What is Root Cause Analysis (RCA)?
The definitions of popular maintenance terminology can be inconsistent at best. In simple terms, RCA consists of a series of steps to identify the root cause of a fault or problem. Steps include 1 – identifying a problem, 2 – establishing timeline and contributing factors for the problem, and 3 – establishing the primary factor(s) causing the problem.
How to Perform RCA and What is the Outcome?
A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) or enterprise asset management (EAM) software stores all relevant data for a given asset. If the CMMS/EAM is utilized correctly, it will contain a complete history for the asset including all maintenance performed. Maintenance management software can also document industry standards, manufacturer’s guidelines and more. Detailed information stored in a CMMS will be leveraged when undertaking RCA.
When you perform root cause analysis, the principle question being asked is, “What is the fundamental reason that caused this equipment to fail?” Once you find the problem, after researching data likely contained in a CMMS/EAM, a corrective action can then be taken to prevent additional failures for the same problem. RCA is an industry standard method for investigating failure, and is aimed to help manufacturing companies and other facilities save money and improve production in the long run.
What Types of Industries and/or Job Functions is RCA Used In?
The concept of identifying the root cause of a failure can be applied to numerous processes. However, it’s most typically used in manufacturing, industrial process control, healthcare, safety organizations and more. Professional departments or job roles that may be tasked with undertaking RCA include engineering, maintenance, mechanic, planning, scheduling and facility management among others.
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Read More on RCA
Read a few of our blog posts geared toward root cause analysis to gain more knowledge on this topic.