Reliability Excellence® (Rx) Overview

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What is Reliability Excellence (Rx)?

Rx is a business philosophy, driven through cultural change, that focuses on equipment reliability and process control as the foundation of modern manufacturing operations. By designing reliability into daily plant operations and creating a culture of prevention and improvement, plants can operate as safer, more productive and more profitable businesses.

Fundamentally, Rx focuses on:

  • Operations-led reliability: By the very nature of their jobs, equipment operators have a closer connection with the equipment than the maintenance department. Building a partnership between operations and maintenance, in which operations owns the equipment and maintenance provides reliable capacity, creates the optimal balance between operations and reliability.
  • Proactive culture: Time, money and resources are applied to preventive and predictive efforts, not just spent on corrective and repair activities. Problems are researched to find the root cause and solutions focus on correcting the source of the problems vs. treating the symptoms.
  • Metrics-based performance: Establishing meaningful, quantifiable metrics enables a plant to measure performance and document improvements.
  • Continuous improvement: Promoting the philosophy that excellence is a process, not a pre-defined level of performance, leads to implementing processes and tools that support continuous refinement and improvement in both equipment reliability and operating capacity.

Why Rx?

Motivations for implementing Rx within an organization include optimizing manufacturing assets and processes, maximizing production at the lowest unit cost, improving product quality and improving safety. The process of identifying and reducing non-value activities exposes the fundamental deficiencies within the manufacturing process, the most common of which is the lack of reliability. Increasing reliability improves both manufacturing capacity and cost control.  

Life Cycle Engineering (LCE) has invested more than 30 years in developing processes and methodologies to enable organizations to effectively and efficiently achieve world-class reliability and support Continuous Improvement, Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing. In our experience, the successful implementation of Continuous Improvement, Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing principles requires a solid foundation of Rx best practices. Implementing Rx creates the stability required to sustain the benefits from these important initiatives.

How is Rx Implemented?

LCE’s approach to implementing Rx consists of three waves:

Wave 1: Education and Communication
The first wave focuses on providing the management and leadership team, union leadership and key stakeholders and participants with a common understanding of the concepts, strategies and activities required to achieve and sustain Rx. Activities include:

  • Conducting Rx education workshops both on and off-site
  • Integrating reliability improvement initiative with overall business plan
  • Developing manufacturing objectives, goals and targets
  • Establishing a cross-functional leadership team to sponsor the Rx program

Wave 2: Assessment, Master Planning and Business Case Development
The second wave identifies key opportunities for improvement and creates a plan to maximize the return on investment from the reliability initiative. The objective of the assessment is to examine and evaluate current reliability processes and practices as compared to industry-accepted best practices. This analysis is used to build an Rx implementation Master Plan and a business case that supports the plan. Activities include:

  • Identifying key opportunities using Rx assessment methodologies and technical reliability engineering expertise
  • Developing the Master Plan for Rx implementation, including organizational resource requirements
  • Quantifying the business case for Rx implementation
  • Establishing the change management structure required to support implementation

Wave 3: Master Plan Implementation, Measurement and Follow-up
The final wave implements the Master Plan, including education on proper techniques, coaching on correct execution and establishing defined processes and effective measures of progress. Activities include:

  • Establishing leadership and focus team structure to execute Master Plan
  • Providing Rx subject matter and leading change training to accelerate work process design
  • Providing asset management services to address limiting factors and infrastructure
  • Supporting implementation of business processes with dedicated subject matter coaching
  • Continually monitoring project progress against agreed-upon metrics and time line
  • Proactively managing culture change to ensure early adoption and longterm sustainability of new business processes


© 2007 Life Cycle Engineering, Inc.

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