Corrective Maintenance…Opportunity for Practical Root Cause Problem Elimination (RCPE)

What is corrective maintenance?

In the simplest terms, corrective maintenance is defined as: All maintenance performed to correct a break down or failure. You can find more useful maintenance definitions in our online dictionary.

Here’s a common scenario. Imagine you work as a mechanic at a plant and get a corrective maintenance work order that states:

Replace bearings on a press roll due to high vibration level.

You complete the work and the bearings and seals were replaced according to the plan. The machine was started up and is now producing paper again. Here are pictures of the bearings:

Bearings from a corrective maintenance work order
Bearing with damage

Let’s use this is an opportunity to do an informal Root Cause Problem Elimination (RCPE).  

What is Root Cause Problem Elimination? or RCPE is the IDCON method for performing root cause failure analysis (rcfa). Find out more about how we help your plant build an effective RCPE process.

What do you see in the pictures above? Let’s say you don’t have a lot of experience with bearings in this application. But in this instance, this investigation was at a paper mill and this area is frequently washed down to remove pulp.

Here are some clues to what the root cause could be.

  • Corrosion due to water in the oil
  • Correct seals for the application
  • Correct seal material- what chemicals are used for cleaning
  • Bearing fit of the shaft
  • Mounting procedure for bearings

You have now identified some possible causes so it is time to verify what caused the failure. Let’s check them off one at a time to get down to the Root Cause. Start by asking How Can a bearing cause vibration?

Every corrective work order is a RCPE on a smaller scale. Of course, if this is a major problem it should trigger a formal RCPE.  

You can also learn information about the RCPE process. Or if you need RCPE training contact us!

At IDCON, we understand the pressure you face trying to build a reliable plant.
We provide side-by-side reliability and maintenance consulting and training designed to keep your equipment running.

For over 45 years, we’ve partnered with 100s of manufacturing plants around the world to eliminate the costs and the pressure caused by unreliable equipment. And we’d love to do the same for you.

Contact us today to see how we can help you keep your plant running.

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