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International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering

Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2013)
211

Root Cause Analysis for Reducing Breakdowns in a
Manufacturing Industry
Kiran M
1
, Cijo Mathew
2
, Jacob Kuriakose
3

1
PG Scholar, M A College of Engineering, Kothamagalam, Ernakulam, Kerala
2,3
Assistant Professor, M A College of Engineering, Kothamagalam, Ernakulam, Kerala
Abstract Now a days manufacturing industries are
facing a greater competition in the market. Because of this,
they try to improve and increase both quality and
productivity continuously. One way to increase the
productivity is to increase the availability of existing
machines; Total productive maintenance aims to increase
the availability of existing equipment so no further capital
investment is needed. Availability of machines can be
increased by reducing the downtime or Breakdowns of the
machines. The main objective of this study is to find out the
major breakdowns causing production losses to the
company and to suggest counter measures by which these
problems can be reduced. In the study a Root cause analysis
is conducted to find the root cause of breakdowns and some
parallel improvement opportunities were also identified for
implementation so as to reduce the downtime.
Keywords Breakdowns, Cause and effect diagram,
Pareto Chart, Total productive maintenance, Root cause
analysis.
I. INTRODUCTION
The manufacturing industries have gone through
significant changes in the last decade. New firms in
markets have increased competition dramatically. Most
of them focus on product quality, production time and
cost of product. Because of these, a company should
introduce a quality system to improve and increase both
quality and productivity continuously.
Total productive maintenance (TPM) is a methodology
that aims to increase the availability of existing
equipment hence reducing the need for further capital
investment [2, 5]. TPM can be defined in terms of overall
equipment effectiveness (OEE) which in turn can be
considered a combination of the operation maintenance,
equipment management, and available resources [7]. The
goal of TPM is to maximise equipment effectiveness [6].
It is a function of availability, performance rate, and
quality rate. Of the six major categories of losses that
affect OEE, Breakdown loss is used for calculating the
availability of equipment.
Root cause analysis (RCA) is a method of problem
solving that tries to identify the root causes of faults or
problems that cause operating events [1, 3, 9, 10].




RCA practice tries to solve problems by attempting to
identify and correct the root causes of events, as opposed
to simply addressing their symptoms [8]. By focusing
correction on root causes, problem recurrence can be
prevented.
A case study is conducted on one of the leading male
contraceptive manufacturing industry in the world. The
company is in the phase of implementing TPM. So as a
fore work to the implementation of TPM, case study,
Root Cause Analysis for reducing the breakdowns in the
companys manufacturing unit is conducted. The
objective of study is to find out the major breakdowns in
the company which causes a production loss and to
suggest counter measures to minimize the effect.
The paper is structured as follows. Section 2 gives
clear idea of the problem in the industry. Section 3
presents the Root cause analysis of the problem. Parallel
improvement opportunities are exposed in Section 4.
Finally, Section 5 concludes the study.
II. PROBLEM DEFINITION
Even after producing 24 x 7, the company is not able
to meet its demands in the market. So firm has to reduce
the unwanted stoppages of production so as to maintain
the steady production level and to meet the demands in
the market. Production may be stopped due to many
reasons like breakdown of machine, maintenance work,
labour issues, insufficient material supply, problems in
the method of production etc Excluding all other
factors like materials, method, man, etc... It is necessary
to reduce the breakdown (down time) of machine or
equipments in the company for the efficient nonstop
production to meet the demands. Breakdowns are the
most common causes of efficiency loss in manufacturing.
Eliminating unplanned down time is critical to improving
Overall Equipment Efficiency. It is not only important to
know how much Down Time your process is
experiencing (and when) but also to be able to attribute
the lost time to the specific source or reason for the loss.
Case study was conducted on the breakdowns of
machines or equipments of the company and to find out
the root causes of these breakdown so as to eliminate
them and to decrease the downtime caused due to these
breakdown.


International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering
Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2013)
212

III. ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS
The Root Cause Analysis is a four-step process
involving the following:
1. Data collection
2. Cause charting
3. Root cause identification
4. Recommendation.
A. Data Collection and Analysis
Breakdown data was collected for 8 months (from
01/12/2012 to 02/08/2012) from the shift log book of the
company and is tabulated (Tab. 1). The breakdowns and
frequency of occurrence are:
TABLE I
BREAKDOWNS OCCURRED AND FREQUENCY
Sl. No. Breakdown occurred Frequency
1 Edge roller not working 98
2 Vulcanization Barrel not working 68
3 Chain slipping 20
4 Mould touching the tank 12
5 Washing machine not working 9
6 Waste water pump not working 8
7 Quenching barrel choot block 7
8 Carry fan not working 6
9 Dehydrator not working 6
10 Slurry pump not working 4
11 Dehydrator chain slip 3
12 Feed valve block 3
13 Stripping line block 3
14 Washing brush not working 3
15 Steam line leak 3
16 Stripping jet not working 3
17 Jacket cooling water line leak 2
18 Hot air blower belt broken 2
19 Mould cooling motor not working 1
20 Dipping tank agitator not working 1
21 Agitator belt broken 1
22 Ammonia line leak 1
23 Spin dryer not working 1
24 Slurry auto valve not working 1
25 Hot air blower not working 1
26 Mould jerking 1
27 Body brush not working 1
28 Hot water gland leak 1
29 Conveyor chain loose 1
30 Quenching barrel block 1
Breakdown data collected consist of all breakdowns
that occur in a manufacturing firm. But our area of
interest is the breakdown causing production stoppages.
Stoppage of one minute causes 140 pieces of products
wasted. Calculating the loss in rupees, each product
cause a loss of profit of Rs. 4.5/-, i.e., a loss of about Rs.
630/- per minute.
The breakdowns causing stoppages of production
process were identified from the data. The time spend to
rectify the breakdowns was also noted. The Fig. 1 gives
the major breakdowns causing production losses.


Fig 1: Pie chart showing breakdowns causing production stoppage
From the chart it is clear that Edge roller breakdown
(40%) accounts for the most of the breakdown causing
production loss to the company. Vulcanization barrel
breakdown (28%), Chain slipping (8%) etc are other
major breakdowns in the company as per the data
collected.

The times spend for getting back the equipment for
work was also collected and analysed. Fig. 2 gives the
percentages of time spend for different breakdown
maintenance. The chain slipping (63%) accounts for the
major time loss of production. Edge roller breakdown
(13%) and slurry pump breakdown (13%) also accounts
for a considerable loss of production for the industry.
40%
28%
8%
5%
4%
3%
3%
3%
2% 2% 2%
Breakdowns
Edge roller
Vulcanization barrel
Chain slipping
Mould touching the tank
Washing machine
Waste water pump
Quenching barrel choot block
Slurry pump
Dehydrator
Carry fan
Others

International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering
Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2013)
213


Fig 2: Pie chart showing time spent to rectify breakdowns
For slurry pump breakdown, company have an
alternate pump which is used while breakdown of the
main pump. In case of vulcanization barrel they go for
manual vulcanization while the breakdown. And in the
case mould touching the tank they have a readjustment
screw for the adjustment. So the other types only
accounts for small stoppage rather than a larger time
consuming breakdowns.
Considering the frequency of occurrence and the time
wasted due to breakdown maintenances, it was identified
that chain slipping and edge roller breakdown was the
major causes of production loss in the company.
So root cause analysis was conducted identification of
root causes of chain slipping and edge roller breakdown.
B. Cause Charting and Root Cause Identification
Cause-and-effect diagrams or Ishikawa diagrams (Fish
bone diagram) is one of the seven basic tools of quality,
which is used to identify potential factors causing an
overall effect [4]. It was used in the study to identify the
root cause of the major breakdowns identified in the
previous section. A Pareto chart, where individual values
are represented in descending order by bars, and the
cumulative total is represented by the line. The left
vertical axis is the frequency of occurrence, and right
vertical axis is the cumulative percentage of the total
number of occurrences. The purpose of the Pareto chart
is to highlight the most important among a (typically
large) set of factors [4, 11]. In quality control, it often
represents the most common sources of defects, the
highest occurring type of defect.



1. Root Cause Identification of Edge Roller Breakdown:
Edge roller is unit used to roll up the edges of the
product produced in the company. It mainly consists of a
pulley belt arrangement, motor, bevel gear, and a long
brush mounted on a shaft. The edge roller unit is a major
contributor to the time loss to production due to its
frequent breakdowns.

Fig 3: Initial cause and effect diagram of edge roller breakdowns
Fig. 3 shows the initial cause and effect diagram of
edge roller. The causes of breakdown may be belt loose
or lower belt tension, bevel gear dislocation, motor
breakdown of the roller and brush damages.
A Pareto chart (Fig. 4) was constructed as per the
frequency of occurrences of each causes of edge roller
breakdown. From the chart it is clear that lower belt
tension or belt loose and bevel gear dislocation are the
major causes of the breakdown of the edge roller
equipment.

Fig 4: Pareto chart of edge roller breakdowns
63%
13%
13%
8%
3%
Time Spend
Chain slipping
Edge roller
Slurry pump
Vulcanization
barrel
Others

International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering
Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2013)
214


Fig 5: Final cause and effect diagram of edge roller breakdowns
A detailed study was conducted on causes for the edge
roller breakdown and final cause and effect diagram is
prepared as given in Fig. 5. Reasons for lower belt
tension was identified as deterioration, thermal expansion
of belt and the regular readjustment made on the machine
part. Regular readjustment cannot be rectified since as
the mould length varies the edge rolling unit has to be
readjusted to obtain the correct rolling thickness.
Deterioration and thermal expansion of belt can be
overcome by using a higher grade belt than the present
one, having a higher temperature range and longer life.
Motor breakdown was caused due to vibration
machine, contaminations and the over/under lubrication
of bearings of the motor. Brush damages were caused
due to deterioration of brush teeth and misalignment of
brush with the mould. But this only need a small time to
rectify and does not affect the production so much.
The major reason for edge roller was the breakdown
caused due to bevel gear dislocation of the machine.
Dislocation happens due to overload, tooth breakage of
bevel gear, and bearing damages. Bearing damage was
due to overheating, contamination of bearings and
improper load acting on it. Overload in bevel gear and
improper load in bearing was mainly due to the
misalignment of shaft. As mentioned earlier there is a
need of regular readjustment of the machine as the size of
mould varies. If proper alignment checking is done
during the adjustment of edge roller the breakdowns can
be avoided.
2. Root Cause Identification of Chain Slipping:
Conveyor Chain is a major part of moulding machine
in the manufacturing plant. This endless chain carries the
vertically positioned moulds in the moulding section.
Any breakdown to this unit causes the entire stoppage of
production.

Fig 6: Initial cause and effect diagram of Chain slipping
Fig. 6 show initial cause and effect diagram of chain
slipping. The causes of breakdown may be Pinion
breakage, vibration of machine, chain loose, and
contamination. A Pareto chart (Fig. 7) was constructed as
per the frequency of occurrences of each causes of chain
slipping. From the chart it is clear that pinion breakage is
the major cause of the breakdown due to chain slipping.

Fig 7: Pareto chart for chain slipping


International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering
Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2013)
215


Fig 8: Final cause and effect diagram of chain slipping
A detailed study was conducted on causes for
breakdown due to chain slipping and final cause and
effect diagram is prepared as given in Fig. 6. Reasons for
vibration of the chain were the lower tension of the chain
due to its stretching or wearing and wearing of other
parts of the moulding machine. Chain becomes loose due
to stretching or wearing due to its longer and continuous
use. Contamination due to improper cleaning on the
equipment was also identified as a reason for chain
slipping. These causes can be eliminated by performing
proper maintenance techniques like preventive
maintenance, planned maintenance etc
The major reason for chain slipping was the
breakdown caused due to pinion breakage in the
moulding machine. The different causes of pinion
breakage was improper design of pinion, improper
checking methods employed for incoming pinion from
suppliers, and pinion getting stuck at the sprocket of the
machines. By adopting a inspection method for incoming
material, the first two causes can be avoided. Pinion get
stuck at the sprocket due to contaminations (like
lubricant and dust mixture), over speed, and the
movement of pinion without mould. Mould gets
withdrawn from the pinion due to improper tightening,
while entering the rack section. A proper implementation
of tightening mechanism can avoid the occurrence of this
breakdown.
C. Recommendations
From cause and effect diagram, the root causes of
breakdowns caused due to chain slipping and edge roller
was identified.


In the case of edge roller, belt deterioration and
Improper alignment checking of the unit after
readjustment were identified as the root cause for edge
roller breakdown. A higher grade belt like EPDM belt,
which can withstand higher temperature and longer life,
can be used for the purpose. Other cause is improper
alignment checking of edge roller, for this, workers
should be given proper training for checking the
alignment of the edge roller unit.
Root cause for chain slippage was identified as the
improper tightening of pinion and the mould. Presently
pinion is tightened manually to the mould. So there will
be variations in the tightness due to the force applied by
human hand. A proper means for tightening should be
adopted to avoid this cause for the breakdown due to
chain slipping. Using a torque wrench is suggested as a
counter measure for avoiding the chain slippage.
IV. PARALLEL IMPROVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES
In the case of edge roller, belt deterioration and
Improper alignment checking of the unit after
readjustment were identified as the root cause for edge
roller breakdown. To avoid this breakdown an
improvement in the present setup can be made. By using
a direct drive for each edge roller unit, parts like belt,
pulley and bevel gear can be avoided from the present
setup. Thus avoiding the breakdown caused by belt and
bevel gear, which accounts for the most of edge roller
breakdowns of the machine.
A. Technical Feasibility
The technical detail of the motor that runs the edge
roller is given below.



International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering
Website: www.ijetae.com (ISSN 2250-2459, ISO 9001:2008 Certified Journal, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2013)
216

Speed of motor = 1400rpm
Gear ratio = 1:10
Torque required = 170Nm
Maximum weight permissible
= 14kg
Direct drive specification available in the market
[12]:
Model =
Unicase helical bevel gear unit (BIM 1040)
Make = NordIndia, Pune
Gear ratio = 5.4 200
Power range = 0.12 9.2kW
Torque range = 48 670Nm

Fig 10: Direct drive, NordIndia make.
B. Economic Feasibility
Cost of a single direct drive
= Rs. 8000/-
Installation cost (for 14 machines)
= 14*4000
= 56000/-
Total investment for implementation
= 14 * 8000+56000
= Rs. 1, 68,000/-
No. of products produced in 1 minute
= 140 in one line
Average no. of breakdowns/month
= 15 nos.
Average time taken for rectification
= 20 minutes
Loss in profit/product
= Rs. 4.50/-
Loss due to breakdown of edge roller
(Considering 2 lines of production)
= 280*15*20*4.50
= Rs. 3, 78,000/-
Implementation of direct drive will reduce the
breakdown due to edge roller to zero and company can
increase their profit.
Increase in profit/month
= 378000 168000
= Rs. 2, 10,000/-
V. CONCLUSION
The main objective of study was to identify the major
breakdowns causing the production loss to the company.
Root cause analysis was conducted for the major
breakdowns causing production loss to the company.
Root causes of breakdowns were identified using cause
and effect diagram. Counter measures and parallel
improvement opportunities for major breakdowns
causing production stoppage was also suggested.
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