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RE: Five why's = root cause analysis
Title: RE: Five why's = root cause
Agree the issue is to get to the ROOT cause. Every time you
appear to hit a wall, it should open up a new series of 5 why's and
include the partner in the supply chain (whether parts supplier or
customer) to try to answer the why's.
I also agree there's nothing magic about "5" - but
that's the lingo, so better to stick with it than make them feel like
this is a whole new system to get used to.
I don't know what your situation is on corrosion - inventory and
indoor or alternate storage sound like useful options to look at.
There also may be different ways of providing corrosion resistance
that the supplier could use - whether what the parts are made out of
or another treatment that doesn't have to be washed off. The
point is to encourage brainstorming and research into a variety of
solutions and parties who can provide them.
BTW - I saw a corrosion 5 whys example in the EPA Toolkit
(although water use was the issue) which cited the source as Robert B. Pojasek, "Asking 'Why'
Five Times," Environmental Quality Management (Autumn 2000):
83. Maybe worth chasing down the article.
At 2:20 PM -0800 3/2/09, Callahan, Mike wrote:
about a defeatist end statement. Why ask why if you're going
to end the line of questioning with a statement that equates to
"because that's the way we've always done it and we're not going
to change." I would prefer to see:
is this type of corrosion protection absolutely necessary? Because
the parts are stored outdoors, exposed to weather.
So is the
root cause corrosion protection or improper storage leading to
corrosion? Ferrous iron parts will rust if exposed to moisture
and air. Why do they have to be stored outdoors? Moving
the parts inside into a controlled environment might avoid the
potential for corrosion. Another benefit of indoor storage is
that the parts will not be chilled down overnight, this sometimes
leading to rejects in the morning (the cold metal may upset
temperature control on the hot process baths).
problem I have with the "5 why's" concept is that it is too
limiting to the problem at hand. I believe it's better to ask
10 why's or 100 why's until you have exhausted all potential
options. Why use solvent, why use oil, why use this particular
oil product, why allow the parts to rust, why make the parts out of
steel, why not buy the parts already painted or plated, etc., etc.
Just my 2 cents.
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[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of michelle
Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2009 1:05 PM
Subject: Five why's = root cause analysis
I am looking for a good
example of drilling down with 5 why's - relating to a chemical
here is an example, but i
don't like this example because we don't have a solution. (a few
alternatives/potential solutions to this one would be great - or a
completely different example.
Thanks in advance for any
Asking "why" five
times is a simple way to identify the root cause of a waste, and that
makes it easier to identify ways to reduce or eliminate the waste.
Here is an example:
ü Why is the solvent a
waste? Because the solvent is contaminated with
ü Why is it contaminated with
oil? Because the solvent was used to clean oil off the
ü Why are the parts oily?
Because the manufacturer puts a coating of oil on them before shipping
them to this facility.
ü Why does the manufacturer
put a coating on them? To prevent the parts from corroding after
ü Why is this type of
corrosion protection absolutely necessary? There is no other way
to protect the parts from corrosion.
In this example, the root
cause of the solvent waste is corrosion
Department of Environmental Quality, Pollution Prevention Analysis
and Plan Guidance Manual, March 2006, www.azdeq.gov/environ/waste/p2/download/first.pdf.
Gaither | environmental engineer
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