Topic outline

  • Fault-finding and diagnosis

    This unit of learning is part of the following learning pathways:

  • Fault-finding methodologies

    The learner will be able to use a variety of generic fault-finding methodologies and apply to fault-diagnosis of industrial automation


    • Apply knowledge to devise a generic, logical process for identifying faults, applicable to a variety of manufacturers’ equipment.
    • Apply fault diagnosis methods (root cause analysis, Ishikara (Fish bone), 8D, Half-Split, 5 whys)
    • Select suitable data-capture methods to aid in fault diagnosis and rectification, where the automation system itself does not provide such a function. External data loggers (e.g. temperature, current consumption, vibration sensors). Calibration methods/records. Maintenance logs.


    • To understand a variety of fault-finding techniques – selection of the most suitable to a given situation
    • To understand environmental influences
    • To be able to interpret manufacturer information and data


    • To interpret schematics
    • Demonstrate use of data logging and measuring equipment
    • To be able to produce and disseminate information in the form of reports
    • To demonstrate analytical, organisational, problem-solving, team-working and communication skills To demonstrate electrical, mechanical, electronic and computer skills

    • Manufacturer and machine-specific fault-finding techniques

      The learner will demonstrate a knowledge of manufacturer and machine-specific fault-finding techniques


      • Identify specific fault-finding techniques applicable to particular manufacturers / models of equipment.
      • Interpret any machine error logs to aid fault-diagnosis
      • Using a particular make/model of robot, correctly identify a series of fault conditions.
      • Demonstrate how to put the robot into a safe condition for maintenance, undertake the corrective action(s) and restore the robot to a production-ready state.


      • To understand the importance of safety when performing fault-diagnosis
      • To understand the fault-finding processes relating to typical industrial robots


      • To be able to safely diagnose and correct faults on industrial robots.