Should Industrial Reliability Be Considered a Patriotic Initiative?

The latter half of the 20th century saw the rise of globalization, characterized by increased international trade, communication, and cultural exchange. Advancements in technology and transportation broke down barriers between nations, leading to the expansion of multinational corporations and global supply chains.

Although globalization facilitated economic expansion and progress, it also prompted apprehensions regarding sovereignty and resilience. This is exemplified by the evolution of manufacturing in the United States: while it accounted for 27% of GDP in 1957, its share steadily declined, reaching 11% by 20221.

A country owning its manufacturing needs is crucial for economic stability, job creation, innovation, and national security. By producing goods domestically, a nation can reduce its vulnerability to global market fluctuations and geopolitical tensions, fostering confidence among businesses and investors. Moreover, domestic manufacturing generates employment opportunities, stimulates innovation, and enhances technological advancement, driving long-term economic growth.

Owning key industries also ensures strategic autonomy and a stable supply of essential goods, bolstering national security. Additionally, it preserves cultural identity by promoting locally made products and traditional craftsmanship.

Analysis by the McKinsey Global Institute suggests that restoring growth and competitiveness in key manufacturing industries could boost US GDP by more than 15 percent over the rest of the current decade, while adding up to 1.5 million jobs2 by locally bringing back production of apparel, pharmaceuticals, communication equipment, semiconductors + its components, textiles, medical devices, etc.

The 2020–2023 global chip shortage affected more than 169 industries…3

Industrial reliability: a part of the solution?

Patriotism often extends beyond mere expressions of national pride to encompass actions that contribute to the strength, resilience, and prosperity of a nation. As seen above, if empowering manufacturing organizations can bring such positive impact nation-wide, then making sure these organizations are reliable can be considered a patriotic initiative.

Far from being just a technical concern, maintenance and reliability practices play a crucial role in safeguarding a nation’s economic stability, security, and overall well-being:

  • Establishing pragmatic goals and organizational vision in consideration of political and economic circumstances.
  • Ensuring alignment between sales, marketing, operations, and maintenance to minimize constraints and mitigate losses, including scrap and rejects (with the goal of achieving a 0% scrap and reject rate).
  • Prioritizing reliability in the design of new assets
    • Revisiting fundamental requirements and favoring dependable, easily inspectable, maintainable, repairable, and replaceable components over complex electronics or non-repairable/recyclable parts.
    • Implementing comprehensive maintenance plans and standard operating procedures (SOPs) from the outset to minimize mean time to repair (MTTR) post-commissioning.
  • Strengthening the foundation of asset reliability through meticulous management:
    • Ensuring the computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) contains a detailed, accurate, and complete master equipment list.
    • Optimizing parts inventory for easy ordering, unique identification, and optimal stocking levels.
    • Ensuring bills of materials (BOMs) are accurate and comprehensive.
    • Regularly updating criticality rankings for assets.
    • Defining maintenance strategies based on asset criticality and failure modes to ensure timely and appropriate maintenance tasks are performed.
    • Maintaining cleanliness in the plant and ensuring proper lubrication of assets.
  • Enhancing craft skills and fostering accountability:
    • Training craftspeople in precision maintenance techniques to ensure proper installation, alignment, balance, and torque.
    • Empowering operators to participate in defect elimination efforts.
    • Implementing competency development plans for all trades.
  • Strategically deploying high-tech solutions, such as live-monitoring technologies, exclusively on the most critical assets.

These initiatives are focused on assets and processes and can typically be implemented within a few years. However, their successful execution relies on the commitment of industry leaders and their collaborators/providers.


Ensuring economic stability relies on prioritizing maintenance practices to guarantee the smooth operation of industrial machinery, minimizing costly downtime and disruptions while fostering investor confidence and sustaining steady industrial output. This maintenance not only safeguards national security interests by fortifying critical infrastructure but also promotes environmental sustainability through waste and emissions reduction. Additionally, it prioritizes public safety by adhering to rigorous safety standards and fosters technological innovation, positioning nations at the forefront of progress and driving economic growth and prosperity.

These keys elements embody the spirit of patriotism. As nations navigate the challenges of the 21st century, prioritizing maintenance and reliability is not just a matter of practicality—it’s a patriotic imperative that lays the foundation for a prosperous and resilient future.

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