the organizations are facing. So here comes the need of strong management systems, accountability and controls (which might not be in the true spirit of Jishu Hozen implementation in the Japanese style). Also the education and training to the employees play a vital role in this transformation. Models and scenarios have to be created so that the employees can be sensitised on the need of Jishu Hozen. Creating a reward and recognition system is also good way to overcome this problem.