Modern Psychologists claim that the best way to deal with failure is to focus on variables within your control. To do this, you must first be able to identify these variables.
This is why smart failure analysis is essential to managing and optimizing everything from personal goals to multi-billion dollar business projects.
What is Failure Analysis?
Failure analysis is the systematic process of gathering and analyzing data in order to determine the cause of a failure. Failure analysis is essential to smart engineering for two reasons.
First, in many cases, the goal of failure analysis is to determine the best corrective action. Without it, you could make the same mistakes over and over, without even realizing why you’re making them.
Second, success and excellence are often directly related to your ability to effectively manage failure. Failure leaves clues, and proper failure analysis helps you follow these clues to the source of the failure.
A Basic Overview of Failure Analysis
The failure analysis process usually starts with hypothesis development.
This is where you predict the probable causes of failure. Your hypothesis might focus on the failure of parts, machines, structures or people. Engineers might use a cause-and-effect diagram to identify and evaluate these variables.
Next, begins the step of recreating the process/conditions which led to the failure.
During this step, engineers might use computer models to simulate the environmental and operational factors. The results of this step are then analyzed to see how well the cause(s) of the failure matches the hypothesis.
Once the recreation process is completed, then comes the analysis step.
During this step, experts are called upon to analyze the data gathered during the second phase. These experts might analyze mechanical, chemical, and/or metallographic components, on both a macroscopic and microscopic level.
Finally, the process moves to the damage classification, reporting or prevention stage.
Depending on the nature of the failure, and the results of the analysis, the goal of this stage can be to prevent future failures or to administer disciplinary action. In the case of the latter, the goal would be to hold any persons responsible for damages caused by the failure.
Three Benefits of Failure Analysis
1. Better End Results
Whether you’re creating/refining a product or a service, failure analysis can help you make it better which each new version, model or variation.
It can also help you optimize your budget and your ability to set and reach project deadlines. In business, improving these results can prove just as important as improving the thing you’re producing.
2. Failure Prevention
Failure analysis can help gather information that will aid in preventing failures in future projects. This is because failure analysis often uncovers conditions and/or mechanical components which are creating problems or weaknesses which you didn’t know about.
3. Planning Future Projects
Every engineer is familiar with the carpenter’s rule: measure twice, cut once. In other words, every successful building or engineering project starts with a prediction about which actions are required to produce the desired outcome.
Failure analysis is the perfect way to become better at planning new projects before you commit time and materials to getting them completed.
How Will Failure Analysis Help Your Business?
Most companies don’t have an adequate failure analysis procedure. Meanwhile, companies with solid failure analysis processes are constantly getting better.
If you prefer to be in the latter group, we can help. Just call us now or fill in the form on our contact page. We’ll start with a detailed analysis of your mechanical engineering needs. Contact us now, and let’s see how great failure analysis can make your business more efficient and effective.