How Plant Wellness Way Came to be

Decades of research, testing, and dedication – the Plant Wellness Way method now provides you with the answers for how to improve equipment reliability and operational performance you’ve been searching for

The Plant Wellness Way methodology was developed by Mike Sondalini after he spent years searching for how to achieve zero-failure industrial operations. His story begins like that of many engineering, maintenance, and business professionals who are searching for what is missing from their maintenance strategies.

Over two decades ago, while working as the Head of Maintenance, Mike was heading back to his office after completing the afternoon round. He had just spent yet another hour talking to his team of engineers and maintenance staff about the risks and issues they were experiencing in working to maintain the plant and its equipment. The issues were the same as what he had first experienced 15 years earlier, when he was first working on the shop floor as a machinist.

As he was about to step into his office, Mike stopped and turned to look down the hallway, back onto the production plant. “There must be a better way” he thought.

He knew that his team were highly skilled and deeply knowledgeable about the plant and equipment operations. They had applied the latest and greatest systems available in a bid to improve the system’s reliability – and yet, nothing seemed to make a significant impact. The thought continued, developing into the two questions that would set Mike on the path that would redefine both his career and the approach to industrial maintenance management across the world.

“Why are we still experiencing equipment failures?”
“What is missing to achieve optimal production?”

An avid and natural problem solver, the thoughts were stuck in his head. He began reading books and articles on system solutions from industry experts. Tapping into his diverse professional network, he only found that others were experiencing the same problems as he was. Yet, despite his best efforts, Mike couldn’t find anything that provided answers that made sense, let alone a full, satisfying solution. He was stumped.

Sometime later, Mike was sitting in his home office and looked over at his old bookshelf. It was filled with books from his years at university, a few books on management and psychology, and some on different maintenance strategies that he had once thought held the answers he sought.

For some reason – maybe the way the room lighting was that day – a book on Materials of Construction Science from his early days studying engineering, grabbed his attention. It was here, months after the questions first came into his mind, that Mike found a whiff of the answers he had been hunting for.

Now, he had a starting point. Consuming countless books and journal articles, attending information sessions and discussions, Mike continued his hunt for the true causes of system failures.

The pursuit led him to explore topics that extended beyond his original scope of maintenance management. From materials science to business systems, Mike was unstoppable. He relearnt concepts from chemistry and physics, and even taught himself business accounting.

A few years later, while continuing his research and self-education, Mike made the decision to start his own consulting and training business. Lifetime Reliability Solutions specialises in Enterprise Asset Management and Maintenance Consulting. Through this work, Mike was exposed to a diverse range of industrial operations. It did not take long for him to realise that the maintenance issues he and his colleagues experienced plagued all industrial companies, regardless of their location or specialisation.

As a consultant and trainer, Mike was able to present his insights to his clients, suggesting innovative approaches to plant and equipment reliability. Their feedback was resoundingly positive. He started to share his findings and theories online through the Lifetime Reliability Solutions website. Efforts which earned him an international reputation for articulate, out-of-the-box articles on plant and equipment reliability, EAM, maintenance management, work quality assurance, and team building.

Without intention, and to his surprise, Mike’s research led him to develop a new enterprise asset management methodology. At its core, was a solid foundation of the root causes of asset failure from a physical asset, operational, and business perspective. He named it “The Plant Wellness Way methodology”.


After 12 years of dedicated research, the first book on the Plant Wellness Way Methodology was published in 2009 – “Plant and Equipment Wellness: A Process for Exceptional Equipment Reliability and Maximum Life Cycle Profits”. A revolutionary approach on how maintenance systems should be run, the book detailed who, what, where, when, why, and how outstanding reliability could be achieved. Each step based in scientific and mathematical understanding to ensure repeatability of results and optimal outcomes.

By popular demand, a revised edition was published in 2016, and is available for purchase online at Industrial Press and Amazon Books. The latest edition includes the learnings from the previous 7 years that further refine the methodologies, processes and systems initially presented.


Since the very first articles published online, the Plant Wellness Way methodology has aided thousands of individuals and hundreds of companies around the world to move their plant and equipment reliability closer to world class standards.

Now, the Plant Wellness Way methodology continues to provide people from all industries and levels of management with the answers to the questions that first inspired Mike to begin his research –
“Why are we still experiencing equipment failures?” and “What is missing to achieve optimal production?”


Mike Sondalini and the global team of licenced Plant Wellness Way consultants are ready to help you and your company travel the pathway to outstanding operational reliability and world class enterprise asset management results. Contact us today to being moving your company towards the ultimate business goal – an operational and business system that has no failures.

From Mike Sondalini:

Thank you for reading about how Plant Wellness Way came to be. It is not without the support of my wife, Sue, and the feedback from my clients over the years that PWW is where it is today. I welcome you to contact me through our enquiry form if you have any questions.

My initial goal was to only understand what I did not know. Now, I am confident to provide you with access to the knowledge, tools, and resources to achieve what has long been assumed impossible – A business and enterprise asset management system that operates without failure.

Kind regards,
Mike Sondalini

Founder and Director of Plant Wellness Way
Perth, Western Australia

Industrial and Manufacturing Wellness: The Complete Guide to Successful Enterprise Asset Management

Industrial and Manufacturing Wellness: The Complete Guide to Successful Enterprise Asset Management explains how to use reliability engineering principles to design and build companies that are robust, reliable, self-improving, integrated business systems best suited for achieving optimal results.

 Written by asset management expert Mike Sondalini, creator and author of The Plant Wellness Way, this revolutionary work goes beyond basic plant management. Instead, it reveals a completely new way to engineer and implement business processes and work flow strategies that deliver overall operational excellence.

I have been focusing on RCM while at Toyota Motor Manufacturing NA. When I found Industrial Maintenance Wellness it bridged the gap between operational failures and component molecular failures. Mike’s process are excellent and the documents he has develop shows deep understanding of how components fail and how to prevent performance loss. I recommend it as part of a any library, for studies in reliability or team, as training tool it excels reducing the leaning curve.

Mike Burgett

United States

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