Keynote Abstracts

Implementing a Global Reliability Program

Eli Lilly and Company has been on a reliability journey over the past 20 years. We’ve had mixed results until recently, when we “reset” the reliability program and made it a global engineering initiative. This presentation will discuss what we have done and learned about designing and implementing a successful global reliability program that is now giving us improved results.

Jacinda Woodward

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TVA – Built to Last: A Legacy of Reliability and Maintainability

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s mission to serve the people of the Tennessee Valley began with a vision to boost the region’s poor economic condition.  Through flood control, navigation, agricultural support and the introduction of electricity to rural areas, TVA served to make this region of the country prosper.  More than eighty years later, the reliability of dams, generating plants and transmission systems built over time are essential to sustaining the region’s economy and way of life.  The reliability and maintainability of thousands of assets that comprise these complex systems requires the combined efforts of engineering, maintenance and operations disciplines. Discussed will be the early days, the war effort and industrial age, the nuclear age, reliability through diversity of energy, and the future is now with topics such as:

  • What are we doing today to monitor and maintain decades of assets to assure the reliability of the power grid, protect natural resources and help grow the economy?
  • How to balance the maintenance demands of aging systems with the economic demands of keeping power rates low?
  • How to meet increased expectation for power quality and reliability as revenues stay flat due to energy efficiency standards and distributed energy solutions?

Frederic Thivierge

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Frederic Thivierge Picture


Mathieu Fyfe-Leblanc

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Mathieu Fyfe-Leblanc picture

Lean Maintenance Based on a Continuous Improvement Strategy.

GreenField Ethanol is one of North America’s leading green fuel suppliers and Canada’s largest ethanol company, with fuel grade ethanol accounting for the major portion of its sales. It also has the honor of being listed among the 50 best managed companies in Canada. The company, with more than two hundred and fifty employees, operates four distilleries in Canada, including one in Varennes, Quebec.

ln operation since February 2007, GreenField Ethanol Quebec has produced over 185 million liters (49M gal) of fuel grade ethanol per year, more than 110,000 tons of C02 per year (valorized by another company as dry ice) 145,000 tons of distillers’ grains per year (aimed at the animal feed market) and 4,500 tons of corn oil (aimed for biodiesel or animal feed). The Varennes plant is fortunate to have over fifty-eight skilled employees and has obtained ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications.

Since the very beginning, reliability has played a key role in the development of the plant in Varennes. Predictive technologies have been introduced and a CMMS system implemented. Over time, they have reinforced the foundations of the reliability program by adding numerous elements such as: new predictive tools, a planning and scheduling process, a continuous improvement team based on World Class Maintenance, precision maintenance, PM and PdM optimization, execution and control of work, failure analysis and prevention, equipment management, FMEA, improvement of the CMMS, and employee skills development. Moreover, continuous improvement methodologies have been adopted: SMED method, 5S’s and value stream mapping. The reliability process is also characterized by elimination of waste and non-added value operations. KPIs and information analysis techniques make it possible for them to see patterns emerge and to take action before problems occur.  This presentation will present the lean maintenance thinking they applied in the facility.

Artificial Intelligence: Moving Beyond the Hype to Practical Application in Reliability Engineering

A great deal of attention is currently focused on artificial intelligence (AI), and what it might mean for industries of the future and even society itself. At the extreme, some claim that AI will become all-capable, and solve many hard problems with ease. What does this mean for reliability engineering? This presentation will discuss the practical capabilities and limitations of AI and machine learning techniques, with a focus on technical challenges common in reliability engineering. The presentation will discuss anticipated advances in AI, as well technical limitations that are likely to persist for many years. The goal of the talk is to help separate fact from hype, providing a better understanding of the near-term capabilities enabled by AI, as well as the longer-term impacts of AI on applications of reliability engineering.