Abstracts & presenters

“Transforming the Amazon Approach to Operations Maintenance”

Presented by Gail Edgar, Director, NA Reliability & Maintenance Engineering, Amazon

Operations Maintenance at Amazon has historically relied on methodologies such as Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) and Statistical Process Control (SPC) as the basis for achieving results and driving improvement. However, the advent of IOT, cloud-based computing and a growing network of sensor-enabled devices is changing the way organizations can manage their operations in real time.

This presentation will discuss the learnings and challenges as Amazon builds the analytic and control system for their fulfillment network. This session will also showcase what Amazon is doing to further empower leaders and associates with real time decision making by leveraging AI, ML and BI to drive user experience and productivity.

“Digital Disruption, 28 weeks later…”

Presented by Jose Maria Gurria, Global O&M Digital Implementation Leader, GE

A lot has been said about “Digital Disruption” but some of us have been imagining what it would look like, in my case since almost 15 years back. Actually, when I first experienced with Predictive technologies. So fortunately some people in the community, in the last 2-3 years had even adventured to write and speak about our future as M&R professionals in this new environment. Where most of the predictions threaten with thousands of jobs loss, professions transformed or even replaced by machines.

The title of this abstract, is based on a British zombie movie and the post-apocalyptical scenario that a lethal virus has left over the earth. Even if it seems under control, the thread is still alive and, as usual, a group of survivors is fighting the disease trying to find a cure, while they keep complaining and wondering how it all happened to them.

I’ll try my best to immerse you into this dark place, where we will learn, what’s this “digital disease”, what to be afraid of, what are its faces, how they are showing up, how they escalate and could end up “infecting” the whole organization.

But don’t worry, we’ll figure out how to survive “Digital Disruption” by using our Maintenance & Reliability skills, tools, knowledge, and attitude.

Good luck…

“Best Practices for Electrical  Asset Reliability and Worker Safety”

Presented by Tim Rohrer, CMRP, President, Exiscan & Joe Gierlach, VP Technical Training & Support – TEGG – An ABM Company

This presentation will cover best practices for the inspection and maintenance of Electrical assets. A multi technology approach to inspection, assessing severity, and recommended courses of action will be discussed. Proper safety procedures and practices will be outlined for the inspection and maintenance of energized Electrical assets per NFPA 70E and NFPA 70B.

“Applying Quality Principles That Yield Sustainable Reliability Improvements”

Presented by Douglas Bowker, Sr. Reliability Eng, Reliability Group Leader, BASF

Sustainable successes of organizations can generally be traced to the successful implementation of quality principles. It should therefore be no different in pursuing these principles in a journey to success within the world of plant reliability. This discussion will focus on the application of core quality principles within a small reliability group. Subsequent successful results in asset effectiveness improvement will be shown with real examples.


The Widening Skills Gap in America:  Who will keep our automation running?” presented by Greg Folts, Marshall Institute


With society’s emphasis on technology, (smart phones, internet, social media…) we have an entire generation unaware of the career options available: maintaining and repairing the equipment that makes their precious technology.  We value the brain surgeon (for obvious reasons) but do not value the skills that built the facilities and technology critical for success.  Without these things:  HVAC , O2 generators, and sterile operating environments, the surgeon will fail.  Many manufacturing plants find it harder and harder to find the skills required to keep the plant running efficiently.  How significant is this decline?  What will the consequences be if unchecked? What can be done to change the direction?

During the presentation, we will cover the widening skills gap in America, key contributing factors, and discuss possible solutions.

We will explore:

  • Data on the declining skills gap
  • Live polling of key factors within the group
  • Factors leading to the skills gap from the companies participating in the session
    • Brainstorm causes
  • Discussion on the career opportunities available
  • Discussion on the consequences of the skills shortage
  • Discussion on short, medium, and long-term solutions to the problem


“What It Takes to be a Reliability Leader “
Presented by Jason Kopschinsky, CMRP, Director of Reliability Services

Organizational change is perhaps one of the most difficult things to accomplish within any improvement program. Many feel that a once-and-done approach to operational optimization is the key for long term success, however, the need for change is always present. In this session we’ll discuss how to convince all levels of an organization that there is a compelling need for change within our maintenance and reliability program. We’ll discuss how companies learn as they grow, why technology isn’t always the answer and how a system with a high degree of quality can provide a successful environment for all employees.

“Is Maintenance to Blame?”

Presented by Joe Anderson, CMRP, Associate Director of Asset Management, B. Braun Medical

A systemic problem in most industries is the fact that our assets do not provide the value we have promised to our stakeholders. While the world’s attention is focused on the fight to increase productivity and develop new technologies, overhead costs, defects, and waste seem to be out of control. In order to remain competitive in the marketplace, cost to produce needs to be lowered, speed to market increased, and value driven from assets increased. There are three main reasons why we can’t seem to make this sustainable:

1. Leadership’s Understanding of the Business Side of Reliability
2. Understanding of the Hidden Plant
3. Culture of Reliability
We will take a deep dive into why these issues occur and provide solutions to mitigate these risks.


“The Impact of Predictive Technologies on Reaching Top Quartile Performance”
Presented by Klaus Blache, PhD, CMRP, Director -Reliability & Maintainability Center at University of Tennessee

Understanding the total possible benefits of predictive technologies is essential in attaining top quartile performance. Being able to articulate the anticipated operational improvements is key to gaining support for implementation and ongoing activities into higher quartiles. By knowing top quartile values you can set realistic goals and calculate an accurate savings potential. Discussed will be current top quartile values and the positive impacts, as related to key performance indicators in areas such as increased safety, lower costs, energy savings, higher uptime, improved OEE, greater ROI and more. It’s all related, so knowing how it’s all connected can enable synergistic gains and ongoing support.

“Selection, Implementation, Growth and Maturation of a Computerized Maintenance Management System,” Presented by Bill Hollman, NEFCO & Scott Rojas, Fluke

As part of the contract to design build and operate the new Biosolids Drying Facility for Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA), The New England Fertilizer Company (NEFCO) was tasked with the implementation of a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) that was both contractually compliant and world class. Although NEFCO had a legacy CMMS in service for its existing plants, the GLWA specifications for a state of the art plant necessitated that NEFCO upgrade its CMMS to fulfill all needs. In obtaining the new system for a green field plant, NEFCO decided to upgrade the entire CMMS of the company to the new standard. This presented several challenges to successfully implement this sea change in maintenance and asset reliability within NEFCO.

This presentation will cover the following topics:

  • The overall drivers stimulating the upgrade of the CMMS system in NEFCO
  • The process of selection for the new CMMS, including the identification of systems, analysis of alternatives and actual final selection process used in NEFCO.
  • Implementation procedure and overcoming organizational friction.
  • Developing an effective partnership with CMMS vendor and municipalities to include familiarization and training.
  • Growth and maturation of the system beyond traditional scheduling tracking, to include metrics (see figure 1), Asset Management and Predictive Maintenance. Asset Management initiatives aligned with GLWA programs in place, goals and requirements.
  • Conclusions and next steps.


“Reliability is a Marathon”

Presented by Tim Goshert, CMRP, Principal, Allied Reliability 

This presentation will trace the reliability improvement journey within a global industrial company over a fifteen-year timespan by taking the company from a culture of reactive maintenance to world class maintenance and reliability. Attendees will understand the nature of the challenge of initiating, maintaining, and improving a reliability improvement program over this time.

Many companies take the “Hare” approach, trying to use “quick fix” programs and “magic” condition monitoring technologies that will solve all of their problems. We took the “Tortoise” approach, methodically learning what true reliability looked like by benchmarking with companies that had been there and done that. Through education, culture change, proper implementation, and application of technologies and processes with strong leadership, we emerged as one of the world’s leaders in Maintenance and Reliability improvement.

We were able to grow our business and increase value to our shareholders. We accomplished this by better serving our customers, offering high quality products and delivering product when the customer rang the bell; all of this was done in a more reliable, safe environment for our employees. A win for our company, a win for our customers, and a win for our employees.

Bonus – you can now access presentations from our previous Reliable Asset World Conferences. Simply click here and you can learn from the past events as you prepare to join us for this next one!