Karl Hoffower with Failure Prevention Associates

Industrial Talk is onsite at SMRP 31 and talking to Karl Hoffower, Executive Director at Failure Prevention Associations about “Skill Gaps Assessment“.  Here are some of the key takeaways from our conversation:

  • Industrial IoT security and asset management at SME's 31st annual conference. 0:00
    • Palo Alto Networks reports improved ROI and reduced complexity with industrial IoT security.
  • Failure prevention and skills gap in industries. 2:20
    • Dr. Karl Hoffower, co-founder of Failure Prevention Associates, discusses the importance of preventing medical device failures in healthcare.
    • Karl transitioned from medical diagnostics to industrial maintenance, forming Failure Prevention Associates to help clients reduce failures through optimizing people, process, and asset management.
  • Differentiating maintenance services through skill assessments. 6:00
    • Karl emphasizes the importance of standardized training and certification in the industry.
    • Assessment reveals maintenance skills gap due to lack of leadership, poor work order system, and blame culture.
  • Maintenance assessments and AI/IoT solutions for a shrinking workforce. 9:43
    • Karl assesses maintenance skills and creates a roadmap for improvement, highlighting areas where organizations are excelling or struggling.
    • Karl emphasizes the urgency of addressing the retirement of the baby boomer generation and the lack of skilled workers entering the workforce.
    • Karl highlights the importance of proactive and predictive maintenance in the face of a shrinking workforce and supply chain disruptions.
    • The speaker notes that AI and IoT can help address these challenges, but only if maintenance solutions are based on best practices and provide extra lead time for planning.
  • Skills gap analysis and failure prevention. 14:54
    • Scott MacKenzie welcomes listeners to the 31st annual conference of MRP, discussing the importance of skills gap analysis with Karl Hoffower of Failure Prevention Associates.
    • Carl emphasizes the need for skilled individuals to identify gaps and develop a plan to fill them, and Industrial Talk recommends Failure Prevention Associates for their expertise.

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Personal LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-karl-hoffower-dc-crl-28a28315/

Company LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/failure-prevention-associates-inc./

Company Website: https://failureprevention.com/





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Industrial Talk is brought to you by Palo Alto Networks now Industrial Talk has a direct link to a new report about Palo Alto Networks industrial IoT security. The new report analyses improved ROI and reduced complexity. The Palo Alto Networks industrial IoT Security provides customers significant savings and benefits in the following way. faster time to industrial IoT protection, reduce operational complexity, and reduced risk to the organization. Find out more how Palo Alto Networks industrial OT security helps you better manage, secure and protect your OT assets while providing safe access to the assets and services required to modernize your operations. Go out to Palo Alto Networks.com. download your copy today and begin lowering your risk and achieving your 351% ROI.


Welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's go


Alright, once again, welcome to industrial talk. And thank you very much for your continued support of a platform that is dedicated to industrial professionals all around you will bold, you are brave, you dare greatly you innovate. You collaborate, you solve problems each and every day you're making the world a better place. Thank you very much for what you do. And that's why we celebrate you on industrial talk. We are broadcasting from SMRP 31st annual conference here in Orlando. And if you are in the business of asset management, maintenance or reliability, or if you have any desire to be in that business, your first stop is SMRP. God or go out there, find out more get connected, and you'll be able to sort of connect with people like Karl Karl with a “K”. Let's get cracking. Karl, Dr. Karl, back in the house.


Happy to be here. Thanks for failure. Prevention associates. Yes, sir.


The longest URL known to man,


that's not completely correct. However, it's just failure. prevention.com


Did you get a really failure? prevention.com? Yeah, yeah, it took me a little bit. Yeah, it was just gonna say yeah, I was just gonna say that's, yeah. Which got it.


I did get it. Yes. Yeah, that was it's an ordeal. And I don't know who the powers would be to do that. But what I put in for it, and then lost battery power. My laptop, went back the next day, and it was already taken.


Snapdragon man, i


How could somebody know? I was so close, because it wasn't 224 hours before. So you know, there's some domain campers out there. And you know, I get to try to make a buck, but That's so dirty. Anyways, we got it.com Failure Prevention.com and come see us and learn all about the various services, trainings and tools that we embedded.


Oh, I'm sorry, let's for the new listeners out there that don't know Dr. Karl with K. Tell us a little bit about yourself. So


Dr. Karl Hof our co founder and Failure Prevention associates, I was the chief of hizmeti rehab for a medical group in Silicon Valley for the last eight of my 18 year careers as Dr. Ford certified in chiropractic, postgraduate in neurology went to actually get some special education and certification for operating an x ray. So that's why the medical group wanted me is because then I could do the X ray suite, or conducting lawsuit anyways, we did all that. Healthcare is a very unhealthy business in America. So I don't need to go into that. No,


we don't want to because we're here at SMRP. Exactly. But I


love to do that. Senator, it's crazy to think it's been 15 years since I left healthcare. So a couple more years, I'll be in reliability more than I was in healthcare. But the reason I made the jump to this was I saw a correlation between what we do is a blood draw, we well sample here and reliable. Instead of doing an EKG to look at heart waves, we do vibration signature, right. Instead of doing an x ray, we do thermal imaging to look at hotspots. So there's a lot of correlations that I noticed between what I did when I was running the department and doing diagnostics on humans to doing diagnostics on machinery. So that's how I made the transition. And I formed Failure Prevention associates almost 16 years ago, to be a resource to help sell tools that we vet it to make sure these are the proper tools that meet your needs and your budget. We would train you to use those tools so you get the results that the technology was supposed to give you. And then we found that people said listen, I don't have the manpower or but I do have the budget. Can you do it as service, use the tools and give us the deliverable results. So our purpose is to help our clients make decisions from a position of knowledge. That's our purpose. Our mission is to help industries reduce failures through optimizing the system of people, their process and their asset management.


Okay, let's just get right into it. We were gonna be talking about skills gap, right? Growing need. There's always a skill, but I want to ask the question and begs the question of how do you differentiate your services, your business your company from, from many others that have a similar mission? Sure. Well, outside of the fact that you're cool and I have been losing weight and I feel good about myself and I've been eating right that doesn't cut it.


Well, and I found out the foods that I was allergic to, and having inflammation to that helped a lot. Allergic to beef, broccoli, banana, tuna, Turkey tomatoes at the front. What life is the salmon, lamb, red fish, and chicken are the main protein sources. It's something that can have be relevant to go off this important. But anyways, that's helped me on my journey. I'm driving this ship. You are and you want to know I mean, I'm here to answer.


Nevermind. I was just gonna say that's a magic trick. What you just did.


Nevermind. Okay. So setting radio how you with the court? Yeah. How are we different? Yeah, well, differentiated all that? Well, here's the main thing is we care enough that we suck less than the other guys.


Trying something


that's a hell of a bumper sticker. It is. Yeah. Now it actually came from a documentary on the Navy SEALs, where they made them swim 20 miles offshore run with heavy rocket attacks through the hills and the Catalina islands and then do shooting long and short distance and they got like 70 to 75% of the shooting score. And the master team was like, you know, this evolution go a lot easier if you men just suck a little less.


But really seriously, how, how do you truly differentiate?


Well, like on steel gaps, our skill gap came about, we have a national standard that we follow, and my guys are certified Proctor's with NCCR, which is a long name for a standard that's very popular when you build codes to differentiate apprentice, journeyman and master in a different craft. So mechanic, they'll write electrician, instrumentation, pipe fitter, Boilermaker, crane rigger crane operator, those are the main core areas that we can do the skill gap assessments on, which encompasses a vast majority of what plants mines and mills need. So our standard, we're not just saying best practice, and it's arbitrary. It's based on a national standard. And when we do our assessments, we're comparing them to where we're at. How do you do this? We're not showing them like this is how you should change parent we're saying, show us? How do you change? What parts did you use? What tools do you have? So a lot of people are getting into IoT and AI who certainly have solutions that we've added for that. But what we're finding is with the silver tsunami, right, gray here retirements and washing away skills, know how knowledge that the newer guys not that they're not smart, not that they don't want to do a good job, but they don't have a depth of understanding in the real world. So we do an assessment with their work orders, with their tools on their site on their machines. And we see how do they do their maintenance? How often are they getting break ins from operations saying, hey, I need you over here. And they're stopping the work that they were planning and go and do an emergency work order? How's that working? How is their bill of materials? Do you even have a bill of materials? How's the work corner is a detailed to tell them what tools you're going to need? Or is it just broke pump? Please fix pump? Right? So that helps you with the quality because there's an it's, it's amazing me how often maintenance gets blamed for things that has nothing to do with that. So in fact, there's a presentation I was a keynote on that I still give on the five things that affect reliability that have nothing to do with maintenance. So we'll go in and do a maintenance assessment of skills and we'll find it had nothing with maintenance guys are actually good. The work order system is off. There's constant harassment and break ins from operations. There's a lack of leadership to help these guys move in the right direction. Or there has been so much punishment on maintenance that they get blamed for everything procurement pot, yeah, you know, low quality parts. And it fails and they blame maintenance, but it was his decision. Yeah.


So what you you you create this sort of assessment of where they are and then a roadmap on, on


how those gaps Yeah, so we'll go through and do an assessment and what let's just say we did an assessment on the mill right? So we went into doing a mechanical assessment. So we have 90 core areas that we look at, and we add or subtract based on what you do. So, if you're a food processing company, you're gonna have different maintenance needs than someone who's mining, you know, hot ash. Right, we just did a two week assessment out in New Mexico. So depending on what your industry is, we'll decide with you which skills we really do look at besides the 19 core areas, and then we do that assessment. And each person has in all, let's say, was 23 areas we assessed, there is an assessment from one to 10, on where they are in their skill level, right? 10 being the highest a master, anything below six is an apprentice, or lower. And then we say, okay, so this guy needs help in these seven areas, these are the specific things that they need to be trained on. So then your training department can take that go, Okay, I've got five guys who need assessment or training in this skill, I can bring in this person, I can bring in this OEM to help us or this repair shop to help us understand that, or we can use Failure Prevention. We're there to be a resource to do the trainings. But we don't have to be you are having a tactical individual program for every single How do you


do? Do you have this conversation with your executives, like the executives of these organizations and saying, Hey, we just we want to elevate the quality of your, you know, valuable resources, the people


that mean, that's a fair statement. But usually what we say is how well are you executing with maintenance? Are you seeing your first time fixed rates at the same level? Are they better than they used to be? Or are they worse, like you're having more breakdowns, and often it's, it's worse. So it's very real to people that the baby boom, Boomer generation is retiring. 10s of 1000s are leaving the workforce every day, and we're not able to replace them and know who we're able to replace them with. Have not had the depth of skills from junior high and high school working in vocational areas are just what you used to do with your dad. You know, I mean, I just had to change parts of my dad. My kids know how to jump a car batter. Yeah, right. How many kids? How many people right now who are listening? Could you ask your children? You had jumper cables? Go, go jump that car back. Yeah. Right. Did they know positive or negative?


Don't Don't cross it. You'll learn fast.


Don't like the terminals? Yeah. You'll learn fast. So there's so there's, there's a known gap. So where we usually ask them is how well are your maintenance people doing it executed job? And what? Usually it's an opinion, let's say, well, we'll give you a fair understanding what it is. And several times we've had it where your maintenance people are actually really good. It's the leadership and the understanding where operations gets to impinge upon maintenance jobs. And that's where we saw departure. Now, other places, you know, we just finished last month via that assessment of two different plants in one plant is fantastic. And the other plant is abysmal. But it's because of the leadership. Yeah. And so we call them as we see them, we give them the assessment like this, what's going on, however, here's the cure. Here's your roadmap that we would recommend. And this, we're following these best practices, like the five pillars of maintenance, and it's MRP evangelizers.


What do you see going? What's your next?


We see continue. Now one of the things I see is, is where AI and IoT could help as we're having a shrinking workforce. And we're no Yeah, right. Yeah. So because of that, you're gonna have to make decisions on what to work on now. Versus before you had the great luxury that you did, they had more time. The post COVID logistics on spare parts is a real issue that I never foresaw no q&a last, oh, it's people all the time. They can't get spare parts. So I mean, Communist China is having a huge recession that they're not really talking about, but it's getting out not a surprise. Yeah, exactly. So because there was an over reliance on Chinese manufacturing. And we saw the consequences of that with COVID. And they're having their own problems. So they're plus just the shipping coming over here, you know, we had those huge backlogs of import. And while that's improved, there's still an issue of getting stuff unboxed. And and delivered to the distribution houses. So we see that there's even more need for proactive and predictive, not because you're just trying to get ahead of failures, but you need that knowledge and extra lead time to plan now but if your solution is we're just gonna throw guys had it and they're not using it best practice. That means you may have to revisit that failure again and again. And that's where always where the money is on downtime, the unplanned downtime.


As you can see, people are


right, everything's breaking, breaking down.


You came late.


You had a lot of slides? Oh, no, no, no, no, no.


You came late as in your booth and everything. You weren't here for the kickoff


and kickoff. Yeah, yeah, that was an issue. We were told that we needed to be here Tuesday, so


that's fine. So


I'm taking responsibility next time to be more proactive, that's for sure. I'm not trying to share it through.


Somebody get a hold


of somebody says, hey, I want to know more about you go to


failure. prevention.com. All right, you can find me on LinkedIn, there's only 1k Karl. So Karl Hofeller, on LinkedIn, or feel free to email me at Karl H and tell your potential company,


but we're gonna have all the contact information for Dr. Karl out on industrial talk. If you haven't listened to his past conversations, well, you should. So just go to industrial talk type in Karl half hour, you'll find his all of his conversations on this particular platform.


We love it. Appreciate you, Scott,


you did a great job. And there goes the lights. Lights out. Great. All right, we're


broadcasting from SMRP, the 31st annual conference here in Orlando, and it has been a great conference we have all of the vendors are packing up as we speak, it's real time, go out to SMRP.org Find out more be a part of the solution, you will not be disappointed. So thank you very much for joining. We will be right back.


You're listening to the industrial talk Podcast Network.


Again, never a bad conversation with Karl. That's MRP was the event. Put that on your calendar. Failure Prevention Associates is the company we're talking we were talking about skills gap analysis, it is a must. We got to do it. You got to see where things are at. And you need you need skilled individuals to be able to take you on that journey to be able to identify those gaps and then develop a path a a program around filling those gaps. Failure Prevention associates highly recommended a five hard hat recommendation coming from industrial talk. All right, go out to industrial talk, industrial talk has. We have an education system. We have webcast, we have podcasts. Education is the name of the game, educate, collaborate, and innovate is the name of the game and that's what industrial talk is dedicated to you. People will be brave daring, greatly hanging out with Karl sociate and you'll change the world. We're gonna have another great conversation shortly.

Industrial Talk is onsite at SMRP 31 and talking to Karl Hoffower, Executive Director at Failure Prevention Associations about "Skill Gaps Assessment".
Scott MacKenzie

About the author, Scott

I am Scott MacKenzie, husband, father, and passionate industry educator. From humble beginnings as a lathing contractor and certified journeyman/lineman to an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, I have applied every aspect of my education and training to lead and influence. I believe in serving and adding value wherever I am called.

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