3S3: Using Root Cause Analysis to Solve Equipment Problems

Peter Todd , Reliability Engineer, ARIA


The reality of maintaining and operating industrial equipment is there are always problems. People who can solve problems efficiently and effectively are usually highly valued. This presentation cover the basics of Root Cause Analysis (RCA), which is widely accepted as the best way to achieve effective problems solving. It focused on the Five Why’s approach to RCA, which is a very efficient approach. The most useful techniques for applying RCA industrial equipment will be encompassed. An actual pump bearing failure problem will be used as a case study to illustrate the approach.


Peter is a Mechanical Engineer with an extensive background Asset Management and Reliability Engineering. He worked for the Steelworks in Wollongong for over 27 years, for Shell Services for 3 year, for SIRF Roundtables for 12 years as the NSW Industrial Maintenance Roundtable Facilitator and now works freelance. His experience includes maintenance management, reliability engineering, maintenance strategy, machine condition monitoring and RCA failure investigations. He has experience in a wide range of equipment and processes from raw materials handling to turbo machinery, with bearings as a specialty. Peter’s specialist areas are in Condition Monitoring, Failure Analysis and Reliability Engineering.