At the opposite end of the failure handling process from failure reporting is the step in which the required corrective action is accurately described. Generally speaking, this step should identify the failure mode or the specific component or subcomponent that had to be repaired or replaced. In some instances, the required repair may go beyond the specific failure mode because peripheral damage occurred. In this case, the additional repairs should be recorded, but should not be confused with the failed component that triggered the event.

For instance, if a bearing fails due to the viscosity of the oil being too low and, in turn, the crankshaft is damaged and requires repair, it will be valuable to record the failure of the bearing and crankshaft because of the cost of ignoring oil viscosity. On the other hand, one should be certain to point to low oil viscosity as the culprit that started the entire chain of events.

Much like the mechanism for reporting the failure in the first place, one should keep in mind that the format of the failure mode must be reported in a way that a computer can process the information without a lot of human involvement. Like the format of failure reports, if the field used to report the failure mode is an area where long, colorful paragraphs can be added, it is likely that the utility of this information will be lost.

Tip from Critical Connections: Linking Failure Modes and Failure Mechanisms to Predictive and Preventive Maintenance by Daniel Daley

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