3 Characteristics of Structured Root Cause Analysis

Posted by James McLeish on Nov 16, 2016 9:30:00 AM

circuit-board-abstract.jpgDesigning new products right on the first attempt is a key objective for accelerating and optimizing automotive electronics and other product development. Upfront knowledge of how and why failures can occur makes it possible for products to be created with less susceptibility to failure risks. This approach, known as Design for Reliability (DfR), is based on understanding failure mechanisms by applying the Physics of Failure (PoF).

PoF is a formalized and structured approach to the root cause analysis process that focuses on total learning, not just fixing a problem. Unlike traditional Quality, Reliability and Durability (QRD) processes that disregard the design phase and leave problems to be discovered in testing and manufacturing — an expensive and time-consuming remedy — PoF is initiated in the design phase to optimize QRD and eliminate unnecessary expense and wasted time.

What comprises the DfR and PoF engineering approach to the structured root cause analysis process? There are three primary characteristics:

PoF focuses on understanding. Studying the cause and effect relationship between physical (i.e., hardware) failure mechanisms gives an engineer the ability to design a product that is less susceptible to inherent design failure risk. In essence, product reliability is predicated equally on knowing how and why things fail, and how and why they work. Understanding both sides helps identify the many variables that could realistically impact reliability instead of chalking failure up to random, irregular events.

PoF combines material science, physics and chemistry with statistics, variation theory and probabilistic mechanics. Root cause analysis is multifaceted, and necessarily so. It must balance the intricacies of science and mathematics to achieve comprehensive product integrity. PoF helps this process by designing reliability into the process upfront instead of using the traditional design-build-test-fix methods to address failures when time and cost are at a premium.

PoF is based in science. Product design and testing anchored in a consistent, measurable approach provides a sound basis for evaluating usage life and hazard risks of new materials, structures and technologies under actual operating conditions. It demonstrates product reactivity in real world scenarios and allows real-time adjustments for maximum PCB and automotive electronics reliability.

Comprehensive PoF modeling and simulation tools like Sherlock Automated Design AnalysisTM software streamline Design for Reliabilty and makes it actionable early in — and throughout — the process. Learn more in the Introduction to Physics of Failure Reliability Methods. Download your free copy of this valuable webinar now by clicking the button below.

Introduction to Physics of Failure Reliability Methods

Topics: Physics of Failure

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