Why is not having a Fluid Performance Management System stunting your productivity and eroding your bottom line?

In 8 out of the 10 parts manufacturers we audit, managed and maintained fluid condition is one of the most overlooked aspects of their manufacturing process. Not paying attention to this aspect of the business, or letting time and/or dogma drive day to day activities, results in significant waste.


What is a fluid performance management system?

In short, fluid performance management systems start with documented procedures and processes that measure and maintain Key Fluid Performance Indicators that impact the performance of the manufacturing process and drive cost. They provide a systematic way to identify, measure, interpret and react in a timely manner to the dynamic nature of fluid condition in order to optimize total process costs and eliminate fluid related product events. It results in an deeper understanding of the root cause to production related issues while providing a means to drive continual improvement as more and more of the KPI’s are identified and brought into control.

Why Fluid Performance Management (FpM)Systems are Often Overlooked – AKA Don’t Make This Expensive Mistake!

There are two major reasons why FPMS’s are overlooked by many parts manufacturers.

Reason #1
The first reason is because fluid performance management systems focus on a “non-core” aspect of the manufacturing process. Fluids are treated as a necessary evil with little connection made between what condition the fluid is managed within and how it is impacting the plant’s bottom line. Fluid cost is a function of price times consumption. Where most manufacturers have excellent control around the price of a product, there are very few controls surrounding how much of that product is used.

The day to day decisions made based on fluid KPI’s, has a tremendous impact on the total process cost.

Reason #2
The second major reason that FpM Systems are neglected is because of the shear number of data points required to effectively manage this aspect of the operation. Many plants do a reasonable job at managing 1 or two data points, but in reality there are many parameters that impact process performance and cost. Collecting, being able to easily access and compile etc, all make an effective program a challenge. To this day many plants use paper logs to record 1 or 2 KPI’s, with no systems in place to interpret, trend, react, identify other KPI’s etc.

Where world class plants have robust quality systems surrounding the parts they manufacture, fluids tend to be igniored and managed by the calendar and dogma (with time based PM’s) vs corrective actions based on changing KPI’s.

Why you want Fluid Performance Management Systems in your facility


Increased Productivity: A well executed FpM system takes variability out of fluid condition, minimizing the risk of the fluid related event interrupting your process unexpectedly or presenting an unmanaged Health and Safety Risk.

Reduced Waste: Time based PM programs are wasteful in that they have to be conservative by nature. In order to “prevent” the problem, the fluid needs to be removed from the system before one of the KPI’s cross an event threshold. This requirement means that PM’s need to happen on an aggressive schedule to be effective at preventing a problem. This leads to significant waste of production time and resources.

Sustainable Continual Improvement: Because sample/analyse/interpret/react are built into a good FpM program, new process improvements are identified through data review or root cause problem solving, and incorporated into the process so that they are fully sustainable and the benefits can be measured and adjusted.

Reduced Fluid Cost: Once the KPI’s that impact fluid performance are identified, tracked and reacted to, fluid life can be maximized. If the KPI can be manipulated and returned to an acceptable condition, a goof FpM will identify that corrective action which may lead to the addition of equipment to the process (ie recycling, sump side decontamination etc.).

Reduced Waste Cost: By extending fluid life and letting data drive corrective actions, the volume of waste generated by the process is minimized. The cost of waste is used as a metric by FpM to identify and justify CI opportunities.

Cost of Management: A strong business process is essential to be able to minimize the costs associated with implementing a robust FpM program. Relying on procedures, specialized tools and robust training helps to reduce the cost.

Conclusions: An aspect of the manufacturing process often ignored, day to day fluid condition drives your costs and hurts your bottom line. Using data and analytics to manage this aspect of the process can pay significant dividends to a company. The challenge is recognizing the savings potential due to the indirect nature of fluid condition on your manufacturing process and the inherent complexity of managing all the KPI’s that can impact performance and drive cost over time.

Our Hidden Cost Audit identifies where current plant practice is generating needless waste and/or putting the process at risk, and/or eroding the Overall Equipment Effectiveness of the manufacturing process. By auditing the current state, we can project the future state benefits that would result by implementing a best practices program focused on waste elimination. For more information on the Hidden Cost Audit, follow the link.

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