How to Optimize Asset Failure Diagnosis

August 4, 2022

Do you adequately treat faults that occur in equipment? In your operation, how is this type of diagnosis done?

The truth is that in industrial operations inefficient maintenance strategies can occur, making equipment failures recurring events.

One of the consequences of this is a drop in yield and production quality that can be affected by anomalies or frequent downtime. 

To make an analogy, imagine a person with a fever.

Someone gives this person an antipyretic and thinks that this is enough, once the fever is down, however, in a few days, unfortunately, this person is hospitalized due to severe infection and resulting complications.

In this case, only the symptom was treated, but there was no investigation to actually diagnose what was the problem that caused the apparent damage.  

What about the health of your assets? What is the relationship?

Do you adequately handle failures that occur in equipment under your management?

Do the processes treat only the fever of the actives or do they make a diagnosis that aims to identify the cause of the fever and medicate them in a targeted way? 

Below there are some tips to assist in your approach.

Identify the source of the problem 

The risks of following up without a proper analysis of the source of the failure exposes the asset to a repetition of that failure.

Therefore, record the occurrence and then check the equipment’s inspection history, check the checklist or daily pre-use, check if any symptoms were being reported and if any anomalies had been noticed. 

This can be your starting point for investigation, if your maintenance department does not have the practice of performing checklists or pre-use, indicate the need for change.  

Talk to the operators, question them about the abnormalities and behaviors presented before the failure.

This investigation is interesting to understand the practices, as well as the degree of commitment and responsibility with which the operators use the equipment.

Take the opportunity to gather as much information as possible in the gemba (Japanese expression used to refer to the factory floor), analyzing the scenario presented.

Then, check the asset utilization procedures, reevaluate the maintenance plan, and if necessary propose changes as blocking actions.

Don’t act intuitively, don’t underestimate the details.  

Improve your diagnosis processes

Organize the information and data obtained in the previous process to get to the root of the problem. In this step, look for tools that can help you by facilitating the analysis of this data.

As an example, the 5 Whys methodology, which makes it possible to unfold the problem until the root cause is found.

Another very interesting tool is the Ishikawa Diagram, through which you can break down the factors that may have contributed to the occurrence of the failure.  

Once the failure has been observed, analyzed, and diagnosed, create an action plan that prevents the failure from reoccurring, and set a deadline to verify the effectiveness of the actions taken.

After the analysis is complete, share the results of this investigation with the team so that the problem does not recur. 

Learn how the DynaPredict Solution can help you improve your industry’s maintenance plan, contributing to early fault detection and avoiding unexpected production line shutdowns and accidents, following our purpose: “Safety for people. Reliability and predictability for assets.” 

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