AutoQuiz is edited by Joel Don, ISA's social media community manager.
This automation industry quiz question comes from the ISA Certified Automation Professional (CAP) certification program. ISA CAP certification provides a non-biased, third-party, objective assessment and confirmation of an automation professional's skills. The CAP exam is focused on direction, definition, design, development/application, deployment, documentation, and support of systems, software, and equipment used in control systems, manufacturing information systems, systems integration, and operational consulting. Click this link for more information about the CAP program.
How are the maintainability and maintenance of automation systems related?
a) maintainability is a front-end, design outcome; maintenance is related to ongoing system availability
b) maintainability is related to system availability; maintenance is related to traceability and warranties
c) maintainability is a front-end engineering function; maintenance is an ongoing engineering function
d) maintainability is related to malfunctions; maintenance is related to service quality
e) none of the above
Maintainability is the probability that a device will be restored to an operating condition within a specified period when maintenance is done with prescribed resources and procedures. It can also refer to the inherent characteristic of a design or installation that determines the ease, economy, safety, and accuracy with which maintenance actions can be performed on it.
As such, maintainability should be addressed during the front-end engineering and design phase of a project, so these characteristics are built in to the process. This includes addressing items like accessibility for removing pumps, piping, and instruments; complete documentation and procedures; availability of spare parts; personnel training and qualification; and suitability for purpose.
Maintenance is what is performed on a system to ensure that it remains in good working condition, but also, if a failure should occur, maintenance is the mechanism used to return the system to the previous working condition.
The correct answer is A, “Maintainability is a front-end, design outcome; maintenance is related to ongoing system availability.”
Reference: Nicholas Sands, P.E., CAP and Ian Verhappen, P.Eng., CAP., A Guide to the Automation Body of Knowledge. To read a brief Q&A with the authors, plus download a free 116-page excerpt from the book, click this link.
About the Editor
Joel Don is the community manager for ISA and is an independent content marketing, social media and public relations consultant. Prior to his work in marketing and PR, Joel served as an editor for regional newspapers and national magazines throughout the U.S. He earned a master's degree from the Medill School at Northwestern University with a focus on science, engineering and biomedical marketing communications, and a bachelor of science degree from UC San Diego.