Emergency Work Orders, Technology & World Class Manufacturing

February 22, 2018

Previously in our series exploring WCM we have explained the theory and process of becoming a true World Class Manufacturer, and how the adoption of software solutions is imperative in the age of Industry 4.0   We have been drawing analogies with Formula 1 as it exemplifies the total commitment required from all employees to excellence and continuous improvement, zero-tolerance to errors, and the use of the bleeding edge technology.

The technology used to enhance performance in F1 is very sophisticated and predictive.  Not everything goes according to plan however, and a distinctly low-tech approach is used to alert the driver that there is an unplanned mechanical problem and he must return to the pit; a black and orange flag is waved at the driver…

EWO on the F1 track - World Class Manufacturing TechnologyF1 EWO flag - World Class Manufacturing Technology









An F1 Emergency Work Order…

Paper-based analysis theory

WCM 5Ws1H paper analysis - World Class Manufacturing Technology

WCM theory specifies that operators first make a physical, paper record of the symptom of the stoppage, draw a sketch, and record the 5Ws and 1H:

  • What product was being made at the time
  • When did the breakdown occur e.g. start up, following product change
  • Where did it occur – machine infeed, outfeed,
  • Who – which shift,
  • Which if known – random, cyclic
  • How – worn, loose, cracked

Using the reverse of the 5W & 1H paper, engineers then feedback on the reason for failure, write details of the work done, spare parts used, hours spent on each of diagnosis, waiting for spares, repair, startup testing.  He signs to say the area has been cleared of tools and hands back to production. The operator signs that the line was fit for production.

The EWO analysis is performed to identify the root cause and specify the follow-on activities and countermeasures required to prevent reoccurrence.

World Class Manufacturing Technology Solutions from Idhammar

Working together with one of our leading global manufacturing customers, Idhammar developed WCM-compliant software that enables the creation of an electronic EWO, subsequent feedback and analysis.

Idhammar World Class Manufacturing Technology - Emergency Work Oorder Process

Click to enlarge

Key features of Idhammar WCM

Simple to use
Idhammar WCM provides easy to use screens for the operator to raise the EWO, and to accept the line is fit for production.  UX research led us to design the system using straightforward dropdown menus and large buttons, (taking into consideration that many line operators may be wearing gloves, and that English may not be the operator’s first language) but still ensuring the correct detail of information required by maintenance engineers. This system design ensures operator engagement, enabling whole-organisation commitment to WCM principles.

Optimised engineer response times
With Idhammar WCM an EWO is process driven; it can be routed directly to engineers’ mobile tablet devices through DECT and SMS messaging. This enables the engineer to attend the breakdown as rapidly as possible; critical in a zero tolerance work environment.

Easy access to accurate and consistent data
Drop-down lists for the selection of the 5W’s and 1H, the faults, the reasons and the root causes aid data entry and provide consistency that allow for better analysis.

Data collected in real time
In the event of a line stop, Idhammar WCM immediately auto-captures the vital breakdown information. This electronic data is instantly visible to the whole organisation; a manufacturing organisation where every second counts.

Effortless analysis through use of coding systems
Drop down lists and coding systems aid data entry and provide consistency that allow for better data analysis.

Clear visibility of opportunities and losses
Idhammar developed WCM specific reporting and dashboards to analyse root causes, work associated with pillars and follow-on work to prevent reoccurrence. This vital tool for manufacturers enables informed decision making and accurate performance analysis.

Accountability throughout the process
To assist with audits and inspections, Idhammar WCM supports statutory and quality compliance standards, providing easy access to evidence of environmental, health & safety and regulatory compliance with full traceability of standards of work.  The Root Cause Analysis process can allocate accountability to individuals, and Maintenance KPI reporting improves the visibility of the engineering team’s performance.


With the benefits of applying technological solutions to WCM now clear, we will explore the Idhammar WCM Machine Ledger in the next part of this series; a valuable tool which allows you to drill down to the detail of work at asset or component level.

Next time…. The Machine Ledger, Technology & WCM:

  • What is The Machine Ledger?
  • Planned maintenance
  • Automation and cost savings