Young male technician repairing a printing machine, which will later by documented by a CMMS remedy code.

This article is part of a series of articles on the topic of equipment failure tracking. Read our other articles on this topic:

What are Remedy Codes?

The first two articles in this series, focusing on failure codes and cause codes, established the following:

  • Failure codes are used to track a problem or type of failure.
  • Cause codes are used to track the reason why a failure occurred.

Together, these codes help tell the story of what failure occurred and why it happened. A third piece of information that is of interest to the maintenance team is how to fix the problem. That’s where remedy codes come in.

A remedy code, sometimes called an action code, is a value used to uniquely identify a type of maintenance action taken in response to a failure, and is often found in a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). Like failure codes and cause codes, remedy codes are a combination of an alphanumeric code and a description. Remedy codes represent the action a maintenance technician took to correct the issue identified by the failure and cause codes.

Where are Remedy Codes Used?

Remedy codes are used in CMMS software on work orders to identify what type of work was performed to return an asset to working order. Over the course of a repair, technicians may take multiple actions to repair an asset that has failed, some of which may not solve the problem. Technicians test their handiwork to ensure that the asset’s condition has returned to normal. Only then can technicians apply remedy codes – after they implement an acceptable fix and work is considered complete.

Why Use Remedy Codes?

There are many reasons organizations use CMMS remedy codes. Note that, while remedy codes can be useful for any organization, they are most commonly used in organizations or industries that have rigorous failure tracking requirements, such as oil and gas.

Improved Repair Time

The details of maintenance work are contained in many places on a work order or in a CMMS. When it comes time to perform maintenance, technicians must sift through many historical work order records to find previous solutions.

Remedy codes sharpen troubleshooting and issue resolution skills by providing technicians with a well-defined list of maintenance tasks that solved the problem in the past. Ultimately, this allows technicians to return assets to service more quickly. Over time, technicians will become better at thinking about which remedies are most appropriate for a given failure cause.

Implementation of a Proactive Maintenance Strategy

Tracking asset failures through failure codes, cause codes, and remedy codes sets the stage for implementing proactive maintenance strategies, such as reliability-centered maintenance (RCM). Upon completion of corrective maintenance work, the failure, its cause, and its solution are known. This allows maintenance management to plan for future occurrences of the failure and schedule maintenance tasks to prevent them.

Further Reading: How to Implement a Proactive Maintenance Strategy

Labor Resource Productivity Tracking

Remedy codes can be used as a way to estimate and track how long it takes technicians to perform maintenance tasks. As each remedy becomes known, maintenance managers can assign labor time estimates to each maintenance task, improving maintenance planning.

Remedy codes with associated time estimates also help maintenance managers track labor performance. For example, a CMMS report that compares the estimated labor time to actual labor time spent on a remedy may reveal who performs tasks well and who might need additional training.

Identification of Training Needs

Maintenance managers are responsible for making sure their team has the correct skills required to perform maintenance work. Tracking maintenance work through remedy codes helps identify what types of tasks are performed most often and helps prioritize training, especially for new hires.

As mentioned previously, CMMS reports filtered by remedy code can also reveal underperforming employees who might require refresher training. At the same time, reports may reveal high performers who can help train others on certain tasks or repairs on specific assets.

CMMS Remedy Code Construction

The information needed to create meaningful remedy codes comes from team experience and asset maintenance history. As technicians document their work in the CMMS over time, maintenance managers can identify trends in the types of tasks being performed – and how long they take.

Remedy Code Design

Like failure codes and cause codes, remedy codes are typically unique to each organization and their assets. Because remedy codes are used for rigorous asset failure tracking, they are more comprehensive and asset-specific. Even though the maintenance task may be the same, it will take a different amount of time to complete depending on the asset, easy of performing maintenance, etc.

Remedy Code List Example

Below is an example of a remedy code list for a CNC machine. Note that this list is not exhaustive of all maintenance actions.

Remedy Code Remedy Code Description
BLOCK-NOZZ Remove blockage from coolant nozzle
CHIP Empty chip box
CLEAN-CHK Clean chuck
CLEAN-CF Clean cooling fan
CHECK-HO Check flow of hydraulic oil
CHECK-COOL Check flow of coolant; fill coolant tank
PRES-HU Check pressure of hydraulic unit
REPLACE-FLT Replace filter
REPPLACE-MTR-BRNG Replace motor bearing

CMMS Remedy Code Best Practices

The goal of developing remedy codes is for CMMS users to be able to track maintenance actions in response to failures. Keep the following best practices in mind when constructing remedy codes:

  • Make Remedy Codes Clear and Specific: As discussed, remedy codes will differ by asset. However, the list of remedy codes for a given asset should be easy to understand and memorize. Codes and their meanings should not overlap with one another – each should be tied to a specific maintenance action.
  • Include a Catch-All Remedy Code: When getting started with remedy codes, all possible failure remedies will not be known – they will be discovered over time. Therefore, it is acceptable to use a catch-all “other” code that can be later analyzed and broken down to generate additional remedy codes.
  • Hold Team Accountable for Use: Rigorous maintenance tracking requires that maintenance teams use remedy codes consistently. A CMMS makes maintenance documentation more transparent, providing a shared reference point for holding employees accountable for entering required data.
  • Review and Update the Remedy Code List: Because failures and their causes are unpredictable, it is unlikely that the original remedy code list will be inclusive of all maintenance tasks. The need for additional remedy codes will arise as technicians perform maintenance work and more asset data is collected. Periodically review work orders and consult with your team to expand the remedy code library.

Document and Track Asset Maintenance with FTMaintenance Select

Remedy codes make it easy for maintenance workers to identify corrective maintenance actions. When failures occur, technicians are able to drill in to historical CMMS data to quickly find solutions and return assets back to service faster. FTMaintenance Select is a centralized platform that provides maintenance organizations with a single source for documenting and tracking asset maintenance. Request a demo today to learn more about FTMaintenance Select.

This article is part of a series of articles on the topic of equipment failure tracking. Read our other articles on this topic:

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