Chapter 3: Aspects of a Failure Investigation
Statistics, data analysis, root cause analysis, and problem-solving processes play a key role in failure investigations. This chapter explains how to collect failure investigation data, how to build and maintain a database for company-related failures, and how to use corresponding statistics including type of failure, material, and root cause. It describes the purpose and benefits of conducting a root cause analysis and the factors, namely relative failure importance and company value, that determine when an investigation should be performed. The chapter also discusses the four-step problem-solving process as it applies to failure investigation, how to assemble an investigation team, and the details of organization and planning. It concludes with a case history of the Firestone 500 steel-belted tire failure, stressing the importance of a systematic approach to failure investigations.