Generally, fault finding on ship is not an easy task.
It is essential to have a good under-standing of the operation of the particular equipment and general insight into some of the diagnostic skills used to solve the problem.
Here is a list of the general techniques used:
Planning a good fault-finder on ship has a mentally planned strategy.
The evidence is carefully considered before deciding what action to take.
In contrast, the “muddler” acts on impulse.
A good diagnostician on ship will use most of the following mental abilities:
- Logical thinking
- Spatial / mechanical ability
- Social skills
- Background (underpinning) knowledge
Together with the mental abilities above, knowledge and ship electrical systems experience are essential.
This is wide ranging and includes knowledge of components, methods and ship systems together with their operational characteristics. The combination of knowledge and direct practical experience with the ship equipment is a powerful aid to fault finding.
Diagnostic performance on ship fault finding
In addition to the necessary skills of the diagnostician, systematic use of “job aids” will improve fault finding method.
A list of typical symptoms and faults for a particular equipment plus suggested remedies.
These lists should be updated according to experience to show the most probable faults.
The seven letters of the mnemonic
“FACERAP” are the key steps to logical fault finding on ship:
F (fault) the name and classification of a fault;
A (appearance) the description of the fault or its related
the operational reason for the fault;
the consequential effect of the fault;
R (responsibility) the correct person to take remedial action;
A (action) the standard procedure adopted to rectify the fault;
P (prevention) the procedure to avoid repetition of the fault;
Search strategy on ship fault finding
Once the diagnostician can visualise the circuit or machine on ship as a series of functions and/or use a job aid, a search strategy can be applied to locate the fault in the minimum time.
A “six step approach” is summarised as:
1. Collect evidence (stop and think).
2. Analyse evidence (check assumptions).
3. Locate fault (inspect and test).
4. Determine and remove cause.
5. Rectify fault.
6. Check system.
Fault finding on ship electrical system is not easy!
However, a logical approach supported by knowledge and experience on ship will certainly help.