Written by John Reeves, Author, CRL, CMMS Champion.

It seems that the user community in general is not aware of the most significant method to perform failure analysis. No one ever told them about this process. Nor does the software vendor emphasize this technique. The answer is Chronic Failure Analysis.

The word chronic refers to recurring failures. These events may not be significant enough to perform root cause analysis BUT the fact that they are recurring means they have considerable impact and cost. This is the area of focus that every asset management team needs to focus.

Chronic failure analysis is an advanced process meaning it requires data, reports and a reliability-driven team. This report is a two-step approach meaning that it performs a Pareto-style extract of the worst offenders (by asset) and then allows dynamic drill-down on the failure mode. One should not assume the out-of-the-box CMMS has this design in place. More importantly you probably aren’t collecting the right failure data.

The reliability team was most likely never asked to design the desired output (e.g. the ideal failure analytic). The CMMS implementation team simply focused on what they thought was a good failure code hierarchy (FCH) design — and skipped the analytic. More often than not, this resulted in an incomplete and inconsistent FCH. Worse yet, the maintenance staff was not required to enter this failure data. 10 years later the database has no value (other than from gleaning text fields) to the reliability team. Consequently, reliability leaders do not trust the CMMS as to failure data accuracy, or value, in critical decision making.

Odds are, you never designed the CMMS to extract value