What is Root Cause Analysis?

Root cause analysis (RCA) is a method of problem solving that seeks to identify the root causes of faults and a method for addressing them. A root cause is a cause that once removed, prevents the unsatisfactory component from being reproduced. Root cause analysis addresses questions such as “Why is the product nonconforming in the first place and how do we avoid having more of it in the future?”

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We are now ISO 9001 Certified!

Advance CNC Machining is proud to announce that we have passed an in-depth set of assessments to achieve the honor of ISO-9001:2008 certification for our quality management system.

ISO 9001:2008 is the most widely known and internationally accepted standard for quality management. This certification recognizes organizations with a quality management system that consistently provide services that meet customer and regulatory requirements.”

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Niton XL2 Goldd XRF Analyzer

Reverse Engineering through Material Analysis

Reverse Engineering through Material Analysis:

 

Niton XL2 GOLDD XRR Analyzer

 

Advance CNC Machining has improved its reverse engineering capabilities with the addition of a Niton XL2 GOLDD XRF analyzer.  This material analyzer will be extremely useful for enabling our maintenance machining team to verify the right material is being used when we recreate a part.

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O-Rings & Go Fever: Avoiding Groupthink in Manufacturing

On this date in 1986, the space shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of all seven members of the crew.  After an investigation, it was found that the disaster was caused by a faulty O-ring that allowed a gap through which combustion gases could leak and produce a deadly flame path.

The failure of the O-rings was attributed to a faulty design, whose performance could be too easily compromised by factors including the low temperature on the day of launch.  It was also determined that NASA’s organizational culture and decision-making process played an even greater part of the disaster.   NASA staff members revealed that they knew the O-rings had failed in the past and that they weren’t suitable for use at temperatures below 40 degrees yet still decided to launch on a 28 degree morning.  These employees expressed their feelings that management was not interested in any outlying opinions or viewpoints about the safety of the launch.  More disturbing than the catastrophic effect of such a seemingly simple part failure was the failure of NASA to overcome their “go fever”.

The term “go fever” is used in the space industry to describe a push to finish a project, sometimes at the cost of safety.  Go fever, a form of groupthink, refers to the overall attitude of being in a rush or hurry to get a project or task done while overlooking potential problems or mistakes.  It is due to the tendency of individuals to be overly committed to a previously chosen course of action based on time and resources already expended despite the possibility of reduced benefits or considerable risks.  It can also be due to the desire of members of a team not to be seen as the one who is not committed to the team’s goals or to be the one interfering with the team’s progress or success.

In a groupthink environment, rationalization, peer pressure and complacency lead to an illusion of invulnerability and unanimity.  NASA management became accustomed to these phenomena when no serious consequences resulted from earlier episodes of O-ring failures.  They thought they were invincible because as a team they rationalized that the risk from the faulty parts was acceptable to ignore.

The negative results of groupthink behavior can affect companies of all sizes and all industries.

Some ways to avoid groupthink in manufacturing environments include:

Diversify Your Team.  Make an effort to form a team of diverse personalities and strengths and avoid putting “yes people” in decision making positions.

Avoid Being Too Directive.  If you are a leader or project manager, avoid stating preferences and expectations at the outset of a decision making process.

Checks & Balances.  Create subgroups or departments to manage different parts of a process and play devil’s advocate.

Encourage Healthy Conflict.  Create an environment where ideas can be challenged without reprisal.

Brainstorm Regularly.  Brainstorming is a non-threatening way for ideas to flow freely without criticism

Analyze Risks.  Examine risks of preferred and alternative options and make sure the team understands the risks before coming to a final decision.

As manufacturers, the Challenger disaster can be used as a case study to examine groupthink culture in our industry.  The manufacturing industry makes parts and products that could very well mean life and death.  Making an effort to improve your organizational decision making process ensures that you will get the most out of your diverse team of employees and that your customers best interests are being served.

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Our New FaroArm Edge Portable CMM

Advance CNC Machining’s New FaroArm Edge Portable CMM

The FARO Edge is the latest generation of the FaroArm product line and we have it here at Advance CNC Machining. As the most advanced portable measurement arm FARO has ever produced, the Edge eclipses competitive models in every category. There is no comparable alternative product for the shop floor.

The FARO Edge portable CMM will enable us to perform time and cost saving functions such as shop floor first article inspections and even in-process inspections, reverse engineering, machine calibration and alignment.

Laser part inspection

Why the FARO Edge is such a great addition to our shop floor:

  • 1.8 to 3.7m (6 ft. to 12 ft.) spherical working volume
  • Accuracy from 0.024mm (0.0009 in.) to 0.064mm (0.0025in.)
  • Intuitive on-board measurement system: Built-in touchscreen computer; QuickTools; Laptop-free basic measurements
  • Smart Sensor Technology: Sensors warn against factors that compromise performance
  • Internal Counterbalance: Provides comfortable, stress-free usage
  • Temperature Sensors: Allow the Arm to react to thermal variations for maximum portability and accuracy
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