How to Apply Cause and Effect Analysis in a Processing Plant?

Cause and Effect Diagram (Fishbone Diagram) - Ishikawa > Forum Log in

How to Apply Cause and Effect Analysis in a Processing Plant?
sirelkhatim ibrahim nugud, Coach, Sudan

I work in a process plant. I'm always facing breakdowns of machinery or even small defects. People including myself tend to replace immediately the defective part, and restore the machine in service.
I know this is not as good as analyzing and finding the root cause. Can anybody advice a procedure with some simple steps to take suitable in this case? Thanks for your help.

Processing Plant Cause and Effect - Basic Questions
Craig Power, Other, United Kingdom
Hi, I know the following answer doesn't give you a procedure, but as a capital equipment buyer I suggest the following basic areas to review:
- Is the equipment specified for the required outputs or has the requirement changed over time?
- Are the production materials used consistent to a specification that you know the machine can utilise / give required outputs from?
- Are the production operators / or maintenance personnel making changes from day to day or shift to shift which effect the equipment performance? There should be a base setting that works. Often through time small 'tweaks' become big issues.
- Is a basic preventative maintenance routine followed and are breakdown data present and evaluated?
- Can the equipment supplier be of help in this area? Many users often (post purchase) neglect the expertise the machinery suppliers bring to the table - many suppliers have seen most of the equipment (or process) problems before. What seem complex issues in your organisation may be quite common to the supplier.

Do Variability Analysis and then Plot the Ishikawa Diagram
Respected Sir,
The best thing you can do is try doing a Variability Analysis. This a best practice technique for finding out the root cause. By performing a VA, you will find out the causes, say:
- Improper use of machine
- Heavy loads, or
- Improper maintenance, etc.
Now for each of the above you can find underlying reasons, like for improper maintenance it could be there's no preventive maintenance or improper oiling or the wrong lubricants etc.
Now analyze out of all the reasons which is the most frequent reason and what among the sub-reasons you plotted is causing it.
This is the root cause for your breakdown. This whole exercise should not take more than 3 months to complete and you will surely discover a concrete problem to which you can then seek a solution.

Temporarily you could focus on:
- Protective and Preventive Maintenance
- Establishing shifts as 8-4-8-4 which is a Japanese technique where after every 8 hour shift, 4 hrs are being spent on cleaning, oiling, lubricating, and maintenance.

Try Total Productive Mantainance
Maintainace always have a cost attached to it.
It is advisable to use Total Productive Mantainance (TPM), one of the best practical techniques for maintenance where the focus is on avoiding the errors or failures before they occur.
The best you can do is before stating the shifts carry out simple checks and machine performance.
Next is on th weekly off your maintenance could focus on the machine and do simple things like tightening nuts, bolts, checking springs, or oiling the necessary parts!
This will help you to avoid failures.


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