Root Cause

Root Cause

Definition of Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

A fault tree is constructed starting with the final failure and progressively tracing each cause that led to the previous cause. This continues till the trail can be traced back no further. Each result of a cause must clearly flow from its predecessor (the one before it). If it is clear that a step is missing between causes it is added in and evidence looked for to support its presence. Below is a sample fault tree for the moral story of the kingdom lost because of a missing horseshoe nail.

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fatigue failure
Preventive Maintenance

Fatigue Failure 101

What Causes Fatigue Failure? Metal fatigue is caused by repeated cycling of the load. It is a progressive localized damage due to fluctuating stresses and strains on the material. Metal fatigue cracks initiate and propagate in regions where the strain is most severe. The process of fatigue consists of three stages.

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Root Cause

The Keys to Solving Fatigue: The Silent Killer

Fatigue is a failure mode that every manufacturing plant will experience at some point and can become chronic if not solved. While understanding fatigue has advanced since its inception in the early 1800s, there are still some misunderstandings in manufacturing in solving these failures. A characteristic of fatigue failures is stress, which is typically below the yield strength of the material. This is what makes fatigue a silent killer.

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Root Cause

Reliability Tips: The Layers of Root Cause

How often is the phrase “The ROOT Cause of the problem” used at your plant/mill? This phrase is a bit symptomatic of how Root Cause Analysis is thought of. The phrase implies that there is only one “cause” to the problem. Rarely is there a single root cause to any given problem. Usually, there are several reasons; to be sure there are several “technical causes” that interact to create a breakdown/failure.

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Root Cause

Root Cause Problem Elimination: What vs Who

So, the root cause problem elimination. It’s really just a structured approach to eliminate problems…that’s all it is. It’s what usually happens when people say they do root cause, in my experience, this is the morning meeting and someone says motor tripped-out costing production loss. So, what happens in the morning meeting, now I haven’t been to yours, but somewhere, the first thing people say is this a maintenance problem or is this an operations problem.

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Root Cause

Understanding Resonance Mode Shapes

Welcome to this weeks edition of Chalk Talk by Reliability Solutions. The subject this week is the subject of resonance, resonance is a pretty common problem in industry today. Some people estimate about a third of your machines have vibration on them that is being magnified by resonance or natural frequencies. One method we use when identifying a resonance problem is to plot out a resonance mode shape when structures vibrate, due to resonance they tend to vibrate with a resonance mode shape.

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Root Cause

Three Simple RCA (Root Cause Analysis) Facilitation Tips

I have heard one manager in a plant that has stipulated a maximum of two hours for an Root Cause Analysis to be conducted in his organisation. Another expects at least “brainstormed” solutions before the conclusion of day one – within 6 or 7 hours.  It is not uncommon for a draft report to be required within 48 hours of the RCA. The following three tips may assist to meet tight deadlines and when time expectations are short. One advantage of the Apollo RCA process is that it is a fast process but the “driver” has to be on the ball to achieve the desired outcomes – effective solutions.

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Root Cause

Why Some Root-Cause Investigations Don’t Prevent Recurrence

To successfully carry out this mission, a root-cause investigation needs to be evidence-driven in accordance with a rigorous application of the bedrock of all root-cause methodologies: the Scientific Method. Consistent with the Scientific Method, underlying assumptions have to be questioned and conclusions have to be consistent with the available evidence, as well as with proven scientific facts and principles. Sometimes root-cause investigations fail to fulfill their primary mission and the failure recurs. In that regard, diagnosing the root cause of root-cause investigation failures is, in itself, an interesting topic. Here are three common reasons why some root-cause investigations fail their mission.

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Root Cause

The Top 10 Reasons Why Root-Cause Analysis Sucks in the United States

Lately, I’ve been asked to provide root-cause analysis training more than ever before in my 14 years as an independent quality/lean consultant. This is interesting in the age of Six Sigma, especially because “analyze” is the heart of DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, control). I find this interesting in this age of lean, in which the lean tools that are taught to so many people are only possible solutions to good root-cause analysis. I began to wonder, “Why does root-cause analysis suck?,” and I came up with the following possible root causes. You decide which apply to your company by asking “Why?” somewhere around five times until you find the systemic reason(s) that it sucks at your company. Drum roll, please . . .

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