Abstracts

*These were the abstracts from the 2024 Leading Reliability Conference. We will update this page with 2025 abstracts shortly.

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Admiral Robert P. Burke

Senior Vice President, Center for Human Capital Innovation

Linkedin

“Navigating the Leadership Landscape: Labor Forecasts and Employment Demographic Trends”

This keynote explores the dynamics of leadership in the 21st century, focusing on essential aspects such as labor forecasts, employment demographic trends, and the critical role of employee engagement. Delving into the concept of employee engagement, we will examine its definition, significance, and the potential costs associated with disengaged employees. Furthermore, we will discuss the methods through which leaders can actively “earn” employee engagement, emphasizing the shift from a traditional managerial role to that of a coach. This keynote will feature selected leadership case studies, providing practical insights into effective leadership strategies in contemporary organizational settings.

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Ali Slayton

Reliability Leader, 3V Sigma USA

Linkedin

“Let Your Reliability Journey Be Audit Can Be”

Regular audits on external processes are strategically important in ensuring the success of any reliability journey. To start with, it’s essential to scrutinize all operations in detail so that any hidden obstacles can be identified and dealt with effectively. This step is critical in gaining insights that can help improve trust and communication among the different teams and stakeholders involved in the process.

It’s equally important to foster a culture of responsibility and accountability within the organization. By doing so, everyone involved can take ownership of their roles, and there’s a sense of shared responsibility toward achieving the desired outcomes. This approach will help identify inefficiencies in the external processes and provide valuable recommendations for targeted improvements.

Overall, conducting audits on external processes is a valuable tool that can help identify areas for improvement. By developing a well-planned strategy, organizations can gain valuable insights that can be used to foster a culture of responsibility and accountability, improve communication, and build trust among all stakeholders.

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Andre Jooste

Ultrasound Specialist, Ultra-Tek

Linkedin

“Case Studies on Advanced Ultrasound Applications in Challenging Environments”

This discussion will explore intriguing studies involving crusher bearings, variable direction drives and ultra slow-moving bearings, focusing on instances where Time Waveform (TWF) graphs deviate from expected patterns.

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Blair Fraser

Vice President of Global Development, UE Systems

Linkedin

“Ultrasound Innovations Unveiled: A Roundtable on Ultrasound Current & Future Innovations”

Join us for an engaging roundtable discussion where the forefront of ultrasound technology meets the minds shaping its future. This session invites you to delve deep into the world of UE Systems’ ultrasound innovations, facilitated by industry experts and peers alike. Together, we’ll explore the current landscape and practical applications of ultrasound technology in optimizing facility operations, alongside a detailed walkthrough of the UE Tech roadmap. Engage in vibrant discussions, exchange insights, and envision the future as we unpack the potential of ultrasound technology to drive efficiency and reliability across various sectors. This roundtable is your opportunity to contribute to the conversation on emerging trends, challenges, and the exciting developments ahead in the ultrasound technology sphere. Don’t miss this chance to connect with thought leaders and peers, shaping the future of industrial maintenance and reliability.

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Bob Kempe

Facilities Bureau Correctional Administrator, Utah Department of Corrections

“Successes and Failures in Adapting RCM Strategies to a Facilities Environment VS Manufacturing Environment”

In 2017, Timpanogos faced a cooling system crisis, drawing attention from Senator Orrin Hatch. As Correctional Administrator II, I led a team to address the challenge, pivoting to Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) for solutions. Despite budget constraints, our team of five, equipped with certifications in thermography and vibration technology, embraced RCM. Director Peay’s endorsement marked our shift to a proactive maintenance paradigm. The integration of advanced tools and expertise from the USCF security electronics shop underscores our success, preventing critical breakdowns through preemptive fault identification. This presentation delves into our groundbreaking approach, showcasing the transformative impact of RCM in correctional facility maintenance.

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Chris Troutt

Manager Reliability Services, Cogent

Linkedin

“Why Your Maintenance and Reliability Team Needs a Hype Man”

In the realm of rap and hip-hop, a hype man plays a crucial role in energizing the audience and supporting the primary performers with enthusiasm and interjections. Similarly, in Maintenance and Reliability, having a hype person is essential for celebrating successes and showcasing the value of the department’s work. This individual should be outspoken, passionate, and capable of effectively communicating metrics, successes, and day-to-day activities contributing to a high-functioning maintenance organization.

By consistently sharing achievements and making the case for investment in maintenance and reliability, the hype person ensures that the department receives the recognition and resources it deserves. Without such advocacy, the critical contributions of maintenance and reliability may go unnoticed, potentially hindering the department’s ability to secure necessary support and resources for future endeavors.

Attend this presentation to learn:

● If your team/organization needs a hype man

● How a hype man should deliver metrics and KPIs to senior management as well as any improvement or value-added activities

● The importance of showcasing great work done by your maintenance and reliability department

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David Aebischer

Senior Data Analyst, Cintel Inc.

Linkedin

“Enhancing PATRIOT Missile Defense System Power: Motion Amplification Technology in Tactical Generator Testing”

Mr. Aebischer will detail the use of Motion Amplification (MA) technology for testing Army tactical generators powering the PATRIOT Missile Defense System (MDS) Launcher. Cintel developed a vibration kit to mitigate a structural resonance causing excessive vibration at operating speed and catastrophic failure of the stator welds. Cintel used MA to establish a quality assurance (QA) baseline for post-production testing to verify the effectiveness of the kit. In the process of QA testing with MA, Cintel analysts detected two latent defects, traceable to design flaws, with ramifications for PATRIOT MDS Readiness.

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Eddie Hudson

Maintenance Superintendent, Cooper Power Station

Linkedin

“Navigating Challenges: Cooper Station’s Lubrication Program Development and the Investment in Reliability Leadership, People, Technology, and the Future”

In this presentation, we will discuss the development process of Cooper Station’s lubrication program and the challenges we faced getting started during hard times. We will delve into reliability leadership while also highlighting the lubrication program outcomes before finishing with how Cooper Station’s journey was an investment in the people, technology, and the future.
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Ehren Mackedanz

Regional Asset Reliability Manager, Bunge/Michael Foods

Linkedin
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Jen Hartz

Maintenance Reliability Supervisor, Michael Foods

Linkedin

“Tactical and Technical Execution: Building A World-Class Program”

Examining the underlying bad actors while building a world-class Reliability program.

Tactical storerooms: Tracking your inventory turns, room layouts, and asset care while in storage. Storerooms can eat up a lot of personnel time if the data is incorrect or locations are bad.

Asset care plans: Having the correct information available upon request or at one’s fingertips is crucial in tactical execution. Incorrect/ out-of-date data can cause more unwarranted downtime costing a facility a pile of money. Details can make or break any project.

Technical training: technicians should be capable of performing any task assigned to them. Should any gaps be found training opportunities exist. Specialized PdM technicians; not everyone needs to be performing PdM tasks, but all should be aware of the capabilities that a facility may have.

Technical execution: Completing work requests, creating follow-up work orders for any issue found, and ensuring quality of work. This is a team effort, ensure work is complete and asset is back to standard. Looking for ways to improve a process or discovering any gaps in a process. All these items will help build a better asset care plan and create a better workflow structure.

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Jason Wos

Senior Mechanical Engineer, Constellium

Linkedin

“When Life Gives You Lemonade, Sometimes You Have to Make Lemons”

As I began my new job as the Maintenance Manager I felt confident that I would be able to bring all my experience and knowledge from using SAP for the past 3 years. Little did I know that the current system we were using, Infor, was going to be going the way of the dinosaurs and that we would be adopting the EAM part of SAP. Needless to say I was excited that we would be going to a system that I was intimately familiar with. The downside was that I needed to learn a new system, be able to create, plan, schedule and track in it, but with limited capability because the company was not willing to turn on different aspects due to the system going away in 2 years. So I jumped in with both feet, learned the system and how to navigate through it. But every week I found something else that I used to be able to do in SAP, but just couldn’t seem to be able to do with my current system, so figuring out the work around was always a challenge. Then after creating several new PM’s, I found several flaws in the existing ones and grew my PM program from 81 to 72. However, I feel confident that the PM’s we have in the system are accurate. And after going through previous documentation and getting input from my team we are currently at 82 PM’s, with a portion being done by vendors and operations. All in all I am able to use the current system to do what needs to be done and provide not only accurate but detailed PM’s.

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Jeff Hay

CEO, RDI Technologies

Linkedin

“Vibration, It’s Just Physics”

Vibration measurement is a key component of a comprehensive reliability program whether that be Condition Based Monitoring or Predictive Maintenance. It is a crucial tool for understanding the behavior of the machinery and structures that comprise our industrial facilities to ensure optimal performance. At the core of a seemingly complex topic such as vibration monitoring are simple physics concepts that govern the behaviors of our machinery and structures. In the presentation, we will go back to the basics and discuss the physics of vibration at a basic level. For example, the harmonic oscillator is one of the simplest concepts to understand yet governs most of vibration. At the same time, it is also the example that most physical concepts are applied to first from simple F=ma to complex electrodynamics problems. This presentation will be at the beginner’s level. No physics background needed. We will discuss where some of the basic tenets of vibration originate from and explore vibration from a whole new angle. If you are interested in vibration and want to see it in a new light this is for you.

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John Lazar

Maintenance & Engineering, E. & J. Gallo Winery

Linkedin

“The Juice is Worth the Squeeze: Gallo’s Journey to Reliability”

Join John for the story of Gallo’s multisite World Class Maintenance implementation. He will take you through the high points of the journey as well as a few of the valleys that come with an implementation of this size.

He will share tips learned and what might be done differently if done again. He will talk about how growth, turnover, business demand changes and culture effect the speed and focus on reliability and what was done about it.

You can expect to leave the session with ideas that can speed up the implementation process in your site as well as some fun stories to drive the points home as you share them with others.

John Waldron

John Waldron

Product Manager, Acoem

Linkedin

“One Size Does Not Fit All – Deploying an Effective Vibration Program”

Creating and maintaining a successful reliability program requires a tremendous amount of forethought, attention to detail, and a relentless pursuit of better. Success in these programs arrives in various forms; detecting a bad bearing before a PM and having the inventory to replace it; discovering the root cause of your persistent oil contamination problem; thermal imagery confirming high temperatures in that suspect motor; leveraging asset management software to maintain work orders properly; the list goes on. Success in reliability requires various techniques, complementary technologies, and robust solutions.

Therefore, in understanding that reliability is not one dimensional, nor one size fits all, does it make sense to deploy the same approach to assets with different levels of complexity, criticality, and ROI? This form of reliability is akin to fitting a square peg in a round hole – it’s simply not meant to be. During this presentation, I will discuss the continued need for all three integral vibration tools – handheld data collectors, wireless sensors, and continuous wired systems. Each of these has their place in a plant, despite the diversity we see between them.

In order to be successful, we must consider the machines we’re monitoring. What is the impact of this machine’s downtime? How complex is the machine? How fast does the machine cycle? Can we even access it? Safety? Experience? How often? And of course; what is it costing me?!

What this presentation aims to achieve is to simplify this conundrum in sequence with digestible information so that we are prepared to move forward with successful reliability programs back at home.

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Milan Heninger

Industry Leader

Linkedin

“Why Do Reliability Initiatives Fail – Moving From What To Do, to How We Do It”

After a few years as an M&R professional, you will see fantastic reliability teams rise and fall. They had the best people, tools, training, and support of their management, yet they fail to remain in the “Promised Land.” Why does this happen and what can you do to prevent it? Building on core concepts of reliability and organizational behavior, Milan will walk you through how Organizations fail to generalize the core tenants of Reliability to their broader business (Written processes and procedures, Work Management practices, Scheduling, Tool Selection, Training, etc.). This failure results in a robust system of reliability that works well for a while but has no way to make it stick. Attendees at all levels of their reliability journey will learn ways to unlock what they already know and generalize it into managing every aspect of their business, and help make reliability become the culture of their business and not just another program.

“Leading Change – Engineering Organizational Excellence”

Recognizing that we are all working in industries that are changing faster every day, what can we do to adapt? As leaders in our companies, do we choose to react to the changes as they come, or is there a way for us to design our business so it evolves to succeed in our new environment? In this nuts and bolts talk, we will look at the structural and behavioral requirements to build organizations that can adapt and perform, while preparing attendees for the opportunities and challenges they will experience. This talk will touch on theoretical concepts and dive heavily into the practical steps necessary to apply them in the real world.

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Rafael Nerell

Leading Optimization of Asset Performance, Reliability, and Maintainability, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Linkedin

“How to Navigate Change Management, Generate Adoption, and Track Progress at the National Laboratory Level?”

The Los Alamos National Laboratory stands as one of the country’s most renowned institutions for scientific research, technology, and engineering. However, adjacent to its academic culture, the laboratory also provides contribution to nuclear deterrence and supports the national security mission of keeping America safe. For over 70 years, the laboratory has operated under the old standard reactive maintenance approach, that although effective in some instances, don’t take into account the ever-changing external conditions such as material logistics, retiring skilled craft, and production demands. I will be covering the Asset Management Program latest implementation updates and how effective change management has fostered further adoption. I will discuss further how assets such as particle accelerators have begun to adopt, sustain, and track progress, all with the help of the very own folks who designed it.

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Shelley Penny

Reliability Specialist, Tampa Electric

Linkedin
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Shon Isenhour

Owner, Eruditio

Linkedin

“Powering Up Asset Management: A Talk Show-Inspired Journey Through Maintenance and Reliability Implementation”

Dive into an engaging, talk show-style session where we explore the implementation of fundamental strategies in asset management. Our presenters will guide you through critical topics using real world examples, including:

  1. Key Learnings: Emphasizing DMAIC principles and the importance of metrics like MTTR, MTBF, and OEE in system reliability.
  2. The P-F Curve: Understanding early failure detection and its role in reducing repair costs.
  3. Importance of the CMMS: Extending equipment life and the crucial role of CMMS in asset registry work planning and work order history.
  4. Change Management: Unveiling challenges and solutions in aligning internal teams and external stakeholders with asset management goals.
  5. Building an Asset Management Program: Strategies for creating a comprehensive asset registry, risk profiles, and focused improvement efforts using technology, processes, and problem solving.

This session promises to be a blend of insightful revelations and practical approaches, equipping you with the tools to transform your asset management and reliability practices. Join us for an experience that’s both enlightening and inspiring, tailored for professionals seeking to advance in the field of maintenance and reliability implementation.

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Shon Isenhour

Owner, Eruditio

Linkedin

“Doing the Right Thing For All The Wrong Reasons… And Failing”

When it comes to reliability improvement, I have continually noted a reoccurring issue that plagues many implementations that severely limits success or in some cases completely derails it. In this session, I will take you through the problem, how it manifests itself,  how it limits results, and what you can do to mitigate it in your implementation. Join me to hear about when good intentions drive bad results!

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Stan Riddle

Technical Training Supervisor, Acoem

Linkedin

“What You Don’t Know About Belts and Sheaves”

Join industry veteran, Stan Riddle, in this presentation focused on Belts and Sheaves, something which is often taken for granted in maintenance and reliability. It might be easier to swap out broken belts on the fly or act like your fan isn’t making a screeching noise, however, this approach could cause further damage and problems for your machinery and organization

Follow along with Stan as he dives into the three most critical aspects of belt-driven machines; Alignment, Tension, and Ventilation. Additionally, he will cover belt-sizing and best practices for maintaining belt-driven machinery. Successful reliability programs are built on attention to detail and precision – the aim of this presentation is to demonstrate that belts and sheaves need the same love as the rest of your equipment.

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Tommy Qualls

Sr. Plant Maintenance Superintendent, McKee Foods Corporation

Linkedin
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Brandon Lewis

Reliability Engineer, McKee Foods Corporation

Linkedin

“The Fragile Balance of Maintenance Reliability: A Therapist’s Reflection on Implementation Challenges”

Maintenance reliability implementations play a pivotal role in ensuring the seamless operation of industrial systems, yet failures in their execution can lead to significant operational disruptions and financial losses. This abstract provides a viewpoint on the challenges and shortcomings encountered in maintenance reliability implementations from the view of my therapist. Drawing from observations and analyses of diverse industries, it examines the root causes of failures in such implementations, encompassing organizational, technological, and procedural aspects. Common pitfalls, including inadequate resource allocation, lack of stakeholder alignment, and suboptimal technology integration are identified and discussed. Furthermore, the abstract explores the broader implications of failed maintenance reliability initiatives, such as compromised safety standards, decreased equipment lifespan, and diminished customer satisfaction. Through a critical lens, it underscores the importance of proactive measures and continuous improvement strategies to mitigate risks and enhance the effectiveness of maintenance reliability implementations.

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Trent McJunkin

Facilities & Maintenance Manager, Oshkosh Defense

Linkedin

“Unlocking Excellence: The Role of Mentorship in Achieving World-Class Maintenance Organizations”

What do you think of when you hear the words “World-Class” when referring to a Maintenance organization? Do you think of excellent KPIs? Maybe you think of skilled craftspeople executing tasks with the highest level of precision. What about top-notch safety standards? Thorough root cause failure analysis? All those things are critical to your journey to “World-Class”, but the piece of the puzzle that we often overlook is strong mentorship. Consider the people who impacted your career and your life the most, they probably took the time to “show you the way.” Mentorship in a maintenance organization works at every level, whether you are new in your career or you are looked at as a subject matter expert, YOU need a mentor, and someone needs YOU to mentor them. Your journey to World Class will be uphill the whole way, and it is critical to your success that you replicate those behaviors, skills, and habits that demonstrate excellence in all that you and your team do. By being intentional about growing your people, you will be able to educate, equip, and empower them to become the best version of themselves. This presentation is for everyone, at every level, and the intent is to show that mentorship is a gift that you can give just for the sake of giving, just to see someone else succeed. Come to this session to learn my 3 step process for finding a mentor and 3 simple things you can implement today to improve your ability to mentor your team.

Leading Reliability Conference Testimonials

“A must-attend event for anyone looking to start or improve their maintenance and reliability!”

“I really enjoyed the 2021 Leading Reliability Live and In-person Conference. The speakers each led great discussions and also took time during the day to answer any questions and give out their contact information as a continued resource. There is great value in the contacts made during this conference and the opportunity to talk with our peers about the opportunities and successes we are seeing in our facilities. The venue was excellent and the conference organizers took great care of us. Thank you.”

“This was my first reliability conference, and it was a great experience. I not only enjoyed presenting, but also attending the other workshops. I learned a lot from really established professionals and hope to make improvements at my site with the useful information. I also was able to network with others and answer questions, as well as, get a few of mine answered. Overall this was an excellent conference that was extremely helpful and well put together.”

“What a great week of interacting with a huge variety of professionals that were all focused on reliability! The location, food, and sessions were all outstanding but the atmosphere while enjoying these is what will bring me back next year! Great job guys!”

“This was a wonderful experience. Some of the roadblocks I have while building the PdM program have been removed thanks to this conference. The networking and broad spectrum of speakers was a grand help.”

“The most important part of these types of conferences is the gathering with others who have a interest in implementing a Reliability culture within each of our facilities. This conference provided a lot of available tools and relationships to help improve and implement the reliability culture without our facilities.”

“The Leading Reliability Class was an amazing time! All industry members are experts in their field, and no matter your experience you will definitely take something away from it. No matter if you’re looking for the latest in greatest technology, or just looking to gain knowledge on Reliability Leadership this seminar has it all. Big thank you to everyone who made this visit a pleasure and I look forward to attending again in the future!”

“I got the most from the preconference session with eruditio. I was able to come back and implement some of the strategies immediately.”

“This was my first time attending the reliability conference, so I really wasn’t too sure what to expect. It was a very informative and educational conference. It was a great opportunity to network with folks from within my company as well as build relationships with folks outside of my company.”

“I don’t get the opportunity to meet many other vibration analysts outside of our company, so it was awesome to discuss similarities and differences with them. I loved the atmosphere and networking opportunities.”