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5 Root Cause Analysis Tools for Quality Management

One of the most vital elements in quality management is root cause analysis. That is because, in order to remediate the issue that is hurting the quality of your products, you have to aim at the right target. There are several root cause analysis tools that you can use to eliminate different kinds of problems. Manufacturers should have some of them at their fingertips to be able to apply and utilize the tool that is more appropriate to the situation that arises. We will look at five common yet effective root cause analysis tools that can ensure production efficiency and quality management in a manufacturing company. But first, let us look at a production efficiency example:

An organization that is yielding maximum results from all its machines, equipment, tools, and resources, etc.

Pareto Chart

A Pareto chart allows you to determine preferences pertaining to different problems by grouping different problems along with their costs and frequency rates. This helps highlight the significance of each, and you can compare them to rank them analytically according to their urgency. It is a bar chart or histogram that uses a line graph to offer a statistical picture of the results. Frequency is shown in descending order with the help of the bars, and you can view the cumulative total or percentage as the line moves from left to right.

5 Whys

You can search the successive layers of an issue by drilling down into them through the 5Whys approach. It is a set of questions that are all the same, i.e., ‘Why?’ However, every second why is a result of the answer to the previous why. You do not need advanced statistics or complex data to get to the root of a problem while using this simple tool. It is a highly useful technique for performing root cause analysis for simple problems in the manufacturing processes and increasing production efficiency. However, it may not prove to be helpful with problems that are complex in nature. A potential application of 5 Whys to ensure quality management is to perform a more in-depth analysis of the results you achieve from a Pareto analysis.

Fishbone Diagram

One of the most useful root cause analysis tools is the fishbone diagram or Ishakawa or cause-and-effect diagram. It takes the approach of seeking the original problem by identifying categories that are connected to it and placing and sorting all potential causes into them. Each category it works with usually branches out more sub-causes as you go deeper into the process.

Scatter Plot Diagram

This approach determines the different variables and uncovers relationships between each of them with the help of data point pairs. A scatter plot diagram or scatter diagram offers you insights into the correlation of variables and provides you with quantitative data, enabling you to test the potential causes it discovers.

FMEA - Failure Mode and Effects Analysis

It is an exploration process that allows you to create a foresight of the problems or failures that may arise during the manufacturing stage. FMEA is the ultimate approach to quality assurance as it is performed before the production phase when you are designing the product and processes, guiding you towards the right direction prior to any damage being done.

FMEA is one of the best root cause analysis tools that manufacturing companies can leverage to achieve production efficiency in their processes. It is a warning tool that enables you to configure RPN and offers information about detection, occurrence, and severity.

All the above-mentioned root cause analysis tools can help manufacturing businesses create and maintain production efficiency. Companies can enhance their quality management systems and increase their productivity by performing root cause analysis each time a production issue arises.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the management of EconoTimes

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