you realize a malfunction exists, your next step is to
preventive maintenance program, however, you will
locate the source of the trouble,
eventually be called upon to correct a problem. In the
following section, we will tell you about some of the
MALFUNCTION LOCATION. In the language
actions you can take to correct the more common
of the GSM, the process of malfunction location is better
malfunctions in a typical FO service system.
k n o w n as troubleshooting. The process of
troubleshooting begins after you recognize a symptom
of a malfunction and ends when you locate and correct
the cause of the malfunction.
Corrective maintenance of mechanical or electrical
As a GSM, you are aware that other GSMs, the
equipment consists of the actions and operations you
GSEs, the equipment or console operators, and your
must perform to restore an improperly operating piece
other shipmates who have worked with mechanical or
of equipment to a fully operative condition. Some
electrical equipment readily understand what the term
examples of corrective maintenance actions are
troubleshooting means. If that is so, then why does so
repairing a piece of equipment after a tire or locating
much downtime occur? The answer is simple. The
and replacing a faulty part. Corrective maintenance
amount of downtime resulting from a malfunction in a
actions are also needed to locate a faulty function and
piece of equipment or a system will be directly
adjust its circuit for an output that is within
proportional to: (1) the complexity of the system or
specifications. Common to each corrective maintenance
equipment with the problem, (2) the lack of knowledge
action is a sequence of three basic operations that are
concerning the affected system or equipment, and (3)
always performed. These are
the proper troubleshooting methodology on the part of
the people who are actually trying to locate the problem.
1. symptom recognition,
Troubleshooting is not an easy job. Modern
2. malfunction location, and
mechanical, electrical, and electronic equipment and
systems are extremely complex. The complexity results
from the multitude of interfacing and interacting
We will briefly discuss each of these operations. As you
components and circuitry that can exist in a single
read the following sections, try to envision the ways that
system or piece of equipment. The complexity of a
you, the GSM, maybe called upon to correct a problem.
system or piece of equipment can make troubleshooting
SYMPTOM RECOGNITION. Symptom recog-
a difficult and frustrating job. As a GSM, you will
nition is the weakest link in the three basic operations.
discover that the complexity of a system or equipment
Many incidents occur where malfunctioning equipment
item will be your biggest challenge in troubleshooting.
is operated for hours, days, and even months without
Your troubleshooting efficiency will depend on the
notice of a failure. This can occur because the symptoms
knowledge you have of the operation of the equipment.
of many malfunctions are subtle and are not easily
In troubleshooting any equipment or system, the
recognized. This makes the need for trained operators
greatest tool you can use is your knowledge of the
and technicians in the methods of symptom recognition
equipment or system in terms of its normal operational
even more important.
characteristics. his is very important: You must first
To be a good technician, you must first know the
know what the equipment or system should do under
normal operating conditions before you can determine
proper equipment operation and the function of each
operating control. Very often, a qualified console
what it is not doing or what it is doing incorrectly.
operator can detect a malfunction in an operating unit of
In addition to a thorough knowledge of the affected
equipment and may even be able to make some minor
equipment or system, you must know how to
adjustments to the equipment. The console operator is,
troubleshoot effectively. To troubleshoot efficiently and
however, still responsible for reporting any symptoms
effectively, you should perform the following five
of a malfunction to a GSM or GSE.
logical operations in sequence:
Not all equipment will produce symptoms that are
1. Identify the symptom.
easily recognized. In fact, some symptoms may be
detected only when you are performing preventive
2. Identify the malfunction.
maintenance on the affected equipment item or system.
3. Localize the malfunction.
For these reasons, you must be able to recognize the
4. Locate the cause of the malfunction.
not so apparent as well as the apparent troubles. Once