September 9th, 2021 | Updated on March 16th, 2022
Troubleshooting for maintenance can be both an art form and a science. While art is beautiful, it’s not known for its effectiveness. If you take troubleshooting to the next level, it can be a scientific endeavor.
This allows technicians to quickly find the correct solutions and problems. If you do your troubleshooting in the right way, your entire maintenance operation will overcome backlogs, production losses, and compliance issues more efficiently.
Let’s look at what is troubleshooting, its basics and why maintenance professionals need to know about it, and how you can help your team improve their approach.
What Is Troubleshooting?
Troubleshooting refers to a systematic approach for problem-solving, especially when it comes to sudden equipment failures or software bugs. It involves many techniques to diagnose equipment or system failures and then implement corrective actions.
This term is used in engineering, technology, as well as the process industry. It is used in information technology (IT) to fix hardware or software problems.
It is not just about fixing a problem but also ensuring product longevity, costs are lower and preventing any safety hazards from product usage.
Troubleshooting Maintenance Problems
These are just a few of the ways your organization can improve its troubleshooting skills to conquer chaos and take charge of its maintenance.
Ensure You Quantify the Asset Performance and Know How to Use the Results.
This is obvious, but knowing more about an asset will help you diagnose problems faster. You can recognize problems when you have worked with an asset for years.
However, exceptional troubleshooting doesn’t mean that you have to know each machine’s sounds, speeds, and odours. Advanced reporting is key to understanding asset performance.
Root Cause Analysis and Failure Codes Are Essential.
Troubleshooting maintenance effectively starts with eliminating ambiguity and finding short-term solutions. It is possible to identify the root cause of an issue quickly, solve it efficiently and ensure it remains solved. This is the winning formula. This goal can be achieved with the help of root cause analysis and failure codes.
Root cause analysis can be used to identify the root cause of a failure. This method involves asking the “why” question until you reach the root cause of the problem.
Failure codes are a consistent way to explain why an asset has failed. This is a process that records crucial elements of a failure according to predefined categories like corrosion or misalignment.
Three actions are required to create failure codes: List all possible problems, possible causes, and solutions.
Failure codes can be useful when troubleshooting maintenance because technicians can quickly see standard failure codes and determine the best solution. A failure code can be used to identify a problem that is common among assets and help determine a long-term solution.
Make In-Depth Asset Histories.
Information is the fuel for exceptional maintenance troubleshooting. It is possible to begin a repair by knowing how an asset worked for others. Manuals can be a valuable tool for troubleshooting.
Each asset, facility, and operation is unique, so asset failures don’t always follow a script. You can quickly find a solution by taking detailed notes about the asset’s history.
An asset history is a valuable tool for troubleshooting in many ways. This allows you to cross-reference symptoms with past issues. A technician might see if a particular type of material was being handled or if any warning signs were present for a past failure.
A past situation will be more likely to have the same solution than a current one. This allows for more efficient solutions, less downtime, and fewer spare parts.
Create Detailed Task Lists.
Solid planning and foresight are essential to exceptional troubleshooting. Technicians can use transparent processes to help them quickly spot problems and find more efficient solutions. You can boost your planning and avoid any headaches by creating detailed task lists.
When troubleshooting maintenance issues, it is crucial to have detailed task lists. These task lists are used to guide technicians in determining the best solution. A technician will make fewer mistakes if the task list is more detailed.
Troubleshooting Can Be Done with Maintenance Software.
It can seem like a lot to collect, organize, analyze, and distribute all the information necessary to troubleshoot effectively. This process can prove to be difficult for overwhelmed maintenance teams without the right tools.
One tool that can ease the burden is maintenance software. A digital platform such as a CMMS can help you focus on making significant decisions and troubleshooting more efficiently.
Additional Information Should Be Made Available.
Sometimes great information is the key to successful troubleshooting. If that information is not easily accessible, it will be difficult for you to gain any benefit. It is therefore crucial that your company has an extensive resource center and makes it easily accessible.
This will increase your ability to troubleshoot and help you get your assets back online quicker when there is unexpected downtime.
Maintenance will always require troubleshooting. It is impossible to be 100% certain of the cause of failure 100 percent of the time.
You can take steps to improve the efficiency of your troubleshooting and ensure that equipment is repaired efficiently and quickly.