Machinery Failure Analysis and Troubleshooting with Heinz Bloch

The organizations often tend to ignore some simple things when they are mitigating a machinery failure. Some of the important things being; why did the failure occur? Who should be asked about it? What kind of measures can be taken so that it doesn t occur again? Most of the time, it is just changing parts without doing the proper analysis or troubleshooting for that matter. What you should be doing as a professional organization is, train your technicians about step by step problem solving by giving them test examples. The technicians should be able to contribute to the solutions and they should be encouraged to do so.

In this episode, we covered:

  • Why is communication is critical?
  • The value of continuing education!
  • Why do you need to include all departments?
  • And much more!

There should be procedures in place to carry out jobs against a job function. The work orders should be written and the people with prior experience should be consulted in the process. Every time there is a job function to be carried out, the person on the job should consult with the other relevant personnel who might have mitigated similar problems. There should be regular meetings to share knowledge and learn best practices. Open communication is critical to resolve problems and implement the solutions, the right way.

Once the engineers and technicians along with other relevant departments have identified the problem and made a repair, they should document it. In that way, they would have proof of analysis and record of results. When they are gathering samples, evidence, and results; it leads to data building and in the longer run, the organizations can trend that data to recall it when the time comes. Mechanical issues like bearing and seal failures can be mitigated and documented to use the information later on. The meetings should be about finding the root cause of the failures and distributing information rather than putting blames.

There should be some accountability in place and the plant manager should take input from everyone while making a decision. He is the one who should take the lead and make sure that measures are taken to pre-emptively solve the problems. Most of the times, there is no need of proper laboratory equipment to get to the cause of the failures. All you need is to train your technician and the personnel taking the samples from the field. Once the correct information has been passed on, they can just find the root cause on their own instead of waiting for a lab report that would have multiple reasons listed in there against a single failure.

It all starts from the shop floor and then the information is passed on to all the relevant departments. The technicians are the ones who know the details of the events and all it takes for them is to have a look at the machine, come up with a preliminary analysis, and then share their findings in the PMT meetings for a potential solution. Whatever you decide, the reliability leaders must be a part the process. There must be consistency and accountability in place with proper training for everyone involved.

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