August 12, 2009 | Ken Reed

Root Cause Analysis Tip: Equipment Troubleshooting Plan

So you’ve been plagued with a recurring equipment problem, and you’ve decided to use Equifactor® to help you narrow down the possible causes of the failure.You’ve worked your way through the list of Possible Causes, and you’re ready to start troubleshooting.  How do you transform this list into a valid, usable troubleshooting plan for your repair team?

First, you should already have the started an investigation in the TapRooT® Software.  You’ve drawn a Spring SnapCharT® to understand what actually happened, then used the Equifactor® tool in the software to select your Possible Causes.  Your list may look something like this:

Once you have this list, you want to get it out to your troubleshooters.  How do you do this?  First, you can export your list of options into a report directly from the TapRooT® software.  Your report might be similar to this:

This gives you a nice list of possible problems that your experienced troubleshooting team can now take to the field and start narrowing down the problems. 

You might also want to modify your list, giving your team a structured troubleshooting plan, prioritizing the list to take into account ease of component access, cost of replacement parts, order of dis-assembly, etc.  Your team can now ensure they are recording the measurements you need, looking for specific symptoms, and retaining the disposable hardware you might need to make a final evaluation of the physical cause of the failure.

Want to learn more about using Equifactor® to give your troubleshooting team an edge?  I’ll be teaching a special Equifactor® 2-Day Pre-Summit course in Nashville, TN on October 5-6.  Then, stay for the rest of the TapRooT® Summit, and talk to Heinz Bloch about your specific problem.  Heinz will be there all day Thursday, giving talks and discussing best-in-class reliability tips to help your facility achieve success.  See the full Summit schedule at  I look forward to seeing you there!

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