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What are the lessons of the D-I-P-F Curve and the Failure Patterns?

Publicado el Publicado el15 de noviembre de 2017

Terrence OHanlon

With the revision of Uptime Elements Reliability Framework and

Asset Management System one of the BIG changes was the addition
of the D-I-P-F curve (Design-Installation-Potential Failure-Failure).

If you plan to attend IMC-2017 the 32nd International Maintenance

Conference you will see Doug Plucknette, Author of RCM Blitz and
Worldwide RCM Leader at Allied Reliability Group and myself deliver the
opening keynote on this very topic.

Doug, who originally extended the P to F Curve concept in his Uptime

Magazine article titled The Introduction of the I-P Interval started a long set
of conversations from those who thought it was brilliant and those who
thought it was not worthy of discussion. I happened to be in the first category
and enthusiastically embraced the concepts it evoked.

For reference, the original P to F curve that was published in Nowlan and
Heap's original report in 1978 is shown below
Point P (marked C in the drawing above) = Potential Failure: An identifiable
physical condition that indicates functional failure is imminent.

Point F (marked D in the drawing above) = Functional Failure: The inability

for an item (or the equipment containing it) to meet a specified performance

P-F Interval: The time it takes for an item to functionally fail once a
potential failure has been detected.

One of the most popular Google images for the P to F curve Power Point
Presentations (shown below) is this one created by a talented Allied
Reliability graphics team back in the early 2000's and often borrowed,
seldom attributed (thank you Allied).

According to RCM Blitz Author Doug Plucknette states "As companies look
to introduce On-Condition Maintenance (ACM/CbM/PdM/) tasks, they are
almost always introduced to the P-F Curve, which helps to illustrate the
benefits of detecting potential failures in the effort to improve reliability and
reduce failure costs through planning and scheduling.

While the P-F Curve does an effective job at making this point, it only
illustrates a portion of what an organization can do to achieve and sustain
While one could celebrate that this company successfully detected and
responded to three potential failures over a short period of time and avoided
the costly secondary damage associated with each failure, Doug states that
he urges them to question why each failure occurred.
The most important things we need to understand about the P-F Curve and
the Saw Tooth P-F Curve is this;

Detecting potential failure is simply not enough today to consider

your PdM program a success. For each detected potential failure we
must also determine the specific cause of failure. We need to know;
What has caused this potential failure and most important, can this
cause be eliminated?

While the Saw Tooth P-F Curve still effectively eliminates running costly
rotating equipment to failure, it can lull maintenance managers into the
illusion that Predictive Maintenance is all maintenance has to offer regarding
these types of failures.

The idea is to move to the left of the P to F curve into the I-P precision
domain with proper installation, commissioning, precision alignment and
balancing, precision lubrication, proper torquing, defect elimination - in
other words - do not permit the defect to enter into the system through your
own poor practices so that you need to detect the potential failure with
advanced vibration analysis later to prevent a functional failure!
The answer to where reliability is made is design. The answer to how much
the cost of failure totals has more to do with when you decide to remove the
failure mode!

That is a story for a different day!

What lessons do you take from the D-I-P-F Curve? Will you share them here
for the benefit of all us to advance reliability and asset management?