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The EWO, Emergency Work Order, is a method to document and solve problems faster.


The EWO, Emergency Work Order is a method for quickly documenting and solving problems. It is a document with predefined fields, which collects all the information to perform a “on-the-job analysis »1 and have the necessary data to carry out the cost deployment. It is complemented by a combination of maintenance and production.

1 – The EWO Template

The template (downloadable here) should allow us to collect all the data for a good problem solving. A complete EWO must include the following data :

  • Information about the context of the failure.
  • Description of the failure
  • Detailed analysis using the 5 Why et le 5W2H.
  • Potential root causes.
  • Define root causes and their categories (see below).
  • Suggestions for countermeasures.
  • A reference on EWO is a key tool of WCM. We must be able to archive them for later analysis.

2 – Categorization of root causes

To help in the search for root causes, the EWO method proposes a categorization of the potential causes, as well as the 5M. It will also be able to process it later in the correct pillar of the WCM.

There are 6 categories of causes that we detail in the table below :

Breakdowns type


Pillar to implement

Lack of basic conditions

Each equipment has the necessary basic conditions : standard of work, good general condition … Without this, we can not guarantee a correct functioning.

Autonomous activities

Operation outside the standard

Equipment for X reasons settings have been changed without having investigated the cause.

Autonomous activities

Wear defect

Failure due to wear or deterioration without detection and treatment.

Professional Maintenance

Human error

There are 3 classes: human error of the operator, maintenance error and human error of the expert.

The philosophy is to never judge / blame. However we can use the tool HERCA to investigate the reason.

Professional maintenance if due to maintenance or expert

Autonomous activities if operator error.

Design defect

There are 2 types of design defaults: sizing of the equipment, poor design causing failures on other functions.

Early equipment management

External influence

The causes of causes are external to the operation of the equipment : software, power failure, humidity…

Environment and energy


3 – EWO management

EWOs are then integrated into a database. They will serve for future investigation or to highlight the recurring problems and prioritize our actions.


P. Sasaya (2009) – Advanced World Classe Manufacturing

A. Börjesson, A. Svensson (2011) – Critical equipment classification and cost reduction within professional maintenance

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