Core Concepts

Think differently and engineer world class reliability with a deep and broad understanding of why systems and equipment failure occur.

The foundational concepts that lead to operational excellence already exist. Plant Wellness Way is the result of over 20 years of industry experience and research into understanding why assets fail and how these concepts can be applied to industrial operations.

 Each concept that contributes to the overall success of PWW, and as a result your business, is based on empirical evidence across the fields of engineering, finance, and group psychology.

Foundational Concepts

There are 5 core concepts that contribute to improving equipment reliability and ultimately lead to reaching zero-failure operations. These 5 foundational concepts are the difference between developing business systems and maintenance strategies that produce average or outstanding operational performance.


Parts will fail when they are subject to forces or environmental factors that are beyond the limits of stress of their material.


 Maintenance is an economic decision. Put another way, equipment failures cause huge profit losses. 


Every system is perfectly designed for the results it gets.
(W. E. Deming)


Systems are interrelated and are only as reliable as their individual parts.


Business processes are often a long series of steps. So, the success of each step is dependent on the success of the previous.
i.e. Poor work quality multiplies across a process.

Operational Analysis Tools

Plant Wellness Way EAM methodology applies the wisdom of these 5 concepts through the IONICS process. Each stage of the IONICS process incorporates tools for operational analysis and risk analysis. When used properly, these tools provide valuable feedback on the business risks that exist, and how they can be removed from your operations.

Total Defect and Failure Cost Analysis (TDAF Costs)

As the name alludes too, a TDAF Cost Analysis calculates the true cost of failure to a company. A rough rule-of-thumb is that the TDAF Cost is around ten times the direct maintenance costs. The table below lists a summary of the various costs that should be considered as part of this analysis. By quantifying the true cost of each cause of failure, you can determine what steps for prevention and elimination are financially viable, and which risks are economically reasonable to take on.

Design and Operations Cost Totally Optimized Risk (DOCTOR)

The DOCTOR process is a comparative analysis tool that allows designers to design and select equipment that will bring the greatest improvements to the company. It explores the expected future costs of failures of assets by using TDAF Costing and life cycle modelling with Net Present Value (NPV) methods.

As a result, designs and equipment selections with high failure costs are identified before they are implemented allowing the most profitable business decisions to be made and built into the operation’s future success. When problems cannot be removed, strategies are chosen that reduce the likelihood of their occurrence and limit their consequences.

Stress to Process Model

If we had to summarize the Plant Wellness Way EAM philosophy in a single model, the Stress to Process Model would be that. As done with the IONICS Process, the Stress to Process Model focuses on identifying the causes of atomic stress (also known as causes of failure or risks), and how they can be best prevented.

These actions are then used to guide the development of operational and maintenance strategies and processes. As a result, a new enterprise asset management system is developed, in which keeping equipment within their precision operating zones is consistently achieved, securing operational excellence. 

Figure 1. Stress to Process Model for operational excellence

Plant Wellness Way Explained

A C-Suite and Executive level overview of the Plant Wellness Way EAM Methodology.

Explore the Plant Wellness Way

Click on the links below to learn more about the Plant Wellness Way approach and how you can utilize it in your operations

Industrial and Manufacturing Wellness: The Complete Guide to Successful Enterprise Asset Management

Industrial and Manufacturing Wellness: The Complete Guide to Successful Enterprise Asset Management explains how to use reliability engineering principles to design and build companies that are robust, reliable, self-improving, integrated business systems best suited for achieving optimal results.

 Written by asset management expert Mike Sondalini, creator and author of The Plant Wellness Way, this revolutionary work goes beyond basic plant management. Instead, it reveals a completely new way to engineer and implement business processes and work flow strategies that deliver overall operational excellence.

“As I have stated in the past, your materials have been a big blessing to my work. You have definitely empowered me with great [information] that I see changing the way people work”

Refinery Reliability Manager, Kenya

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