Follow the Plant Wellness Way IONICS Process to Design and Build a Life Cycle System-of-Reliability

Scientifically-based, world class reliable results are achievable and repeatable with the Plant Wellness Way EAM methodology and its six-step IONICS process

Central to the Plant Wellness Way EAM methodology is the IONICS Process.

A 6-step procedure that guides you and your organization, department, and team to analyze your business and operational risks, and develop an enterprise asset management system that is purpose-built to deliver your organization world class reliability.

IONICS combines principles from materials science, risk management, equipment reliability, systems engineering, and group psychology. Included in this process is a series of tools that guide business risk management and maintenance strategy development-based decision making.

The Plant Wellness Way Process

Make the Strategic Decision

To achieve operational excellence your organization or department will first need to make the strategic decision to follow the PWW EAM methodology through to completion. Without this decision and the associated actions to support it, PWW EAM will only provide partial results.

For those who wish to sample the benefits of PWW firsthand, PWW can be adapted and trialed on a single asset. Regardless of the scale that PWW is to be implemented, it is important that once the decision is made, the full process is followed through to competition.

Follow Through

Once the decision is made, the necessary resources are required to be allocated. They include a champion to oversee the project, personnel to develop the documentation, and time for employees to complete their training and contribute to the documentation development.


The Plant Wellness Way training course will provide all attendees with the necessary background knowledge and understanding to effectively complete the IONICS process. For the best results from this training, representatives from all levels that will be affected by the PWW implementation should attend the sessions together.

This collective training and representation of diverse teams is the best way to foster a culture of equal ownership of any changes to be made, promotes cross-team collaboration, and positions your company for improved knowledge transfer – as peers teaching peers is often more effective than a top-down approach to information dispersion.

The IONICS Process

I – Identify Risks from Asset Failure

To begin, process maps are used to ‘draw out’ how business processes, assets, and work processes fit together. (This can be done at various scales, from single assets through to the full organization, however it is recommended to start with single assets.) Once complete, a clear detailed picture shows how the operation really works.

This picture is used to identify all potential risks, also known as potential causes of failure, and determine their frequency / likelihood of occurring. For each risk that is identified, a full quantitative risk analysis is conducted. This process, known as a Total Defect and Failure Cost Analysis, accounts for the true cost of failure in a hypothetical worst-case scenario – including the direct costs (inventory, contractors, cost of labor etc.) and indirect or ‘hidden’ costs (lost sales, administration labor, utilities etc.)

Key Analytics and Tools:
Process Mapping
Risk Identification
Asset Failure Frequency Distribution
Total Defect and Failure (TDAF) Cost Analysis

O – Order Risks by Criticality

The complete quantitative risk analysis documents undergo two separate analyses – a Physics of Failure Factors Analysis, to identify what events across the part’s lifecycle could lead to failure. And an Operating Criticality Analysis, to identify the potential immediate and flow-on financial impacts of part’s failure to your business.

Key Analytics and Tools:
Physics of Failure Factors Analysis (POFFA)
Operating Criticality Analysis

N – Numerate Component Risks Solutions

Reliability analysis tools are used to explore what could be done to prevent these risks from occurring. These possible actions are refined down based on their expected impact and potential cost of implementation. With PWW you can be confident that any changes made to operating processes are changes that will bring greater value than implementing them will cost.

Precision maintenance strategies, standard operating procedures, and business processes are developed that incorporate quality controls. These quality controls keep the equipment parts in their precision operating zones, as determined by empirical data (materials science measures and supplier operating requirements).

Prior to official implementation, the new procedures, strategies, and standards are checked to confirm that they will improve equipment reliability and reduce operating costs.

Key Analytics and Tools:
Design and Operating Costs Totally Optimized Risk (DOCTOR)
Physics of Failure Reliability (POFR) Analysis
Physics of Failure Reliability Strategy
Reliability Growth Cause Analysis
Stress to Process Model

I – Install Risk Control Solutions

The new and updated processes and strategies are implemented into the business. New standard operating procedures (SOPs) are developed to support these changes through quality control.

Unique to the PWW is a double-step peer-review process for work quality and Target, Tolerance, Test (3Ts) requirements are included for work tasks. This seeks to ensure that the SOPs are completed to quality standards every time, leveraging both peer to peer knowledge transfer and team-based dynamics.

Server-based databases are used to allow everyone to access the new standards, specifications and procedures. If, during the process of developing new work processes it is identified that employees need to be upskilled, this is planned and actioned.

Key Analytics and Tools:
Standard Operations Procedures (SOP) Work Quality Control
Target, Tolerance, Test (3T)

C – Cultivate Chance of Process Success

To maximize the outcomes of a process, a Chance of Success Map is used to demonstrate their effectiveness and identify opportunities for improvement. These improvements are then written into the operating procedures, with an explanation of how to run the process most successfully.

Key Performance Indicators are required for each process, with Intermediate Performance Indicators used for each process step. This allows for ongoing checking of how processes are working, and where continuous improvement opportunities lie.

Key Analytics and Tools:
Change of Success Mapping
Stress to Process Method
Change to Win

S – Synthesize Continual Improvements

Your new business and operational processes have been implemented. Your employees have the training, confidence, and capabilities to meet the targets set. And you are already seeing the benefits of improved reliability in your company.

Now is not the time to stop – instead, you want to refine your processes and controls further.

Continuous improvement is key to achieving and sustaining a zero-failure operation. Utilize the KPIs and IPIs data to track performance and allow your employees to find opportunities for further improvement. By visualizing this data, you and your teams can see the influence of their actions over time, and how the improvements and changes made to processes impact the results.

Key Analytics and Tools:
Total Defect and Failure (TDAF) Cost Analysis
Physics of Failure Reliability (POFR) Analysis
Reliability Growth Cause Analysis
Change to Win
KPI and IPI Data Analysis

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

Thinking Differently about Operational Management

Download our FREE PDF on how to Think Differently About Operational Management – A Beginner’s Guide to Thinking Outside the Box.

Plant Wellness Way Explained

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