In 1980 a young maintenance professional left Exxon Company USA, the largest company in the World at the time, and went to work for an unknown company, Alumax, Mt Holly. He was tested for four weeks at night in order to see if his knowledge and skill met the minimum requirement to work for a company whose name was unknown however they were paying a significant more money than Exxon. He was the first person to quit Exxon Company in 25 years at the site he came from. No one ever left Exxon as the old folks said.  He made acceptable grades on the entire test series and was told to report to work at the newest aluminum smelter in the world. Little did he know his life was about to change forever and shape his future life for thereafter.

This young man along with many others arrived for their orientation and who did they meet, Mr John Day, Engineering and Maintenance Manager for this site. John waited patiently as everyone set down and then made a statement that was cemented in everyone’s minds on that beautiful day. John welcomed everyone and with a stern face told the group his expectations of everyone, John said, “While you are working for at Alumax you are expected to have discipline to follow our Maintenance Process however I may not be to measure your discipline to this process however I can measure compliance to it.”

I was that maintenance mechanic and valued that experience so much. It shaped the way I would ever see the world of maintenance and reliability.

Ricky Smith – This was me and this was my story

Please tell us your story no matter how long or short.



One Response to What is World Class Maintenance? Has Anyone Experienced it?

  1. Andrewbarrow says:


    Im regularly baffled by those who set themselves the target to be world class in particular areas. I’m all for setting achievable goals that you proactively monitor and those that allow you to reset your course when required but I often hit a hurdle when others set the so called world class targets because in my industry (coal) I haven’t been able to identify who those bench mark leaders are.

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