Fix the Real Problem ferlistockphoto/iStock/Thinkstock

Fix the Real Problem

You may need to perform some detective work to find the root cause of a breakdown.

At a particular manufacturing plant, a high-profit line experienced a particular breakdown about once every six months. The repair procedure required two electricians to conduct lockout/tagout, unwire a 40-hp motor, remove the motor, and wait for the mechanics to pull a complex assembly. The next set of steps took nearly three hours, after which time the electricians would re-energize the system and start the motor.

Because the downtime was so expensive, there was a focus on how to

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