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 plant and equipment reliability and operational performance you’ve been searching for

The Plant Wellness Way EAM methodology was developed by Mike Sondalini after decades researching how to get zero-failure industrial operations. His story resonates with all engineering, operations, maintenance, and business professionals who want world class plant and equipment reliability. The truly successful answers became PWW EAM.

Around the turn of the 21st century, while working as the Head of Maintenance, Mike Sondalini was going back to the office after completing his afternoon round of the production plants. 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 assets. This operation’s equipment reliability was as poor as what he had first experienced 20 years earlier working with production equipment as a machinist. He was frustrated that nothing had greatly improved plant and equipment reliability over the years.

As he was about to step into his office, Mike turned to look down the hallway back onto the production plant. “There must be a sure way to get world class production plant reliability?” he thought.

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

“Why are we still having equipment failures?”
“What exactly must be done to get optimal production?”

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

Yet, despite his best efforts, he couldn’t find anything that provided answers that made sense, let alone a full, satisfying solution. He was stumped. Some years into the research, Mike was sitting in his home office and looked over at his old bookshelf. It was filled with technical books from his years at university, a few books on management and psychology, there were the many books on risk and reliability he had brought, and some from maintenance gurus espousing strategies that he had once hoped held the answers he sought.

For some reason that day a book on Materials of Construction Science from his university days studying mechanical engineering caught his attention. As he looked through it with new understandings and insights from his research it was in there that Mike found the beginning of the answers he had been hunting for.

Now, he had a scientifically sound starting point from which he could guarantee the path to follow to get world class plant and equipment reliability. Consuming countless more books and journal articles, attending information sessions and discussions, Mike continued the hunt for the true causes of reliability success and the prevention of plant and equipment failures. In time, a complete life-cycle asset management methodology that ensured world class reliability for all equipment became clear.

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. At that point, Mike made the decision to start his own consulting and training business. Lifetime Reliability Solutions would specialise in Enterprise Asset Management, Reliability, and Maintenance Consulting using his new EAM methodology.

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, life-cycle EAM, maintenance management, work quality assurance, and team building.

The new enterprise asset management methodology he promoted had at its core a solid scientific foundation that eliminated the root causes of asset failure, be they physical asset, operational, or business process caused. Because of the lifetime health and long-lasting reliability it produced he named his simple and powerful approach to life-cycle Enterprise Asset Management the ‘Plant Wellness Way EAM methodology’. 

After 12 years of dedicated research, the first book on the Plant Wellness Way EAM 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 and physical asset management 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.

A fully revised and updated version containing the latest research, improvements, and insights was published in 2016 titled, Industrial Manufacturing Wellness: The Complete Guide to Successful Enterprise Asset Management, it is available online at Industrial Press and Amazon Books. It has new learnings that further refine the techniques, processes, and templates initially presented.

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

The Plant Wellness Way EAM 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 having equipment failures?” and “What exactly must be done to get optimal production?”

Mike Sondalini and the global team of licensed 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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