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Articles on Failure Analysis

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2001 "Root Cause Analysis" Survey Results This survey of use of Root Cause Analysis techniques by Maintenance professionals was conducted on the Plant Maintenance Resource Center web site in late 2000
2003 Blackout (Northeastern US/Ontario) - Research Papers Numerous links to description and analysis of this significant power blackout
A Case Study-Failure of Motor Shaft Of Rotary Wagon Tippler -Reasons and Remedy To avoid such type of failure the reason for shaft failure is discussed in this paper. And this paper also suggested necessary precautions to avoid such type of breakdown. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
A little bit more about troubleshooting centrifugal pumps and mechanical seals One of the U. S. based Japanese automobile manufacturers has a unique method of troubleshooting any type of mechanical failure. The system is called the "Five Whys".
A Re-Examination of Failure Analysis and Root Cause Determination Failure analysis is a complex process applied to all different types of materials. Each class of materials requires special skills and experience to effectively unravel the causes of failure. This is the first in a series of papers focusing on these various subsets of materials. The series will include failures in metallurgy, paints and coatings, plastics and electronics, as well as failure caused by corrosion. Each paper in the series will also include an examination the principles of root cause determination within that particular field. This first paper is primarily concerned with the overall approach to failure analysis and with the applications of that approach to metallurgical failures. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Analysis: RCM Versus RCA There is a basic but very real misconception concerning the roles of RCM (Reliability Centered Maintenance) and RCA (Root Cause Analysis) in today’s operating facility. This is due primarily to the fact the most people think that the two programs do virtually the same thing - nothing could be further from the truth.
Analyzing Semiconductor Failure
Become an Equipment Reliability Detective courtesy of Reliability Center, Inc.
Chronic Events: Panning For Gold
Columbia Accident Investigation Board - Final Report The Columbia Accident Investigation Board's final report on the causes of the Feb. 1, 2003 Space Shuttle accident (caution - this is a BIG file - 11Mb) - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Creating the Environment For RCA To Succeed The one thing we should always be cognizant of is the fact that no matter what the new initiative is, it will likely be viewed from the end user as the "program-of-the-month."
Dynamic Properties of Damaged Materials
Eli Lilly Incident Profile - Finding the Root Cause Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA) methodology and a relatively new software program PROACT® were used to get to the incident’s root cause.
Engine Thrust Bearing Failure
Enhance The Ability To Perform Root Cause Analysis with Reliability Physics Over the years root cause analysis has become a word that is now associated with many problems. At one time the National Transportation & Safety Board (NTSB) was unique in its use referencing the conclusion of an airline crash investigation as the root cause analysis of the mishap. Today the word root cause is heard on the news more often and associated with all kinds of events. The events now range from the root cause of 9/11 to the root cause of a factory explosion. This article will help to give a deeper understanding of what Root Cause Analysis is and what it takes to get to the root causes of an event.
Failure Analysis of Electronics Assemblies Here's what you need to know before, during and after electronics assembly failure analysis.
Failure Analysis of Mechanical Components In more than 90 percent of industrial cases a trained person can use the basic techniques of failure analysis to diagnose the mechanical causes behind a failure, without having to enlist outside sources and expensive analytical tools like electron microscopes. Then, knowing how a failure happened, the investigator can pursue the human roots of why it happened. There are times, however, when 90 percent accuracy is not good enough. When personal injury or a large loss is possible, a professional should guide the analysis.
Failure Analysis of Paints and Coatings In this introductory survey failure analysis methodology will be applied to the principal mechanisms by which paints and coatings fail during service. How to conduct a failure analysis, stages of analysis, proper techniques for sample removal, destructive and non-destructive techniques, primary causes and modes of failure, and specific case studies will be discussed. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Failure Analysis Study This technical white paper provides an extensive study into the different types of material and component failures observed in industrial enterprises. This white paper also provides solutions to manufacturing problems and advises towards selecting the appropriate materials to improve overall product quality, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction. It also discusses welding problems and offers solutions to improve the weld process. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Failure Analysis/Problem Solving Methods courtesy of Reliability Center, Inc.
Failure Analysis: Contamination How to diagnose contamination failures in bearings
Failure Analysis: Corrosion How to diagnose corrosion failures in bearings
Failure Analysis: Electrical Fluting How to diagnose electrical fluting in bearings
Failure Analysis: Excessive Load How to diagnose excessive load in bearings
Failure Analysis: False Brineling How to diagnose false brineling in bearings
Failure Analysis: Installation Damage How to diagnose installation damage in bearings
Failure Analysis: Loose Fit How to diagnose loose bearing fit
Failure Analysis: Lubrication How to diagnose lubrication failures in bearings
Failure Analysis: Misalignment How to diagnose misalignment failures in bearings
Failure Analysis: Normal Fatigue Failure How to diagnose normal fatigue failures in bearings
Failure Analysis: Overheating How to diagnose overheating in bearings
Failure Analysis: Preload Failures How to diagnose bearing preload failure
Failure Analysis: Reverse Loading How to diagnose reverse loading in bearings
Failure Analysis: True Brinneling Failures How to diagnose true brinelling
Failure and Root Cause Analysis in India and the Middle East Failures are costing Indian and Middle-East plants and manufacturing units billions of dollars a year and are draining the productivity potential of the respective nations. TCR presents their methodical approach to determine the mode and root cause of failures. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Failure Codes and their use Request this free article from this link
Failure Information Survey Results - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Failure Investigation and Analysis with case study Samples of several failure investigations, with photographs - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Failure Mechanisms and Effects Laboratory - The Impact of Failure Analysis on Engineering Practice In a taped interview with Dr. John H. Smith of the Metallurgy Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, Dr. Smith discusses how failure analysis in the field often impacts Engineering Standards. Using slides Dr. Smith discusses and illustrates two specific cases where this has happened. The first of these cases involved the failure of an oil storage tank that was relocated from Cleveland to Pittsburgh. The other case involved the failure of a compressed natural gas trailer tube in Litchfield, Kentucky. In each of these cases, compliance with existing construction and/or building codes failed to prevent failures that ultimately resulted in serious consequences.
Failure Modes & Effects Analysis - A Modified Approach courtesy of Reliability Center, Inc.
Fighting Failure It is time to change our paradigm to a culture where failure is the exception and certainly not the rule. This is easy to say but a bit more of a challenge to accomplish. Ken Latino of Meridium, Inc. outlines some steps you can take to generate a more Reliability-focused culture within your plant or facility. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Gas Distribution Pipe Explosion An unprotected schedule 40 carbon steel pipe ruptured beneath the surface of an essential roadway. The pipe was visibly corroded on its exterior surface. When cut open, black colored deposits but no underlying corrosion was observed on the inside diameter surface of the pipe. Further mechanical damage and abrasion were exhibited on the pipe exterior, especially at a hole several feet away from the fracture. Noncompliance was suspected and an immediate failure investigation was deemed necessary to assign financial responsibility. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
General Aviation Maintenance-Related Accidents report This report, issued by the Office of Aerospace Medicine within the Federal Aviation Administration in the USA, analyzes 10 years of National Transportation Safety Board data. Its primary conclusion was that installation errors were the leading cause of maintenance-related general aviation accidents. Are there lessons that can be learnt for general industry? - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Getting Root Cause Analysis to Work for You This paper from Sandy Dunn provides several tips regarding how to make the most of Root Cause Analysis to progressively eliminate failures. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
How Can Vendor's PROACT to their Customer's Concerns? courtesy of Reliability Center, Inc.
How Has Root Cause Failure Analysis Failed To Meet It's Potential? courtesy of Reliability Center, Inc.
How To Select the "Right" Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA) Methodology & Vendor courtesy of Reliability Center, Inc.
How to sell Root Cause Analysis (RCA) to Management
Human Precision: The Human Side of Reliability Reliability in terms of a human being can best be measured by the precision the individual puts into the task being performed.
Improve the Downtime Tracking System and Establish an RCFA Process Have you validated the downtime tracking process? Does your system track any and all reason for equipment downtime, reduction in equipment rate, and losses due to poor quality or yield? Does a cross-functional team validate the downtime log? What steps have you taken to ensure that there are no ‘CYA games’ being played by maintenance, operations, or any other functional area in regard to who is responsible for the mitigation of these production losses? - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Interim Report: Causes of the August 14th, 2003 Blackout in the United States and Canada The official interim report of this event produced by the U.S.-Canada Power System Outage Task Force
Investigating Material and Component Failure This white paper provides an extensive study into the different types of material and component failures observed in industrial enterprises. This white paper also provides solutions to manufacturing problems and advises towards selecting the appropriate materials to improve overall product quality, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction. It also discusses welding problems and offers solutions to improve the weld process. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Is Analysis An Engineering Function? courtesy of Reliability Center, Inc.
Justifying Root Cause Analysis Make the business case with a significant calculated return on investment
Justifying Root Cause Analysis Make the business case with a significant calculated return on investment
Managing Failure Analysis To be a good failure analyst one must also be a good manager.
Microstructrure of the Month Monthly informative articles for today's metallurgists and engineers. Each month, engineers from the Metallography and Failure Analysis division highlight an issue that may help prevent future application or product failures observed in our material testing laboratory in India.
O Processo de Análise de Causas Raíz PROACT â Metodologia & Software Através da historia o homem inventou e melhorou numerosos equipamentos e processos baseando-se em suas habilidades para atender uma demanda crescente de produtos e serviços por parte da sociedade. Como resultado desta demanda em crescimento e da otimização de custos, tem-se desenvolvido diversas técnicas Para a análise dos problemas que surgiram nos quipamentos e processos e no rendimento de capacidades, “em um esforço para assegurar a confiabilidade. A Análise por Causa Raiz (ACR) é uma destas armas no arsenal da confiabilidade…
Obstacles to Learning from Things that Go Wrong The unique advantage those of us in the Root Cause Analysis (RCA) field have is that everyone has problems that must be solved. No matter what your occupation nor the industry you are in, things do not always go as planned and someone must address “Why?” Sounds simple doesn’t it? Why is it that when we try to formalize such RCA-type efforts, that there is often resistance and lack of commitment?
Phoenix Approach Analysis of Ski Lift Strangulation - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Predictive Technology is the Key to Breaking Error Chains It is virtually impossible for one or even a few human errors to cause a random event (significant failure), no matter how dramatic the event. This small statement has a meaning so powerful that it’s hard to believe that we as humans do not take it to heart.
Preventing Space Shuttle Disasters Means Getting to the Root Cause The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster was barely an hour old and already the pundits were speculating about the “cause.” This article argues that no disaster like the Columbia is ever because of one, or even two easy to identify causes, such as the often-mentioned insulation falling and damaged left wing tiles. The root causes always go much deeper. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
PROACT® for Infrared Thermographers The use of Infrared Thermography puts us all in the position of being “failure analysts”. Our roles sometimes require us to not only to identify thermal anomalies, but also to investigate where the anomaly originates. We will explore how a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) method called PROACT® can help thermographers provide a competitive edge by providing their clients with a Root Cause Analysis in addition to the Infrared Study. The use of PROACT® software will be demonstrated to show how to involve and present the RCA findings to the end client.
RCA in Action: The Space Shuttle Columbia Investigation As is typical in our manufacturing organizations, oftentimes it takes high visibility events with catastrophic consequences for a full-blown Root Cause Analysis (RCA) to be conducted.
RCFA + RCM = Formula for Successful Maintenance When these two approaches are properly combined, they materially enhance operating performance.
RCFA Provides Whirlpool Corporation with Immediate Improvements This RCFA case study comes from the Marion Division, and was performed two weeks after initial RCFA Methods training was completed.
RCM Versus RCA Most people think that the two programs do virtually the same thing - nothing could be further from the truth
Recurring Causes of Recent Chemical Accidents The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have investigated recent accidents at petroleum refineries, chemical manufacturing facilities, tolling operations, chemical distributors, and other types of facilities. Recurring causes of these accidents include inadequate process hazards analysis, use of inappropriate or poorly-designed equipment, inadequate indications of process condition, and others
Reliability Engineering Snapshot - Machine Design "Rules of Thumb" are just that, general guidelines that need to be reviewed on an individual basis. Not to do so, can spell trouble. A case in point for "making the pinion gear harder than the ring gear." How much harder?
Reliability Engineering Snapshot - Material Properties Is it a casting crack or is it a brittle failure? Grain growth pattern versus crack path, which came first?
Root Cause Analysis - Quality of Process? - Part 2
Root Cause Analysis - Quality of Process? - Part 3 When most people conduct their version of a Root Cause Analysis (RCA), where do they usually stop? How do they know when they are done? How do they know that the problem will not recur?
Root Cause Analysis: Quality of Process - Part 1 We have all heard the term Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and we likely all interpret its meaning in a different fashion
Root Cause Analysis: Will It Find the Weak Link?
Root Cause Failure Analysis courtesy of Reliability Center, Inc.
Root Cause Failure Analysis - An Integrated Approach This article by Herman Ellis of Qualitech Management Services is a compilation of the work of numerous researchers who have developed various approaches to the science of Problem Solving / Decision Making. It is an attempt to combine and integrate proven techniques into one GENERIC methodology that can be applied to ANY problem. Contrary to other, current, (very good) methodologies, this approach does not require a dedicated team, nor do they have to be experts in the subject matter of the problem. Indeed, it is our experience with hundreds of problem analysis sessions based on this model that the solutions generated during public programs attended by a cross-section of participants from different industries and cultures, significantly outperform those of private in-house courses. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Root Cause Failure Analysis - Understanding Mechanical Failures Machines aren’t supposed to break, and mechanical components such as shafts, fasteners, and structures aren’t supposed to fail. But when they do fail, they can tell us exactly why.
Root Cause Failure Analysis Saves Inland Steel $1.15 Million courtesy of Reliability Center, Inc.
Root Cause Failure Analysis: Interpretation of Fatigue Failures By far, the majority of mechanical failures happen from fatigue. (If someone asks you why something failed, just tell them fatigue. You’ll be right 90% of the time and that’s a great average in any activity.) But saying that fatigue caused a failure is like saying the hill caused a car’s brakes to fail. The value of failure analysis is that you can use it to look at the broken parts, determine the type and magnitude of the forces involved, then do something to prevent their recurrence.
Root Cause Failure Analysis: The Case of the Frequent Bearing Failures This is the third in a series of articles on Root Cause Failure Analysis that examines some of the available metallurgical and physical evidence.
Root Cause Failure Analysis: Understanding Mechanical Failures Machines aren’t supposed to break, and mechanical components such as shafts, fasteners, and structures aren’t supposed to fail. But when they do fail, they can tell us exactly why.
sci.engr FAQ on Failures -- part one
Some Failure Analysis Case Histories in Galvanized Steel Products The three case histories presented in this paper concern defects and causes of failure associated with galvanized steel sheet material. Optical metallography and microindentation hardness testing were the principal methods employed in determining the causes of failure but were supplemented as necessary by scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry. - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Supporting Root Cause Analysis: A Manager’s Perspective Supporting Root Cause Analysis: A Manager’s Perspective by Robert J. Latino, EVP, Strategic Development, Reliability Center, Inc. In a world inundated with the perceived “programs-of-the-month”, many legitimate efforts are discounted because of guilt-by-association. While many of these perceptions may be invalid and not based on current reality, nevertheless they are the belief systems of the workforce and therefore what they base their decisions on. So how do managers successfully implement proven methods, practices and techniques into such an environment? This paper will strive to discuss management’s specific role in one reliability method called Root Cause Analysis.
Supporting Root Cause Analysis: A Manager's Perspective
Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster
The "Soft Side" of Root Cause Analysis courtesy of Reliability Center, Inc.
The Essentials of Conducting a Successful Root Cause Failure Analysis courtesy of Reliability Center, Inc.
The Failure Dilemma How do I move towards Proaction when I work in such a Reactive environment?
The Failure Dilemma How do I move towards Proaction when I work in such a Reactive environment. Courtesy of Reliability Center, Inc.
The Pontiac that was Allergic to Vanilla Ice Cream For the engineers among us who understand that the obvious is not always the solution, and that the facts, no matter how implausible, are still the facts..
The Power of Failure Analysis to Eliminate Process Interruptions courtesy of Reliability Center, Inc.
The Problem with Problem Solving Why do so many problems still exist? The answer becomes readily apparent when we realize that the science of problem solving often takes a back seat to the other more pressing day-to-day issues we face during everyday operations
The RCFA Paradox courtesy of Reliability Center, Inc.
Understanding the Multiple Roots of Machinery Failures Looking at the newspapers we frequently see statistics on the cause of some group of failure events shown as a pie chart or other chart adding up to 100%. Also, we frequently hear television announcers citing the latest study where they say things like “X percent of all home accidents are caused by poor lighting” or “Y percent of deaths are caused by cigarette smoking”. The idea that an accident occurred or a piece of equipment broke down because of the error of a single person or a simple design error would be nice – but usually it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny in the real world.
Utilizing Analytical Ferrography for Root Cause Analysis and Failure Prevention Analytical Ferrography, when performed with other analysis tests, is capable of determining the Root Cause of failure, which can lead to failure prevention.
What Is Root Cause Failure Analysis? courtesy of Reliability Center, Inc.
What is the difference between Failure Analysis (FA), Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA)?
What is the Ultimate Goal of Implementing RCA? No matter what Root Cause Analysis (RCA) process that your firm has decided upon, "What is considered a successful RCA effort?"
Who Said That???!!!
Why Asking "Why?" Doesn't Work
Why Engine Thrust Bearings Fail
Why Root Cause Analysis Doesn't Always Work When performing true RCA, getting to the causes is the easy part, getting something done to eliminate the causes is a whole different story. Courtesy of Reliability Center, Inc.
Why The Power Supply Failed - Part 1 Results of the invesitgation into the Auckland Power Supply failure of 1998 - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Why The Power Supply Failed - Part 2 Results of the invesitgation into the Auckland Power Supply failure of 1998 - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Why The Power Supply Failed - Part 3 Results of the invesitgation into the Auckland Power Supply failure of 1998 - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Why The Power Supply Failed - Part 4 Results of the invesitgation into the Auckland Power Supply failure of 1998 - requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.


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