Implementing ISO 14224 in Six Steps

September 17, 2018

ISO 14224 is the Standard for collection and exchange of reliability and maintenance data for equipment in the petroleum, petrochemical and natural gas industries. The standard provides guidance on the data required to collect maintenance and reliability data for analysis (RAM, bad actor, etc.) as well as bench marking against industry peers.


The challenge in today’s world is the enormous amount of data that is collected, modified and stored on a day to day basis. ISO 14224 provides the guideline on what data needs to be collected. However, a structured approach is needed to understand how the data will be collected, consumed, analyzed and sustained to drive decisions. My intent here is to provide a simplified approach to achieve that. The six key steps in implementing ISO 14224 are:


1.      Develop an asset hierarchy standard and implement the standard – More often than not, I have seen inconsistent asset hierarchy that makes it difficult to understand the location of the physical asset in the plant as well as its relationship to other equipment within the process. ISO 14224 lays out the concept of what the asset hierarchy should look like. However, a detailed effort must be put in place to develop such a hierarchy based on some of the potential impacts as highlighted below:


  • Work identification – Logically defined hierarchy makes it easy to locate the asset in the system and assign work to the asset. This improves planning efficiency, wrench time and safety.

  • Improved cost visibility – By being able to identify work to the correct asset, costs can be tracked against the asset. In today’s low cost environment, this helps in the pareto analysis of what are the high cost assets

2.      Define equipment class and associated equipment characteristics – Develop a standardized list of minimum equipment characteristics required for each specific asset class. This will ensure that:


  • The operating limits (safe operating limit and integrity operating limit) for your equipment has been defined in the CMMS and is easily accessible. This should be used as triggers for alerts during condition monitoring programs and operator rounds

  • Classifying assets in asset classes will help the maintenance and engineering team “bucket” data in a way that dedicated teams with specific skill sets can address. For e.g. centrifugal pumps within the rotating equipment class have the highest maintenance repair costs.

3.      Define maintenance work categorization – In my assessment of several operating facility, this is poorly defined and enforced. ISO 14224 provides the guidelines on the categories of maintenance work and the related activities. By enforcing a semi-rigid definitions and monitoring it on a frequent basis, maintenance work coming through the CMMS can be categorized. This is categorization of maintenance work provides the foundation of what data will be analyzed from a reliability perspective. Some key definitions include breakdown repairs, failures, operator basic care, etc. This is essential because:


  • It defines the data set that will be used to analyze maintenance and reliability performance

  • It helps understand the reactive versus proactive nature of maintenance

  • Provides maintenance team the tools necessary to improve business processes

4.      Define maintainable item codes, failure codes and cause codes – Defining a set of maintainable item codes, failure codes and causes codes in a structured hierarchy will provide end users with a small set of relevant codes. For e.g. Centrifugal Pump, Seal, Leaking, installation. By having this information over a period of time, reliability improvement efforts can be targeted and maintenance cost optimization can be achieved. Defining these codes in a methodical way will:


  • Provide end users with small set (10-15) of codes to pick from

  • Enable measurement of performance for work order completion and close out

  • Provide reliability and engineering teams specific and relevant information to define the problem


Typically, the cause code may not be known at the time of work execution but efforts and metrics can be put in place to track number of outstanding work orders/ notifications that do not have a cause code etc.

Typically, many organizations will stop here when it comes to programs and projects related ISO14224 implementation and maintenance and reliability data. From a personal perspective, this is not considered an implementation. Implementation should also define how that data will be consumed and what decisions will be made based on the data.


For that purpose, the last 2 step  in the complete implementation of the ISO 14224 standard are:


5.      Develop an integrated maintenance and reliability business processes  - As part of the implementation of ISO 14224, a set business processes need to be defined to understand how information and data flow, how the maintenance work will be identified, planned, scheduled, executed and closed out, as well as, how reliability will consume the data, analyze it, validate it and provide recommendations. I must emphasize that Maintenance and Reliability (and for that matter operations) are joined at the hip. One cannot function without the other.


6.      Enforce governance, manage change and measure performance  - This is where leadership, governance and performance measure is needed to sustain the implementation program. While this piece applicable to any implementation program, for an M&R implementation perspective, it is critical pay attention to this because:


  • Maintenance is seen as a cost center and is under pressure to reduce cost instantaneously.

  • Reliability is often relied on after big events and not part of continuous improvement philosophy (if one exists)

  • Results from reliability analytics and usage of codes are often not communicated back to the shop floor. This is important for people to realize that the codes that are used and the information put into CMMS is consumed to make data driven decisions.

  • It is difficult to prove that a failure was prevented and cost was avoided if it never happened. This is the story of my life in reliability!

If you are interested to know more and understand how these maybe relevant to your operations, drop me a line.

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September 17, 2018

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