A handy tool for a high-performance technical service

A technical service at a company is a quite complex organisation with high requirements being set. A high-performance organisation must be put in place to achieve the set objective. Aspects include setting up processes (who does what, when and how), structures (software, tools, warehouses, workshops, etc.), data management (info, logging, analyses, knowledge, etc.) and personnel management (competences, instructions, roles and responsibilities, etc.).


All this together results in a complex structure with the architect needed at hand. To realise the architecture of such a technical service MENTHOR has developed its own model presented as a metaphoric ‘Planetary Gear Wheel System’. This model represents the building of a technical service, together with its dynamic operation and the mutual influences.


The MENTHOR model is made up as follows:

The central ‘Sun Gear’ around which everything turns


The foundations for an ‘Organisation’ are usually in place when establishing a company. But to further develop this organisation one must focus on the following blocks:

CCC strategy
Connectivity, Collaboration, Co-Creation

Roles and Responsibilities
Tasks and Roles (RASCI), job descriptions, etc.

Organisation chart, Budget Control (OPEX/CAPEX), Team Strategy, Document Management, etc.

Vision and Mission, Objectives, Communication Plan, KPIs, Business Process, etc.

First ‘Planetary Gear wheel’

Processes and Formats

First ‘Planetary Gear wheel’

Processes and Formats

To now have the basic organisation run, numerous tools and processes are required that are established in procedures. In this phase the whole PDCA pathway is developed for ‘Work-Order-Completion’. Structured output is supplied in this phase. The processes that must be set up are:

  • Implementation of the CMMS system
  • Setting up the Maintenance Programme (PM)
  • Setting up Criticality Ranking
  • Development of Bill of Material (BOM) for critical machines
  • Development of Overhaul Sets for critical tasks
  • Development of Material Management
  • Work Order initiation and priority setting
  • Work preparation
  • Planning
  • Work Order execution
  • Work Order monitoring
  • KPIs and reporting
Second ‘Planetary Gear Wheel’

Proactive tools

All these prior stages take place with the purpose of processing the planned orders in an organised manner. Some of them are required by law, others are recommended by the manufacturer (irrespective of the application), and yet others result from understanding and experience. Unfortunately there are also ‘machine failures’ that usually occur unexpectedly. Such failures are not only fatal for our machine availability, they usually also result in higher repair costs and production losses. To avoid such disruptive situations a ‘Proactive Programme’ can be set up with the purpose of getting to the bottom of the ‘functional failure mechanisms’. An inspection plan can then be created based on the failure mechanisms to predict any failures. The processes needed for this are:

  • Setting up FMECA and RBI analyses (studies)
  • Creation of an Equipment History database
  • Development of a Competence Matrix for carrying out PdM tasks
  • Setting up a PdM Programme from the FMECA and RBI analyses
  • Setting up a Technical Database as support with PdM
  • Setting up Contractor Management when contracting out PdM
  • Engineering and Project Integration
  • Conducting optimisation (Work Shop Culture, 5S, SMED, etc.)
Third ‘Planetary Gear Wheel’

Operation Excellence

When a large part of the above structures, processes and tools have been put in place follows the logical question: Can we make this organisation leaner and evolve to become an Operation Excellence Organisation? We must therefore go in search of the eight types of losses that teach us the Lean Technique. We then try to minimise in a sustainable manner. The points for attention with these processes are:

  • Setting up and organising Audits with Gap Management
  • Make your organisation Flexible for change
  • Standardisation of equipment, tools, processes, methods, etc.
  • Implementation of Ownership throughout the whole organisation
The external ‘Crown Wheel’ to generate the output

Output Control

The ‘Crown Wheel’ of the planetary gearing system provides the output. Output is what is supplied to the internal customers (production, safety, quality, etc.) and the extent to which the corporate strategies (budgetary, compliance, welfare, risks, etc.) are complied with. To now deliver output from the organisation one must at least have the ‘Processes/Formats’ planetary gear in operation. The other two planetary gears (Proactive Tools and Operational Excellence) will make sure that the output is more stable and efficient. With the three planetary gear wheels in operation one can absorb many shocks and guarantee a constant output.

To keep the output under control we will particularly have to ‘measure’ and gauge the results against our set ‘Models’.

The processes that must be set up are:

  • RAMS Model (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, Security)
  • RCA Strategy (Root Cause Analyses)
  • LCC Model (Life Cycle Costs)
  • RCM-RBI, etc. Models (Reliability Centered Maintenance, Risk-Based Inspections, etc.)
  • Supplier Reliability Strategy
  • Development of reports for the Output KPIs
The ‘Planetary Carrying Wheel’ that can control output

Output Synchronisation

However well we try to organise ourselves, there will always be external factors that compel us to adapt the organisation in place. Only those who realise this and organise accordingly will develop a sustainable organisation. Those who stay tied to the current organisation will increasingly see output varying from the expected output. The gap then originating becomes constantly bigger and in due course becomes impossible to bridge.

Running the ‘Planetary Carrying Wheel’ can adjust the output without changing the basic organisation ‘Sun Gear’. The output can be adapted both in the positive (running with the output) and negative sense (running against the output). One must for example make a positive adjustment if more production output must be achieved. In a negative sense one may make an adjustment if for example a lower budget is available.

In other words, using the ‘Processes and Formats’, ‘Proactive Tools’ and ‘Operation Excellence’ planetary gears flexibly allows one to influence the output of the technical organisation.

The required output of the technical organisation is not one single value. There are a great many value drivers which can (must) be used for adjustment. Value drivers can be ‘machine availability’, ‘costs’, ‘risks’, ‘safety’, ‘welfare’, ‘quality’, ‘compliance’, ‘flexibility’, ‘Image’, ‘growth’, etc. Unfortunately the different value drivers do not always work in the same direction. Each adaptation will create a number of undesired side-effects. So proceeding with caution is a must.

MENTHOR has set up a model which includes the ties between the different value drivers and the individual organisation tools, programmes, strategies, etc. Their individual influence on the other value drivers (positive/negative) are also included here. This MENTHOR model is a very handy analysis tool to:

  • verify corporate strategies for their effects
  • determine the critical path of the items which must be worked on
  • determine a sequence for the items which must be worked on, starting with the quick wins
  • make assessments of the operation of the technical organisation
  • synchronise with the strategies of other departments and external partners
  • etc.