A common problem with repair procedures for complex equipment is that the sheer amount of text they include makes them unwieldy and, often, overwhelming.

You can solve this problem by creating a “main repair procedure.” This is a manageable tool for identifying the shortest path between “broken” and “fixed.”

A flowchart works well as the core of such a procedure. In fact, it works so well that the diagnostic flowchart is standard in the automotive repair industry. It gives people a quick way to determine which part of a much larger body of repair documentation to use for performing the needed repair.

For example, your diagnostic flowchart for a robotic welder might conclude one diagnostic step with, “Perform repair per Manufacturer ABC Manual 123, Chapter 4.” and conclude another diagnostic step with, “This appears to be a bonding problem. Review the equipment against the NEC, Art. 250 Part V.”

How can you determine which equipment will best benefit from a diagnostic flowchart?

  • Watch time-consuming repairs for evidence of “head scratching” and confusion.
  • Examine logs of repairs that get repeated (not done correctly the first time).
  • Look at existing procedures: If it’s thick, it’s probably not helping.
Repairs go much faster when repair techs don’t have to guess which section of a set of repair manuals might apply, wade through the text, try some things that don’t work, and then guess at another section.