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Step 19 Guide 1: Corrective and preventive actions - key features and examples

This is the nineteenth of 20 steps in the in the Energy Management Action Programme (Energy MAP).
Learn about Energy MAP and what it can do for your business.

In a nutshell

Inevitably you will find deficiencies in your Energy MAP system, and as a result you will need to implement corrective and preventive actions. The amount of formal processes and planning needed for corrective and preventive actions will vary with the severity of the problem. Simple corrective solutions are appropriate to simple problems and often work best. In the case of more structural or complex issues, formal corrective action including root cause analysis may be appropriate. In any case, corrective action approaches should always be scalable.

Key features

Issues that need to be raised in the corrective and preventive action (CAPA) process can be identified from several sources in your EnMS, including:

·        results of internal and external audits;

·        results of evaluations of compliance reviews;

·        failure to reach specified targets in monitoring and measurement processes;

·        failure to comply with operational control procedures, as identified in site inspections.

It is necessary to manage these CAPA actions to ensure easily accessible information. This is how the corrective and preventive-action process can be managed:

·        list each action by source – audits, inspections, evaluations of compliance, etc.;

·        describe the failure / non-compliance;

·        identify the locations where the issue exists – e.g. office, compressor room, extruder machine;

·        identify the persons responsible for the area concerned – e.g., security officer; process operator, etc.;

·        identify the nature of the initial corrective action taken / to be taken;

·        identify the nature of the preventive action recommended once the corrective action is completed;

·        identify the person responsible for completing the corrective/preventive action;

·        identify the agreed date to close the corrective/preventive action;

·        identify the actual date the corrective/preventive action was closed;

·        identify the date when the action was reviewed for closure.

Examples

Corrective and preventive action: Example 1

Scenario: Office plant room operation.

The office is normally open from 9am to 5pm. A Building Energy Management System is programmed to operate building services equipment between 7am and 7pm. However, on occasion the building is open for longer hours. As part of your routine checks, you notice an unusually steep increase in electricity consumption for the building.

On investigation you find that somebody has manually activated the plant and overridden the BEMS. You correct this by putting the plant back into Auto-Mode, allowing control through the BEMS once again. This is an example of Corrective Action.

To stop a re-occurrence of a similar scenario, a notice is put on the BEMS controls that there is a procedure in place if the BEMS is to be overridden. A request must be submitted to the facilities team, and only authorised personnel can access the BEMS controls. You train members of the maintenance staff on how to do it, so there is always someone available to quickly make the changes and to ensure that the plant only operates for the additional period required. In addition you set up new passwords on the BEMS system to stop unauthorised access. This is an example of Preventive Action.

Corrective and preventive action: Example 2

Scenario: The set point of a valve was found to be incorrect and the valve settings were revised to more optimum settings to reduce flow and save energy.

The valve was later taken offline for maintenance, but was re-commissioned at its original setting. However, as a result of a good monitoring system, the discrepancy was quickly noticed and acted upon and the valve was reset to its optimum settings again. This is an example of a good corrective action being taken as a result of an appropriate monitoring regime. In terms of continuous improvement the procedures could be further enhanced with an appropriate preventive action, e.g. a tag on the valve or a note on the Preventive Maintenance Work Order which shows the optimum settings so that following any maintenance intervention the settings would be set back to the optimum levels before the valve went back into service. This is an example of Preventive Action being taken following a Corrective Action.

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