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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Five Troubleshooting Steps


There are several action items that are important to the successful achievement of the goal of troubleshooting:

1. Verify that something is actually wrong.

A problem usually is indicated by a change in equipment performance or product quality. Verification of the problem will either provide you with indications of the cause if a problem actually exists or prevent the troubleshooter from wasting time and effort on "ghost" problems caused by the operator's lack of equipment understanding. Do not simply accept a report that something is wrong without personally verifying the failure. A few minutes invested up front can save a lot of time down the road.

2. Identify and locate the cause of the trouble.

Trouble is often caused by a change in the system. A thorough understanding of the system, its modes of operation, and how the modes of operation are supposed to work, the easier it will be to find the cause of the trouble. This knowledge allows the troubleshooter to compare normal conditions to actual conditions.

3. Correct the problem.

It is very important to correct the cause of the problem, not just the effect or the symptom. This often involves replacing or repairing a part or making adjustments. Never adjust a process or piece of equipment to compensate for a problem and consider the job finished; correct the problem!

4. Verify that the problem has been corrected.

Repeating the same check that originally indicated the problem can often do this. If the fault has been corrected, the system should operate properly.

5. Follow up to prevent further trouble.

Determine the underlying cause of the trouble. Suggest a plan to a supervisor that will prevent a future recurrence of this problem.
This basic troubleshooting philosophy is the basis for the seven-step troubleshooting method discussed later. It reflects the basic strategy for troubleshooting, though each individual facility may require a different application of the strategy specific for the equipment and policies at that facility. An important point to remember as we discuss the seven-step methodology is that we are discussing a philosophy - not a procedure. Using the seven-step philosophy, a procedure could be developed that would provide the most cost-effective and efficient means for troubleshooting a particular piece of equipment in a given facility. However, this procedure would not necessarily be effective when used with different equipment or even the same equipment installed in a different facility.

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