Maintenance Matters
Australasian Maintenance Excellence Awards

The first New Zealand based recipient of the Australasian Maintenance Excellence Awards (AMEA) was presented by SIRF Roundtables, Industrial Maintenance Roundtable (IMRt) on 19 March 2012 at a gala presentation and networking evening at the Novotel Auckland Hotel, Ellerslie. The 2011 Australasian Maintenance Excellence Awards applicants were Vector Gas Ltd, Kapuni Gas Treatment Plant, New Zealand, and Orica Chlor Alkali, Laverton Plant Victoria, Australia.
The AMEA NZ Award was presented to Vector Gas KGTP by the AMEA Evaluator team leader, Mr John O’Brien from Brisbane, who was part of the four man independent evaluation team. The team members were also presented with a plaque in recognition for their effort and the professionalism displayed during the evaluation process. Evaluators are all drawn from professional roles in a variety of industrial sectors from both NZ and Australia, and give up their own time freely to participate in a training and accreditation process and then evaluate candidates using strict AMEA criteria.
The AMEA awards are challenging with its emphasis on excellence in maintenance practices, on the maturity of continuous improvement processes and on the demonstrated business benefits of maintenance excellence. Vector KGTP are to be congratulated for not only being the first ever New Zealand recipient of the Australasian Maintenance Excellence Awards but also because they were recognised at the Finalist Level. By their participation in the Awards, and by their achievements, they have demonstrated their commitment to the goal of maintenance and reliability excellence as a key driver for business competitiveness and, most importantly, for safe operations for both people and the environment. Achieving Finalist Level performance requires a total team effort including maintenance, engineering, production, supply and key contractors.
Vector KGTP was represented at the presentation evening on behalf of their team by David Thomas, Group GM, Gas Trading & Metering with an Award certificate. Guest presenter Ron Moore also recognised Vectors efforts obtaining an Award. Ron is an internationally recognised authority on Manufacturing Excellence and the strategies needed for achieving it. He spoke of the challenges faced in sustaining international competitiveness and the importance of maintenance excellence in achieving that goal.
SIRF IMRt is a nation-wide shared learning network for maintenance and reliability excellence comprising many of New Zealand’s and Australia’s most progressive manufacturing, processing and infra-structure companies. The Awards were initiated by SIRF Rt and were first presented in 1996. The AMEA Awards process provides a formal peer assessment and recognition process to support members (and other companies wishing to participate) in their drive for maintenance and reliability excellence. The Awards are structured in three levels, Achiever, Finalist and Premier, they support the continuous improvement aspirations of participants. Most organizations re-submit towards the next award category after they have made improvements identified by the evaluation team’s feedback. The process proves to be invaluable in identifying gaps and opportunities within their systems and the whole exercise provides great support and recognition for the efforts of those involved in continuously improving performance within the various departments on site.
Like the European Maintenance Competency Prize, the Australasian Maintenance Excellence Awards were modeled (with permission) on the DuPont USA Maintenance Excellence Recognition Process. Under the guidance of the SIRF Rt Excellence Awards Committee, the Australasian Awards were further developed to include the three achievement categories and a focus on continuous improvement and business benefit. The Awards process was also further enhanced by the inclusion of a structured evaluation methodology in line with that used by the Australian Quality Council (AQC).
SIRF Rt conducts evaluator training workshops and provides briefings to intending participants on the preparation of an Awards submission. Further support is provided in the form of extensive documentation including a resource booklet, a self-assessment booklet and criteria and application guidelines. SIRF Rt is keen for this practical and useful material to be available to anybody wishing to use it to help improve their maintenance and reliability practices. The documentation is therefore publicly available at www.sirfrt.com.au. The Awards program for 2012/13 is currently underway and those organisations wishing to participate, note that the closing date for application submissions is 30th June.
For more information please contact SIRF IMRt NZ on; glen.pepper@sirfrt.co.nz.
 

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