When your carefully planned project doesn't work, you need to know why. But troubleshooting the issue yourself isn't always the best answer. You definitely do want to run through what your facility did or how it made a part to see what happened, but for a finer analysis of why a part or project failed, you should look to a third-party engineering service. Failure analysis is necessary for your company's continued success.

Finding the Root Cause Isn't Enough

When something fails, there is a root cause of the failure, and then there are the things that caused the failure to manifest. For example, if a piece of equipment stops working due to a cracked rubber gasket, the root cause is the cracked gasket. But you also need to know why the gasket cracked in the first place. Questions to ask include, was the manufacturing process turning out defective parts, was the gasket purchased from another supplier who has to do their own failure analysis, was the gasket stored inappropriately, and so on. You need to know what these contributing factors are so that you can address them, too.

Contributing Factors Could Occur Again

The reason is that these contributing factors could affect any gasket you place in that equipment, over and over again. If the equipment experiences temperatures that hadn't been accounted for when you were originally testing your prototypes, for example, or if the gaskets were supposed to withstand a certain amount of heat but weren't, any gasket you place in that same spot could fail again if you don't identify why the first one failed. You may need a different material for the gasket, or you may find that adjacent parts are heating up unexpectedly (which would require an investigation in itself) and harming the integrity of the gasket. The gasket here is just an example, and failure analysis would be needed for any issue.

A Third Party Has No Emotional or Legal Stake in the Game

But why get an engineering firm to conduct the failure analysis? Why not do it yourself? For one thing, the engineering firm is not emotionally invested in the success of the project or equipment. Their business does not rise or fall on whether the project or part succeeds, so there is no underlying, unconscious desire to ignore huge problems. Most companies definitely want to find those big problems and fix them, but even they can be subject to a wish that the problems not really be so serious.

Another reason is that the engineering firm has no legal stake in the game. If your company did something to produce faulty equipment or stored parts incorrectly, meaning your company was responsible for the failure, there could be liability issues that your company would face. The third-party engineering firm isn't going to shy away from finding the real issues behind the failure of the part, equipment, or project. When you need to have failure analysis done, you really do want that impartial third-party company to look at the problem.

For more information, contact a company like East Coast Engineering Inc.