How to Get World Class Reliability: Remove Component Failure Causes Cuts Equipment Failure Rate—that’s Reliability

Every time a critical part fails in a machine the machine also fails. Stop the parts in your machines from failing and you stop the machines in your company from failing

Make it your business paradigm to remove component failure causes and you guarantee you will surely get world-class plant and equipment reliability


Slide 18 – The Paradigm to “Proactively Remove All Component Failure Causes” Guarantees You’ll Get Your Site to World Class Equipment Reliability


Each cause of a failure is probabilistic—a cause may happen, and it may not happen. We show this uncertainty by the shape of the chance of failure curve for each cause of failure. When the chance is near zero the curve hugs the x-axis. Where chance increases the curve rises, and where the chance is very great the curve bends steeply upward. What we know for sure is that when you remove component failure causes you decrease the equipment failure rate.

We know from the previous couple of slides is that over time many opportunities will arise for drinking glasses to be broken. They can be broken in numerous ways, but we don’t know for sure which way a glass will be broken next time. In the image above is shown the chance for a glass to be broken by being dropped and by being hit. The chance of being dropped will never be zero, glasses will be broken by falling from your hand. It is less likely that glasses will be broken by being hit against something. The chance of breakage from hitting is also not zero, but it is lower than by being dropped. The curves of the chance of failure for each cause of glass breakage add together into what we observe as the broken drinking glasses we see over the years.

Everything man-made can be failed and eventually everything man-made will fail. In every case there will be one or more causes of failure. If you intentionally remove component failure causes, then you proactively eliminate failures. The component failure rate drops and that means you create reliability.

For component parts in equipment there may be several causes of failure for each part, perhaps even dozens of failure causes. An example is the roller bearing in the above image. It shows seven of the dozens of ways a rolling bearing can fail. Each cause of failure has its own chance of failure curve. A misaligned shaft will not fail a bearing immediately. So at time zero, which is immediately after the bearing is installed, the chance of failure from misalignment is zero. However, if misalignment exists, then over time the chance of the bearing failing because of the misalignment increases as the stresses accumulate within the bearing’s parts’ microstructure. Even in the case of the wrong lubricant being used, the bearing will not fail immediately the lubricant contacts it. But over time the wrong lubricant will always lead to bearing failure.

If in your operation there are many machines with anti-friction bearings, there could be hundreds and perhaps even thousands of active bearing failure causes across your site. Since everywhere there is a roller bearing it can be failed in dozens of ways there will be a constant stream of bearing failures to repair. It will remain like that for evermore until the causes of bearing failure are removed.

The sum of failure curves for all failure causes is what we observe as the ongoing failures happening in our operating plants, equipment and machinery.

At a Plant Wellness Way EAM site the paradigm it to “proactively remove all component failure causes.” That creates opportunities and imperative to eliminate the existence of all possible failure causes. For every part in an item of equipment, all that is humanly possible to do is done to ensure no failure causes are ever present. And where they cannot be removed, you ensure that they never grow into a plant, equipment or machine failure. It’s a totally certain way of getting your site to world class equipment and machinery reliability.


This slide is a companion to the new Industrial and Manufacturing Wellness book. The book has extensive information, all the necessary templates, and useful examples of how to design and build your own Plant Wellness Way enterprise asset life cycle management system-of-reliability. Get the book from its publisher, Industrial Press, and Amazon Books.

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