Failure analysis looks into a failure to identify the root cause, usually to fix the issue and prevent additional losses. Every branch of the industrial sector engages in failure analysis to guard against potential threats to people and the environment and future asset and product failures. The failure analysis process has a lot of advantages, such as favorable financial, legal, and safety outcomes. Here are the critical reasons to perform failure analysis.
Recognize the primary causes of failure.
The core step in the failure analysis process is often identifying the root cause. Data collecting is required to determine if the failure happened due to a manufacturing, material, or misuse defect. A fault in the product design may have made it unable to fulfill its intended purpose. Maybe there was a manufacturing or material flaw or a possibility of product abuse or misuse. Or perhaps it outlived its usefulness and broke down.
A failure analysis consultant can gather the data and observations required to draw conclusions regarding the failure’s root cause(s) by carefully inspecting the product, its fracture surfaces, and its environment.
Establish liability for failure.
Failure analysis may identify responsible parties in addition to identifying the failure’s primary cause. This can be utilized in court cases to assign responsibility and safeguard yourself from lawsuits.
Failure analysis frequently necessitates the involvement of the forensic engineer in a wide range of concerns that go beyond the scientific investigation of the cause of the failure. The engineer must, however, also be acutely aware of and sensitive to the legal difficulties that frequently surround the examination of a failure.
Avoid financial losses and penalties due to failed components
Failure can be expensive, whether due to pricey outages, a halt in output, or even a result of legal action. Failure analysis can stop these issues from worsening or future failures from occurring.
Enhance upcoming items
Manufacturers can improve subsequent iterations of the product or other products if they can determine what went wrong with one product. Analysts frequently discover new information regarding the design, production, material, or actual service procedures when they conduct failure analysis on a single product. Consequently, the involved parties can anticipate and steer clear of any issues in the future thanks to this insightful information.
Avoid product or asset failures.
Corrective measures can be performed to stop the issue from reoccurring. The following are some typical underlying causes and the appropriate corrective actions:
- The failure resulted from poor design: review in-service loads and environmental effects, and make the necessary design modifications.
- Failure was due to a manufacturing flaw: review the manufacturing processes (such as casting, forging, machining, heat treating, coating, and assembly) to ensure the design specifications are met.
- Failure was due to a material flaw: Implement the quality control plan for raw materials.
- The failure resulted from misuse or abuse: teach the user how to properly install, operate, maintain, and care for the product, which has outlived its usefulness. Inform the user about appropriate overhaul/replacement cycles.
Comply with product and asset standards.
Finally, analyzing failure modes and impacts can ensure that future manufacturing processes, defective parts, goods, or assets satisfy standards.