No one likes to write reports. This includes your craftsmen. However, documenting the work performed, parts found broken, parts installed, and what root problems were observed can be invaluable for future improvement efforts. In SAP these reports are called work order technical reports. These reports are entered by craftsmen as part of a work order closing process. The time spent now on report entry will be an invaluable source of information later.

These technical reports can be as simple as "no problem found". This is a valuable observation on a work order indicating a piece of equipment was malfunctioning and needed replacing. Without this observation and others like it, a work order history analysis might conclude the equipment was adjusted, modified, cleaned, lubed, etc on a frequent basis. The observations can be more elaborate and analytical. For instance, here is an example of an actual work order stating, "bin 17 kept drifting". The following tech report was attached, "...found that the gear inside the brake had moved. The set screws had backed off and over time the gear had moved out away from the brake pad. Removed parts from the brake and readjusted gear, tightened set screws...".

Good information in tech reports can be a great starting point for a team assigned to solve a particular problem. Tech report information is also extremely valuable when performing FMEA's or RCA's. The journey to good technical reports and a linkage to improved reliability is as follows:

  • Demonstrate potential technical report uses to the craftsmen
  • Increase awareness that people see and can use these reports
  • Educate craftsmen on creating a good technical report
  • Audit and expect improved tech report contents - praise as appropriate
  • Increase discussion around craftsmen's findings and the corrections they made
  • Observe improvements in craftsmen's work approach and analytical ability
  • Uncover roots to problems
  • Remove roots using cross functional teams including maintenance, operations, and engineering
  • Experience improved reliability

Reader tip submitted by Rick Thompson, Reliability Engineer, Eastman/Reliability Technology

Thanks for the reader Tip Rick - your Uptime Hat is on the way!

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