Efficient Plant May 2020 - 29

predictive maintenance

Speed Up Machine
Failure Diagnosis
Bryan Christiansen
Limble CMMS

THE ABILITY to quickly identify causes of machine failure often
is the difference between a productive day with all targets met and a
day of wasted raw materials, labor, time, and lost revenue. Here are
five tips you can use to speed up machine-failure diagnosis.

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MAINTAIN ACCURATE EQUIPMENT HISTORY.
Every effective maintenance program is based on successfully
executing a pre-established maintenance plan. No plan can succeed
without accurate background information. When equipment malfunctions, performing an accurate failure diagnosis can be almost
impossible without reliable information about the history of that
machine. This applies to any asset but can be particularly useful in
the case of recurring failures. Of course several other factors play
a role in this process, but adequate records about an asset from
sources such as OEM manuals, technicians who have worked on it
in the past, and operator feedback will shorten the time it takes to
determine the cause of the failure.

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USE PREVENTIVE-MAINTENANCE CHECKLISTS.
We all know the main benefits of preventive maintenance. However,
what many don't realize is that preventive-maintenance checklists
can also facilitate equipment-failure diagnoses. The logic behind
this is simple. If everyone is performing the same routine maintenance actions, the number of reasons for machine failure becomes
limited. That results in less time that a technician has to spend
troubleshooting. Of course, this only works if all maintenance
technicians are actually following the steps outlined in your PM
checklists.

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USE OF MOBILE MAINTENANCE SOFTWARE.
These days, maintenance technicians can easily use a mobile device
to check equipment logs for a machine and receive additional
support from the rest of the team, if needed. This way, the diagnosis
can be performed on the spot (without searching for and pouring
through paper records), resulting in a faster repair process. Because

MAY 2020	

EP2005rmclimble.indd 29

These five tips will help you better predict, diagnose, and manage asset failures.

of this, and other advantages, mobile maintenance software has
become a valuable tool for building efficient maintenance workflows.

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IMPLEMENT CONDITION-BASED MONITORING.
Since quick failure diagnosis is a priority, it makes more sense to
leverage a system in which specific parameters (heat, vibration,
noise) are used to monitor the health of an asset by connecting it
to condition-monitoring sensors. Based on predetermined failure
modes, this setup triggers alerts that allow the maintenance team
to pinpoint the exact problem and take action. Condition-based
monitoring increases asset efficiency, eliminates failure-diagnosis
guesswork, and reduces downtime.

+	

ADOPT AUTONOMOUS MAINTENANCE.
Another way to speed up machine-failure diagnosis is to make
maintenance a team approach. An example of this is autonomous
maintenance in which machine operators are trained and then given
the additional role of carrying out basic maintenance on the assets
for which they are responsible. Due to their proximity to these
machines every day, operators often can quickly spot and report any
failure symptoms. EP

Bryan Christiansen is the founder and CEO of Limble CMMS, Lehi,
UT. Learn more about Limble CMMS software at limblecmms.com.

EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM |

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5/1/20 10:38 AM


http://www.limblecmms.com http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Efficient Plant May 2020

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