Mark A. Latino President, Reliability Center Inc.
If managers knew what the overall power of a well supported Root Cause Analysis (RCA) effort meant for their bottom line they would be breaking down doors to implement the process.
Unfortunately this is often not the case so this paper is an attempt to educate individuals about RCA. The paper focuses on three aspects of RCA; (1) what is RCA, (2) what it takes to implement an RCA process as a way of conducting business rather than a program that will eventually end and (3) how RCA contributes to a company’s bottom line.
RCA is a reliability tool designed to clear obstacles that hinder continuous improvement. It is meant to move an organization from incremental advancements (improvements) to quantum leaps forward. A well managed RCA initiative is always linked to the larger focus of overall asset reliability. Overall asset reliability is comprised of equipment, process and human reliability.
Many managers feel that if the equipment runs (when switched on) then they have “reliability.” The equipment may only run well because the company is working on the equipment more often than it should. This is not true reliability. In actuality excessive preventive maintenance is being performed which is expensive and affects bottom line profits. Long term success can only be accomplished when all three areas of equipment, process and human reliability are working in unison.