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Ralph 'Pete' Peters
Founder & President
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Ralph W. 'Pete' Peters
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A Reliability & Maintenance Excellence and MRO Glossary


Introduction:The following terms and definitions are from the area of Maintenance Management, Maintenance Storeroom Operations, Inventory Management, and MRO Materials Management areas. In addition we have included Oil and Gas terms. Included in this version are definitions of selected terms used within the entire PRIDE-in-Maintenance.com site.

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ABC Inventory Policy - A collection of prioritizing practices to give varied levels of attention to different classes of inventories. For example, Class A Items typically make up 15 to 25 percent of stock items but 75% to 85%t of Inventory Value. Class C items, in turn, might be 60% of the stock items but only 10% of the Inventory Value. Class B items would be somewhere in between these two.

ACE Team Benchmarking System (Also The ACE System) - A team-based process for using experienced Crafts People, Maintenance Supervisors and Maintenance Planners to develop a consensus on maintenance repair times and work content/wrench time. It involves A Consensus of Experts (ACE's) for first evaluating a job for improved methods, tools, special equipment and root cause elimination. Secondly, this process then develops a consensus on work content and then spread sheets for work content comparison (Slotting). The process provides a methodology for a Maintenance Planner to develop Reliable Planning Times for a wide range of jobs using a relative small number of Benchmark Jobs arranged on spreadsheets by Craft Areas.

Acreage - Land leased for oil and gas exploration and/or land for which a third party owns the mineral rights.

Actuarial Analysis - Statistical analysis of Failure data to determine the Age-Reliability Characteristics of an item.

Adjustments - Minor tune-up actions requiring only hand tools, no parts, and usually lasting less than a half hour.

Age-Reliability Characteristics - Patterns of Failure of a system or component within.

American Petroleum Institute (API) - The American Petroleum Institute is the oil and gas industry’s trade organization. API’s research and engineering work provides a basis for establishing operating and safety standard issues and specifications for the manufacturing of oil field equipment and furnishes statistical and other information to related agencies. Visit API at www.api.org.

Anticline - Convex-upward formation of rock layers, which may form a trap for hydrocarbons.

Applications Parts List - List of all parts required to perform a specific maintenance activity. Typically set up as a standard list attached to a Standard Job for Routine Maintenance Tasks. Not to be confused with a Bill of Materials.

Apprentice - A Crafts person in training, typically following a specifically defined technical training program while gaining hands on experience in a Craft Area to gain a specified number of hours experience.

Aquifer - An underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, silt or clay) from which groundwater can be extracted using a water well.

Area Maintenance - Method for organizing Maintenance Operations in which the first-line Maintenance Leader is responsible for all maintenance crafts within a certain department, area or location within the facility or facility complex.

Asset Care - Alternative term for the maintenance process. A kinder, gentler term but still pure maintenance and Physical Asset Management.

Assets - The physical resources of a business, such as plant equipment, Facilities, Building Systems, Fleets, or their parts and components; unlike in the accounting definition, in maintenance this is commonly taken to be any items of Physical Plant or equipment.

Asset List - A register of physical Assets (Equipment, Facilities, Building Systems, etc.) usually with information on manufacturer, vendor, Specifications, classification, costs, warranty, and tax status.

Asset Management - Systematic planning and control of a physical inventory value resource throughout its Economic Life; the systematic planning and control of a physical resource throughout its Life. This may include the specification, design, and construction of the asset, its operation, maintenance and Modification while in use, and its Disposal when no longer required.

Asset Number - Unique alpha/numerical Identification of an of an asset list, which is used for its management.

Asset Register - List of all the Assets in a particular workplace, together with information about those assets, such as manufacturer, vendor, make, model, Specifications etc.

Asset Utilization - Percentage of total time the equipment/asset is running.

Availability - The Probability an asset will, when used under specified conditions, operate satisfactorily and effectively. Also, the percentage of time or number of occurrences for which an asset will operate properly when called upon; the proportion of total time that an items of equipment is capable of performing its specified Functions, normally expressed as a percentage. It can be calculated by dividing the equipment Available Hours by the total number of hours in any given period.

Available Hours - Total number of hours that a piece of equipment is capable of performing its specified Functions. It is equal to the total hours in any given period, less the Downtime (DT) hours.

Average Life - How long, on average, a component will last before it suffers a Failure. Commonly measured by Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF).

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Backlog - Work Orders planned and prioritized, waiting scheduling and execution; Work which has not been completed by the "required by date". The period for which each work order is overdue is defined as the difference between the current date and the 'required by' date. All work for which no 'required by' date has been specified is generally included on the Backlog. Backlog is generally measured in "crew-weeks"; the total number of labor hours represented by the work on the Backlog, divided by the number of labor hours available to be worked in an average week by the work crew responsible for completing this work. As such, it is one of the common Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) used in maintenance.

Bar Code - Identification method using symbols for encoding data using lines of varying thickness, designation alphanumeric characters.

Barrel (BBL) - One stock tank barrel, of 42 U.S. gallons liquid volume, used in reference to crude oil, bitumen, condensate or natural gas liquids.

Barrel of Oil Equivalent (BOE) - An underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, silt or clay) from which groundwater can be extracted using a water well.

Basin - A large, natural depression on the earth's surface in which sediments, generally brought by water, accumulate.

Benchmarking - The process of comparing performance with other organizations, identifying comparatively high performance organizations, and learning what it is they do that allows them to achieve that high level of performance.

Benchmark Jobs - These are specific jobs analyzed by The ACE TEAM for a task listing, estimated time per task, tools required, skill levels, safety and permitting. Benchmark jobs are then developed onto spreadsheets (2-3 benchmark Jobs per time slot) for a specific craft area. Spreadsheets, in turn, are used by planners for slotting/estimating of job work content. Therefore from a relative small number of Benchmark Jobs, a large number of jobs can estimated and within 95% accuracy with the ACE times ranges.

Bill of Materials (BOM) - List of component and parts for an asset, usually structured in hierarchical layers from gross assemblies or major end items to minor items down to component parts; a list of all the parts.

Bitumen - Highly viscous form of crude oil (greater than 10,000 centipoise) resembling cold molasses (at room temperature). Bitumen must be heated or combined with lighter hydrocarbons for it to be produced. Contains sulfur, metals and other nonhydrocarbons in its natural form.

Borehole - A hole in the earth made by a drilling rig.

Breakdown - Failure to perform to a Functional Standard; a specific type of failure where an items of plant or equipment is unable to Function.

Breakdown Maintenance - A Maintenance Strategy or policy where no maintenance is done until an Item fails and no longer meets its Functional Standard; see No Scheduled Maintenance.

British Thermal Unit (BTU) - The heat required to raise the temperature of a one-pound mass of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

Built-in Test Equipment (BITE) - Diagnostic and Checkout devices integrated into equipment to assist operation, trouble shooting and service.

Business Vacation - A well-planned event that combines real business and/or training with a fun time either before or after the event. "Killing two birds with one stone" for fun and professional development at a place such as The Maintenance Excellence Institute International's oceanfront site: The Breakwaters on Oak Island in North Carolina.

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Calibrate - To verify the accuracy of equipment and assure performance within tolerance, usually by comparison to a reference standard that can be traced to a primary standard.

Call-Out - To summon a trades person to the workplace during their normal non-working time so they can perform a V activity (normally an Emergency Maintenance Task).

Capital - Durable items with long Life or high value that necessitates asset control and depreciation under tax guidelines, rather than being Expensed.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) - Process by which carbon dioxide emissions are captured and removed from the atmosphere and then stored, normally via injection into a secure underground geological formation

Carbon Dioxide Equivalents (CO2e) - The quantity that describes, for a given mixture and amount of greenhouse gas, the amount of CO2 that would have the same global warming potential (GWP) when measured over a specified time scale (generally 100 years).

Carbon Intensity - The quantity of greenhouse gas emissions associated with producing an intermediate or final product. For the oil and gas industry, carbon intensity is commonly expressed in units of Tonnes CO2e per product volume (e.g. Tonnes CO2e/bbl or Tonnes CO2e/MCF).

Carbon Sequestration - The fixation of atmospheric carbon dioxide in a carbon sink through biological or physical processes.

Carbon Sink - A reservoir that absorbs or takes up released carbon from another part of the carbon cycle. The four sinks, which are regions of the earth within which carbon behaves in a systematic manner, are the atmosphere, terrestrial biosphere (usually including freshwater systems), oceans and sediments (including fossil fuels).

Carrying Costs - Expense of handling, space, information, insurance, special conditions, obsolescence, personnel and the cost of capital or alternative use of funds to keep parts in Inventory. Also, called holding costs.

Casing - Thick walled steel pipe placed in wells to isolate formation fluids (such as fresh water) and to prevent borehole collapse.

Central Maintenance - Method for organizing maintenance operations in which the Maintenance Leader is responsible for all Craft Areas operating on call from a central location to support the entire operation.

Centum Cubic Feet (CFF) - One Hundred Cubic Feet; residential billing units are common in CCF. One cubic foot of natural gas contains about 1,000 BTUs; 1 - CCF contains about 100,000 BTUs. CCF is a volumetric measurement. Because the exact composition of the natural gas can be different, so can the BTUs it contains. One THERM is EXACTLY 100,000 BTUs of any fuel. Some gas companies therefore use the Therm as their unit of sale. Often the Therm and CCF are used interchangeably, but technically, they are not exactly the same thing unless the natural gas is pure methane.

Certified Project Manager - Now, more than ever, businesses around the world—large, small, and across virtually every industry—are seeking managers who can complete projects on time and on budget. Managers of all varieties will find that this graduate certificate provides valuable hands-on training that is immediately applicable to the workplace.

Change Out - The removal of a component or part and the replacement of it with a new or rebuilt one.

Chief Maintenance Officer (CMO) - The technical leader (or actual leader) of a profit-centered Maintenance operation within a large or small corporation or non-manufacturing organization. First coined, defined and promoted by staff from The Maintenance Excellence Institute International in the late 1990s, the CMO represents the prototype of the new millennium leader for maintenance and Physical Asset Management and the maintenance process as a true profit center.

Checkout - The determination of the working condition of a system.

City Gas Stations - City Gate Stations mark the point where natural gas leaves the transmission system and enters the DISTRIBUTION System. City Gate Stations have equipment that reduces the pressure of the gas, meter/measure it, add odorant and may include heaters to heat the gas if the pressure drop is large enough to cause it to drop below 32F.

Clean - To remove all sources of dirt, debris, and contamination for the purpose of Inspection and to avoid chronic losses.

CMMS Benchmarking System - A methodology developed by staff from The Maintenance Excellence Institute International to evaluate the effectiveness of a CMMS/EAM installation. A process for evaluating CMMS/EAM implementation progress and full utilization of system functionality to enhance best practices.

Coal Bed Methane (CBM) - Natural gas extracted from coal beds.

Code - Symbolic designation used for Identification, e.g. Failure Code, repair code, commodity code.

Commodity Code - Classifications of parts by group and class according to their material content or type of consolidation of procurement, storage, and use.

Completion - The process of making a well ready to produce natural gas or oil. Completion involves installing permanent equipment, such as a wellhead, and often includes hydraulic fracturing.

Component - A constituent part of an asset, usually modular and replaceable, that may be serialized and Interchangeable; a subassembly of an asset, usually removable in one piece and interchangeable with other, standard component (e.g. Truck engine).

Component Number - Designation, usually structured by system, group, or serial number.

Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) - The average year-over-year growth rate of a metric over a specific period of time.

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) - Natural gas that is compressed into storage cylinders for use in transportation fuel in buses, trucks, cars and forklifts. CNG is NOT the same as liquid propane gas that is typically contained in cylinders.

Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) - Integrated computer system modules such as Work Orders, equipment, Inventory, purchasing, planning and Preventive Maintenance that support overall maintenance management.

Condensate - Mixture of hydrocarbons which are in a gaseous state under reservoir conditions and, when produced, become a liquid as the temperature and pressure is reduced.

Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) - Maintenance based on the measured condition of an asset. Testing and/or Inspection of characteristics that will warn of pending Failure and performance of maintenance after the warning threshold but before total Failure. Predictive maintenance technologies such as vibration analysis, thermography/infrared, On-Condition Maintenance and Predictive Maintenance can be used interchangeably.

Condition Monitoring - Use of specialist equipment to measure the condition of equipment; i.e. Vibration Analysis, Oil Analysis.

Conditional Probability - Conditional Probability is the probability of some event A, given the occurrence of some other event B. Conditional probability is written P(A|B), and is read "the probability of A, given B".

Conditional Probability of Failure - Probability an item will fail during a particular age interval, given it survives to enter that age.

Confidence - Degree of certainty something will happen. For example, a low Confidence of Replenishment means repair parts probably will not be readily available and is one reason maintenance personnel retain excess parts in uncontrolled areas.

Configuration - Arrangement and contour of the physical and functional characteristics of systems, equipment, and related items of hardware or software; the shape of a thing at a given time. The specific parts used to construct a machine.

Consumables - Supplies such as fuel, lubricants, paper, printer ribbons, cleaning materials, and forms that are exhausted during use in operation and Maintenance.

Contingency - Alternate actions that can be taken if the main actions do not work.

Continuous Monitoring - Solutions which help to reduce recurring manual compliance effort, chiefly through replacing manual controls with automated ones. Compliance and cost reduction aside, these solutions can also increase assurance of financial integrity.

Continuous Reliability Improvement (CRI) - A process developed and used by staff from The Maintenance Excellence Institute International that goes beyond current reliability-centered maintenance (RCM) approaches to outline a continuous, integrated process for improving total reliability of the following resources:

  • Equipment/Facility Resources (Asset Care/Management and Maximum Uptime via RCM Techniques)
  • Craft and Operator Resources(Recognizing the most important resource: Crafts People and Equipment/Process Operators)
  • Maintenance Repair Operations (MRO) Resources (Establishing Effective Materials Management Processes)
  • Maintenance Information Resources(Effective Information Technology Applications for Maintenance)
  • Maintenance Technical Knowledge/Craft Skills Base(Closing the Technical Knowledge Resource Gap)
  • Synergistic Team Processes(Topping the Value-Added Resource of Effective Leadership-Driven Teams to Support Total Operations Success)

Contract Acceptance Sheet - A document completed by the appropriate contract supervisor and contractor to indicate job completion and acceptance. It also forms part of the appraisal of the contractor's performance.

Contracted Maintenance - Outsourcing your maintenance organizations functions to an established contractor, i.e. HVAC, plumbing, electrical contracting companies, etc.

Conventional Resources - Discrete accumulations of hydrocarbons contained in rocks with relatively high matrix permeability, which normally have relatively high recovery factors.

Coordination - Daily adjustment of maintenance activities to achieve the best short-term use of resources or to accommodate changes in needs for service.

Corrective Maintenance (CM) - Unscheduled Maintenance or repair actions, performed as a result of Failures or deficiencies, to restore items to a specific condition. Maintenance done to bring an asset back to its standard functional performance. Any maintenance activity which is required to correct a failure that has occurred or is in the process of occurring. This activity may consist of repair, restoration or replacement of component.

Craft Availability - Percentage of time craft labor is free to perform productive work during a scheduled working period.

Craft Areas - Areas of craft skills and specialty; mechanical, electrical, electronics etc.

Craft Leader - Subject matter experts (SME) new leaders and technician specialists.

Craft Labor Productivity - The OCE factor focuses upon Craft Labor Productivity and measuring/improving the value added contribution that people Assets make. OEE is about measuring asset productivity. Just like OEE, there are three elements to the OCE Factor:

  1. Effectiveness factor: Craft Utilization (CU) for OCE and …Asset Availability for OEE
  2. Efficiency factor: Craft Performance (CP) for OCE and …Asset performance for OEE
  3. Quality factor: Craft Service Quality (CSQ) for OCE and … Quality of Asset output for OEE

Craft Performance (CP) - Another element affecting Overall Craft Effectiveness is Craft Performance (CP). This element relates to how efficient we are in actually doing hands-on craft work when compared to an established planned time or performance standard. Craft Performance (CP) is expressed as the ratio of: total planned time divided by total actual hours required. Craft Performance (CP) is directly related to the level of individual craft skills and overall trades experience as well as the personal motivation and effort of each Crafts Person or crew. Effective craft skills training and technical development contribute to a high level of Craft Performance (CP).

Craft Service Quality (CSQ) - Another element affecting Overall Craft Effectiveness relates to the relative quality of the repair work. This element includes quality of the actual work, where certain jobs possibly require a call back to the initial repair thus requiring another trip to fix it right the second time. However, Craft Service Quality (CSQ) can be negatively impacted within a plant or facility complex due to no fault of the Crafts Person when hasty repairs, patch jobs or inferior repair parts/materials create the need for a call back.

Craft Skills Development - Each maintenance person needs to keep up-to-date with their industry and to develop their personal skills in their chosen area of expertise. If you are an electrician, you need to know the latest standards being used in the electrical industry so you can apply them to your job in the Maintenance Department. The same rule applies to all maintenance professionals and the only way to stay current is to participate in and learn from a Craft Skills Development program.

Craft Utilization (CU) - The percentage of time craft labor is engaged in productive work, hands-on during a scheduled working period. The actual wrench time as compared to total time paid. CU is one of the three key elements of Overall Craft Effectiveness (OCE). The other two elements of OCE are Craft Performance (CP) and Craft Services Quality (CSQ).OCE relates to measuring how effective we are in planning and scheduling craft resources so that these Assets are doing value-added, productive work (wrench time). Effective planning/scheduling within a proactive Maintenance process is one important key to increased wrench time and Craft Utilization (CU). It is also about having an effective storeroom with the right part, at the right place in time to do scheduled work with minimal non-productive time on the part of the crafts person or crew assigned to the job.

Craft Wrench Time - See Craft Utilization.

Crafts Person - Alternative to trades person. A skilled Maintenance worker who has typically been formally trained through an apprenticeship program.

Critical - Describes items especially important to product performance and more vital to operation than non-critical items.

Critical Asset Condition Assessment - Assessment of the status, either up or down, working or not working, of a critical piece of production or support equipment or asset.

Critical Asset Performance Facilitation - Provide audit of critical equipment and work cells to facilitate maximum capacity/throughput and continuous reliability improvement for critical, mission-essential assets. Develop a model "Quality Operations and Maintenance Guide" for the asset that provides complete operating and maintenance guidelines, procedures and asset documentation in multimedia format including digital video.

Critical Equipment - Items especially important to performance, capacity and throughput and more vital to the operation than non-critical items.

Criticality - The priority rank of a Failure Mode based on some assessment criteria.

Critical Path Method (CPM) - A logical method of planning and control that analyzes events, the time required, and the interactions of the considered activities.

Critical Spare - Parts and materials that are not used often enough to meet detailed stock accounting criteria but are stocked as "Insurance Items" because of their necessity or the Lead Time involved in procuring replacements; similar to safety stocks, except on low-use parts.

Crossdocking - Term for the functional capability of an Inventory management module to track high priority inbound orders into receiving, to initiate immediate delivery and to receive/process issue transactions with minimal manual effort. Crossdocking provides quick turnaround at receiving without putting items into storage locations and then having to pick for issue later.

Cycle Count - An Inventory Accountability Strategy where counting and verification of stock item quantities is done continuously based on a predetermined schedule and Frequency based on the ABC classification of the item. As opposed to an annual physical Inventory. Cycle Counting allows for continuous counting and reconciliation of inventory discrepancies.

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Dead Stocks - Items for which no demand has occurred over a specific period of time.

Defect - Condition that causes deviation from design or expected performance. A term typically used in the maintenance of mobile equipment. A Defect is typically a potential Failure or other condition that will require maintenance attention at some time in the future, but which is not currently preventing the equipment from fulfilling its Functions.

Deferred Maintenance - Maintenance that can be or has been postponed from a schedule.

DELPHI Technique - The Delphi Method is a systematic, interactive forecasting method which relies on a panel of independent experts. The carefully selected experts answer questionnaires in two or more rounds. After each round, a facilitator provides an anonymous summary of the experts' forecasts from the previous round as well as the reasons they provided for their judgments. Thus, participants are encouraged to revise their earlier answers in light of the replies of other members of the group. It is believed that during this process the range of the answers will decrease and the group will converge towards the "correct" answer. Finally, the process is stopped after a pre-defined stop criterion (e.g. number of rounds, achievement of consensus, stability of results) and the mean or median scores of the final rounds determine the results.

Demand - Requests and orders for an item. Demand become Issues only when a requested part is given from stock.

Deterioration Rate - Rate at which an item approaches a departure from its Functional Standard.

Developed Acreage - Number of acres allocated or assignable to productive wells or wells capable of production.

Developed Reserves - Reserves that can be expected to be recovered through existing wells with existing equipment and operating methods or in which the cost of the required equipment is relatively minor compared to the cost of a new well. And, if extraction is by means other than a well, through installed equipment and infrastructure operational at the time of the reserves estimate.

Development Well - A well drilled within the proved area of an oil or gas reservoir to the depth of a stratigraphic horizon known to be productive.

Direct Costs - Any Expenses that can be associated with a specific product, operation or service.

Directional Drilling - The application of special tools and techniques to drill a wellbore at a predetermined angle. Horizontal drilling is a form of directional drilling where the wellbore is ultimately drilled at +/- 90 degrees to the vertical direction.

Discard Task - The removal and Disposal of items or parts.

Disposal - The act of getting rid of excess or surplus property under proper authorization. Such processes as transfer, donation, sale, abandonment, destruction, or recycling may accomplish Disposal.

Distribution Line - System of low-pressure pipes used to move gas to customers within a service area.

Distribution System - The Distribution System moves the natural gas from City Gate Stations to the users. Distribution Systems typically operate in the 2 - 60 psi range for residential areas, often higher in industrial areas. The operating pressure depends on how old the system is, what it is made of (i.e.: cast iron, steel, plastic), what load it needs to serve, and how far it is from the City Gate Station.

Down - Out-of-service, usually due to Breakdown, unsatisfactory condition, or production scheduling.

Downtime (DT) - The time an item of equipment is out-of-service, because of equipment Failure. The time an item of equipment is available, but not utilized, is generally not included in the calculation of downtime.

Drilling Rig - The machine used to drill a wellbore.

Dry Gas - Dry gas is almost pure methane and occurs in the absence of liquid hydrocarbons or by processing natural gas to remove liquid hydrocarbons and impurities.

Dry Hole - A well incapable of economically producing saleable hydrocarbons in sufficient quantities to justify commercial exploitation.