THE HIDDEN TREASURE BEHIND THE ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS (RCA)
The hidden treasure behind the RCAVictor D. Manriquez, Mechanical Engineer, MSc Renewable EnergiesReliability Engineer in Miski Mayo Mining Company LLC - VALEvmanriquez62@firstname.lastname@example.orgPeru
The hidden treasure behind RCAThe Root Cause Analysis (RCA) reunite different problems solutions methods pointed to identify theroot causes of problems or events.In my organization, a phosphate mining company, last September 2011, we received training in theApollo RCA methodology. After that training, the maintenance area put emphasis in thedevelopment of RCA for chronic or mayor equipment failures. At the same time I was designated asRCA Leader.In the previous months we had been making RCA using the “Ishikawa diagram” or the “FiveWhys?”, but we didn’t do in a systematic way.Our mine began operations in august 2010, in our first year we developed eleven RCA. In the nextperiod from September 2011 to February 2012 we did twenty eight RCA. Our monthly averageincreased from 0,9 to 4,7.The RCA, as his name points, is a tool to find the “root cause” of an event, but the really important Ithink is to apply the solutions to eliminate or control this “root cause” and to avoid the eventrepetition.We have established a RCA control that follows the implementation of the proposed solutions. Ithas been established three statuses for the RCA: Preliminary, evidences and closed.A RCA is “preliminary” from the moment the event happens, the RCA is proposed and the analysismeeting ends. In this meeting, solutions are suggested, analyzed and delegated to a personresponsible of implementing the actions.The next step, we named “evidences”, because each responsible, should present the evidence thatthe actions have been implemented or they are in the way to do it so.Finally, once all the action evidences have proceeded, the RCA is “closed” and uploaded into themaintenance information system.ResultsIn the period from September 2011 to February 2012, we have the next results, by RCA status: Figure 1 Own elaborationThe performance of the different areas of the maintenance area has been as follows:
Figure 2 Own elaborationIs important to point the summary of the costs related with the RCA analyzed events. During 2012the analyzed events mean something more than US $ 3 million and the total of events analyzedsince September 2011 are close to US $ 10 million. These costs include the corrective maintenancecost and the production losses; this last is the main cost component. Let’s see the next table withthe 2012 data. Table 1 (In US $) AREA ENERO FEBRERO MARZO TOTAL DSP 446 000 1 235 000 1 681 000 MINA 1 419 335 1 419 335 PLANTA 1 000 3 800 4 800 EEI DSP 100 100 TOTAL 447 100 1 423 135 1 235 000 3 105 235 Own elaborationThe implementation of the derived RCA solutions, prevent that these events happen again and notto have these money losses again. At the same time is a powerful indicator in front of the directivesto support the RCA program.Apollo RCA methodologyThe Apollo RCA methodology, developed by Dean L. Gano, is based in the cause effect principleand is supported by the RealityCharting software.Is a useful tool to elaborate the “cause effect diagrams” and to determine the causes and effectsunder analysis. It allows to include proposed solutions, responsible names, and to evaluate thesolutions according to different criteria and to prepare the final RCA report.The diagrams you got with the Apollo RCA look like the one you see next.
Figure 3The “possible solutions report” is also generated by these software, as you can see in the nexttable:
Table 2Concluding, the RCA is one of the most important tools to recover the maintenance costs byeliminating the causes that took the equipment or system to the failure state and to avoid thathappens again.Its efficacy will reside in a tidy management and the follow up of the solutions proposed as part ofthe maintenance management in our organization.