Failure Code

Table of Contents

Assigning failure codes is a valuable maintenance practice that requires low cost for implementation yet provides a wealth of benefits in the long run. A failure code lets you classify and evaluate asset failures, allowing a better understanding of the root causes of these failures. The use of failure codes ultimately helps improve and optimize maintenance operations.

What is a Failure Code?

A failure code can be a number or an alphanumeric acronym that the maintenance department assigns for any issue, problem, or incident encountered in every asset. Every facility can follow its own set of failure codes that are unique to its assets, operations, and maintenance programs.

When assets experience failures, assigning a failure code involves identifying the type of failure and understanding all the possible causes and solutions. Consistently assigning and recording failure codes lets you form a historical failure database for each asset. This database serves as a reference for future failures.

Benefits of Using Failure Codes

Accurate and Quick Identification of Failures or Breakdowns

Assets fail for different reasons; with failure codes, you can easily classify and categorize these reasons. Thus, failure codes can speed up the troubleshooting process the next time an asset fails. In other words, you can identify the failure type, solutions, and maintenance requirements faster and more accurately. Ultimately, accurate and quick identification of failures results in faster resolution, efficient use of resources, and reduced downtime.

Standardized Maintenance Reports

Failure codes provide standard names for every failure, facilitating reporting and analysis. Different technicians or maintenance personnel can describe a failure in varying ways. To illustrate, technicians can describe a ‘noisy machine’ issue as having abnormal, clanking, or weird sounds. If you assign a standard failure code that defines this noisy machine sound, technicians can communicate this issue clearly on their maintenance reports. Standard failure codes also make maintenance reports easier to review and analyze. 

Reinforces Preventive Maintenance (PM)

The historical backlog or database that results from assigning failure codes allows for more effective implementation of PM programs. Analyzing the failure codes experienced by an asset lets you focus more on preventing these types of failures from happening. For example, if a failure code appears repeatedly, you can increase the frequency or schedule additional tasks to address it. You can also reduce PM tasks for a specific asset if a failure code happens rarely or less frequently, freeing up your resources for more critical PM tasks.

Improved Understanding of Failure Modes

Assigning failure codes also provides valuable insight into the several ways an asset can fail, also called its failure modes. From this, maintenance managers can devise the best strategies for the asset that fit its failure modes. Also, understanding failure modes is the fundamental concept in reliability-centered maintenance or the process of finding the best maintenance approach specific to every asset.

Compliance with Regulatory Standards

Some regulatory standards require the recording of incidents of failure as failure codes. Relevant regulatory bodies can impose facilities to use failure codes depending on the type of industry. These failure codes show a company’s commitment to operating practices that are productive, safe, and environmentally friendly.

Implementing Failure Codes with CMMS

Tracking asset failures, whether on a small or large scale, is only possible with an effective computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). Paper-based or spreadsheet recording can come cheaper, but you will eventually pay more due to recording and analytical errors, delayed information sharing, and inaccessible data. With a CMMS like Redlist, monitoring and recording failure through codes is faster and less prone to errors. With Redlist’s cloud-based storage, users can share and access data in real-time and from any location. Redlist’s powerful computing capabilities also allow faster and more accurate analyses and reports, which is helpful when making critical maintenance decisions. Find out more about improving failure code implementation through Redlist. Contact us for a free demo today!

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