May 2011

Special Report: Maintenance/Reliability

How to justify root-cause failure analysis for pumps

New method uses annualized risk to determine RCFA analysis levels

Perez, R. X., Flint Hills Resources, L.P.

We have all read about and acknowledged the merits of root-cause failure-analysis methods. But not everyone agrees on when and how these methods should be used. In times past, the author worked for a while within an organization so enamored with failure analyses that the formal reports were to be written by a machinery engineer for each and every plant machinery failure. This seemed unusual and even a bit extreme. Yet, the issue begs an important question: When is formal failure analysis justified? Before answering and explaining, we need to briefly agree on the customary definition of a root cause failure analysis. A root-cause failure analysis (RCFA) is a formal analysis of an equipment o

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