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Steel Producer



Steel Producer


Integrated steel producer reopened a plant and experienced major equipment reliability issues.


  • Increase uptime for both furnaces by 2 to 3%.
  • Develop and install Systems for Managing in Operations and Maintenance.


  • Achieved 5 - 6% uptime increase, worth an estimated $20m.
  • Designed and installed Systems for Managing and re-implemented work order system.
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Case Study

Increase Maintenance Reliability


An integrated steel producer with operations in the U.S., Canada and Europe had shut down one of its plants in the U.S. because of unfavorable market conditions. When the market improved, the company reopened the plant bringing back 50% of the people upon startup. This resulted in a major experience and knowledge gap. The plant was experiencing major equipment breakdown issues and the Maintenance Department was not able to get ahead of ongoing equipment issues—everything was a fire-fight with little and/or no time for planning. The company hired a senior engineer to “fix” the Maintenance Department and enlisted The Highland Group to accelerate improvement.

Highland Approach

The Highland Group conducted a Discovery & Design analysis to determine the depth of the issues and define a roadmap for improvements. During this process, Highland determined that the Driver Goal could be achieved through improvements to the System For Managing—the process by which work is scheduled and completed— in combination with supervisory training.

Actions Taken

In order to implement sustainable process changes, model and coach new behaviors, and eliminate barriers to achieving success, the Highland team worked closely with the client’s internal team and employees.

Some of the improvements developed and implemented include:

  • Implemented a T-Minus Repair Turn System and Systems For Managing in Maintenance and Operations.
  • Kick-started the client’s Maintenance Work Order system.
  • Upgraded the client’s preventive and predictive maintenance process and system.
  • Trained the client in SMED.

Immediate improvements in Maintenance planning and scheduling, supervisory effectiveness, and leadership alignment quickly became the focus of this work effort. With effective execution, the benefits would quickly be realized in furnace uptime.

Increased overall uptime by


with an estimated value of $20m

Related Information

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