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The 15th Annual Ultrasound World Conference is almost here! The best of the best in the industry will soon come together to get even better. A week of education sessions, networking events, and presentations and workshops led by thought leaders in the field make this unique conference one you simply can’t afford to miss.

One of the experts you can look forward to meeting at this year’s conference? Chuck Jarrell. UE Systems recently sat down with Jarrell to learn how he got his start in the industry and his recommendations on leveraging Asset Management best practices to make workplaces safer for everyone.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your background… how and why did you get involved with Asset Management?

A: My father was in maintenance in the coal mining industry. I worked in purchasing and the stock room around the mines while in college attaining my electrical engineering degree. I found this work very interesting and followed in my father’s footsteps. As I progressed in my career and developed a more thorough understanding of Asset Management compared to maintenance, I saw the need to develop my knowledge and understanding so I could inspire the right behaviors of everyone around me.

Q: Have you ever been impacted by a lack of control in the Asset Management function?

A: Yes, while working in the wood products industry, one of the oldest mills we had operating had to shut down due to the lack of ability to maintain the equipment and meet regulatory requirements.

Q: What are the biggest differences between proactive and reactive maintenance?

A: Proactive maintenance – we control the downtime and cost. Reactive maintenance – the equipment controls the downtime and cost.

Q: What are some of the problems that successful Asset Management can solve or prevent?

A: Safety issues, frustrations of operators and maintenance, life cycle cost, and just-in-time delivery scheduling – just to name a few.

Q: What are some of the best ways organizations can positively affect the safety culture and safety record at their facilities?

A: Organized, planned, and scheduled maintenance is always best. Upset conditions are where most accidents happen. Organizing, planning, and scheduling helps control the environment and call out hazards ahead of the work actually being done.

Q: Can you tell us about a specific organization you’ve worked with that has implemented these principles into their facilities? What was their business like before?

A: Hectic trying to meet demand. Overtime was elevated.  

Q: What is it like now that they’ve made the recommended changes?

A: Heading in the right direction with reliable equipment, and overtime is being managed.

Q: What is their outlook for the future?

A: Great as we can better adjust to changing customer demands and our employees feel less frustrated and can focus on continuous improvement instead of having to react to equipment stoppages. This allows them to be more focused on their surroundings and safety. 

Q: Where does Asset Management fall within the “big picture” of reliability and safety?

A: It must be a part of the culture the same way we think of the safety culture. They go hand in hand. The first thing that should be on an employee’s mind when they drive into the parking lot each day is safety, then reliability.

Q: What do you consider the key takeaways from your presentation on “The Impact of Asset Management on Worker Safety”?

A: We will explore the difference between proactive and reactive maintenance and the impact on key maintenance activities.  We will explore how work identified and prioritized in a proactive environment is a safer environment, how work planning can not only improve efficiency, but safety, and how other elements, such as scheduling, execution, and closeout/analysis can all be key contributors to an effective safety culture.  In addition, we will understand the “big picture” of reliability and safety and how asset management can be a key partner with the safety and environmental group. 

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share?

A: Asset Management is the responsibility of everyone at the facility. Safety and Asset Management go hand in hand and must be supported from the top down. Culture must be at the base of the Asset Management Pyramid. The wider the base, the higher the peak.