Research study from industry-university collaboration on “No Fault Found” events

Samir Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present the successes and barriers from an industry-university partnership on studying the impact of No Fault Found (NFF) events. As a consequence, various opportunities are explored to engage with industry to investigate the problem. A comprehensive training is also outlined to ensure that experience and troubleshooting techniques can be disseminated as guidelines across businesses. Design/methodology/approach – The study was performed by Cranfield University in collaboration with industrial partners on identifying the impact of the NFF problem within engineering services. This includes discussions with maintenance engineers, outcomes from a symposium organised specifically on NFF and the authors’ own experiences with the issue. Findings – The paper discusses the continuing serious problem with NFF events found at various maintenance echelons, and suggests a need for formal postgraduate training to be taught within the field of maintenance management. This includes not just technical issues, but also encompassing organisational structures, cultures and behaviours. Since focusing only on one issue at a time does not suffice in dealing with the NFF problem, an integrated approach is required for modern maintenance services and operations. Research limitations/implications – Higher education learning outcomes have been outlined for competent engineering personnel, to broaden their understanding on the subject area. This is based on discussions with industrial collaborators and recently published material. Practical implications – This paper emphasises the importance of the breath of interaction channels and demonstrates the opportunities for effective knowledge exchange by using the activities at Cranfield University to demonstrate their usefulness. The arguments clearly lead to the necessity of academia in this type of industrial problem. However, the presence of a university in this case is not as the sole problem solver, but the rather to act as a collaborative medium between various other outlets. Further ideas proposed, such as constructing guidelines for industries in handling NFF problems and benchmarking tools, can serve as real products that can be benefit industries. The study also aims to promote best practice in the field of maintenance management and outlines the foundations for NFF training material. Originality/value – The originality of the paper is that it presents a structured methodology for engaging with industry. It also outlines a curriculum for NFF training. It essentially serves as a road-map for research and offers a detailed account of areas that need to be taken into account in order to reduce the likely event of NFF.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-206
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering
Issue number2
Early online date11 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

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  • Reliability
  • Maintenance
  • Higher education
  • No fault found
  • University-industry collaboration


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