Root Cause Analysis and Corrective Action – The Key to Continuous Improvement
An ISO 9001 certified company strives to maintain the highest level of quality, not only in their product, but also in their processes, which make up their quality management system. One of the key components of an effective quality management system is to continually improve. In order to continually improve, we must first identify issues or areas of concern and, more importantly, their causes.
One practice is root cause analysis, which is defined as a method of problem solving that tries to identify the root causes of faults or problems which, once removed, prevents the final undesirable event from recurring. By practicing root cause analysis, we are able to identify and correct the cause of failures, as opposed to simply addressing their symptoms. The goal of focusing on correcting the root cause of an issue is to prevent that problem from recurring. One way to practice root cause analysis is the 5-Why method. This is a method of asking “why” repeatedly until the root cause is identified.
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To Grind or Not to Grind Your Pins? When making field connections on your chain DO NOT grind your pins because this will only cause you more headaches in the upcoming months. When discussing chain, the old saying “Your chain is only as strong as your weakest link.” has never been so true and by grinding a pin you have just created a weak link.
As machining and hole punching processes get more precise we can use these processes to our advantage and add more value into the chain for our customers. Websters current processes allow us to reproduce a consistent and repeatable interference fit between the pins and the sidebar holes. With this repeatability, we solely rely on our press fit to keep the pins stationary in the sidebar. There are always a few exceptions to the rule based upon the geometry of the parts, but for the most part you will notice our pins with a full round end.
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The selling of chains in the Industry has added much confusion to a very simple problem. New “Buzz Words” are added that increase the confusion. New phrases are used, unsubstantiated claims are made, warranties are written based upon what the customer is willing to pay, and most serious of all, minor design changes are made to keep the customer captive to one manufacturer
There are claims made for “armour case,” “selective induction hardening,” “alloy equivalents,” “induction hardening,” “case hardening,” and the list goes on, and on, and on. The user doesn’t really know what to think about these claims, and what is fact or what is fiction. Yet, some explanation and understanding of good chain design, maintenance practices and how to use the product correctly could reduce the confusion, increase the life of the chain, and eliminate the “unscheduled down time,” caused by a chain failure.
Continue reading Common Sense Facts about Chain Design, Maintenance Pratices & Uses