ISO 14224

ISO14224 Unpacked

Thank-you for navigating from the “Five Habits” to here.

Gilbert of scaffold
Original sketch of Gilbert in Chapter 35

This is a basic introduction to ISO14224 from my point of view and experience. It may not be technically correct to the latest standard, but I will go through as how I have applied it. The standard has certainly made mine and others live easier with Analysing data. The example in the 5 Habits data analysis went from Days to Hours for someone that applied it.

What I’ll detail here is:

  1. Where you can get the actual standard,
  2. The Basic Data structure, and what it means in layman’s terms
  3. The structure compared to RCMCost (Availability Workbench) as in an example RCM Tool.
  4. The data structure as compared to SAP Notification Items.
  5. Using the standard to detect a “Chronic” Issue.

The main concept here is to link your strategy development work (e.g. RCM Tool) to what your CMMS/ERP (e.g. SAP) is collecting so they can be directly compared and used.

Where to get the standard from

ISO14224 can be downloaded from SAI global and I have provided a link below:

I have always worked with the 1999 version of the standard, this is the 2016 version. Maybe, I’m showing my age! Here is my take on it…

ISO14224 Basic Data Structure

The structure of ISO 14224 is excellent. The thing I like about it most is that it collects the information we need is Reliability Engineers to do an analysis quickly. As I mentioned in the book it can save a lot of time if your data is structured in this way. It also makes the identification of chronic issues easier. I will talk about how to do this later…

Let’s walk through the ISO 14224 structure using an example. We were walking through the plant, and we noticed that a machine was noisy. We called the maintainers to let them know. It was found that are bearing was about to seize due to age. It was replaced at the next scheduled maintenance window.

The ISO Structure using the example:

Problem When I’ve explained what the standards problem to maintainers; is to think of it as what is the person calling you up and complaining about. This is what the problem is in the context of ISO14224. An example of this would be the machine is making an unusual noise.
Detection Method The detection method is how the problem was found. An example of this would be, if I was walking past the machine and noticed that it was noisy the ISO detection method would be “casual observation”.
Part that has failed The part that has failed is the actual part that has failed. This part should be in the list of parts that have been replaced. But it is the part that has caused the repair. For example, if a bearing has seized, the part that has failed is the bearing. If the seals were leaking when the bearing has seized it is still the bearing that has caused the repair not the seals.
Failure Mechanism The failure mechanism is what has happened to the part that has failed. Using the example of the bearing seized. The failure mechanism is seized.
Cause The cause is the reason for the failure mechanism. Think of it As asking why the bearing has seized. A reason could be old age and thus the ISO code would be “Expected wear and tear.”
Activity The activity is what you did about the failure. In this case we replaced the bearing in a planned manner.


ISO14224 used in RCMCost

Let’s compare the ISO14224 data structure to my favorite RCM tool, RCMCost. RCMCost is a module in Availability Workbench by Isograph. Below is the equivalent fields and some details on the hacks to get the data captured and consistent.

ISO14224 RCMCost Equivalent AWB Hacks
Problem Functional Failure RCMCost is not structured in its coding with its functional failures. It is basically a text box. Alignment to the codes may be required after that a collection. I export data and use Excel to make a consistent. To keep it simple pick the main one.
Detection Method Detection Method RCMCost is not structured in its coding with detection method. It is basically a text box in the cause. Alignment to the codes may be required after that a collection. I export data and use Excel to make a consistent. Sometimes they could be multiples when collecting data and use the limit is two separate.
Part that has failed Cause RCM Cost Does not separate these three data fields. I use the limiters to separate them in the single field.
Failure Mechanism
Activity Tasks Separate into the most appropriate reactive planned for inspection in AWB. Use a delimiter or a user-defined field to nominate the correct ISO code.

ISO14224 applied in SAP

SAP Seems to be the most common ERP system in my experience. Here is how ISO14224 works with this product as I have applied.

Note well: the standard catalogue structure in SAP seems to work with ISO14224. Do not try to change it, keep to the standard catalogue structure. You will find that there are minimal SAP modifications required to get ISO14224 to work.

ISO14224 SAP Catalogue SAP Hacks
Problem Problem Use detection method as a code group.
Detection Method
Part that has failed Object Part Can use code groups and the ISO Grouping methods together to make the pick lists smaller.


Use catalogue profiles for machines to make unique parts easy to pick.


Create Generic, Mechanical and Electrical parts catalogues to make it easy for the user and make the implementation faster.

Failure Mechanism Damage Can use code groups and the ISO Grouping methods together to make the pick lists smaller.
Cause Cause Can use code groups and the ISO Grouping methods together to make the pick lists smaller.
Activity Activity Can use code groups and the ISO Grouping methods together to make the pick lists smaller.

Chronic Issue Detection

To follow on with the bearing example I have used most of the way through this article; I am going to use SAP as an example here. But the concept is the same for other systems if you have the data structure set up with ISO14224.

The Steps:

Step One: Export Notification and Order Cost Data for the period of interest into your favorite analysis tool. Mine was Excel, but I have grown a liking for PowerBI in recent times.

Step Two: Filter the data to only include ‘bearings’.

Step Three: Plot the sum of costs over time.

Step Four: Determine if your average cost overtime is increasing above inflation. If it is, you have a chronic issue!

PS: You can do this using the number of failures’ over time, but generally “value” to management communicated in money (It’s all about the profit and loss statement).

Going further, include a pareto to see if ‘Bearings’ are in fact the failing part that you are spending the most money on. Sum the cost per part and sort them highest to lowest and filter for the Top 10.

Here is a sketch of what you could do:

  1. Pareto the highest cost parts
  2. See if they are going up over time
  3. Propose an improvement project

If you have not seen it, there is a PowerPoint presentation and guide to help you to communicate the value of your proposed improvement project. Download it here (PCSV Presentation)

Any questions? – Message me on LinkedIn or send me an e-mail peter.horsburgh (at)

If you would like me to give some direct help on anything mentioned above, a quick, low cost ‘One on one’ coaching session may be in order. I am happy to help with Data Analysis, Fault coding, Availability Workbench, SAP, MS Excel etc. You can find out more here: Coaching.