Failure Analysis – It’s Like the Emergency Room
At Avomeen we often hear questions from our manufacturing clients who are, for the first time, having to fix product defects, identify unknown problems in their product, or rectify issues in their production process. We took a few of these questions to Avomeen’s CEO & Chief Chemist Shri Thanedar, Ph.D. to get his response to these questions.
How would you describe Avomeen’s failure analysis services?
The analogy I use most is that of an emergency room. When we get sick, we go and see a doctor, when products do not perform as they are supposed to; it’s time to reach out to a failure analysis expert. These specialized chemists can identify what is causing your product’s defect, solve the problems in your production process, determine the cause of premature product breakage, and analyze your finished product for potential contaminants or safety concerns. Once they have identified the source of the problem, they can help develop a solution to fix it and get your product’s production back on track.
When should someone seek this type of testing?
You wouldn’t walk on a broken leg for weeks before seeing a doctor, in the same way your product’s production shouldn’t stubbornly push on when you know a problem exists. Instead immediate action should be taken to identify and fix the issue as soon as possible to keep your production from slowing down and to help prevent or minimize costly recalls. Waiting too long can permanently damage your company’s credibility by knowingly releasing low quality or even dangerous goods to your customers.
Do you have an example of a failure analysis project that Avomeen has performed?
One that comes to mind is a project we took on for a manufacturing company that was experiencing a rise in customer complaints and returned products. The product in question was a pressure measurement device that was failing to perform correctly. We used a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDXA) to take highly magnified images and elemental scans. We determined that a foreign material was contaminating the product and causing it to fail. Further analysis identified that the unknown material was very small fragments from a specific plastic tubing that they used in their manufacturing process. Once the source which caused the product defect was identified the manufacturer switched out the specific plastic tubing that was contaminating their products. This is a pretty representative example as we not only identified the contaminant, but also enabled the manufacturer to correct the issues and mitigate the problem.
What other industries commonly use product defect testing services?
Companies from within any industry whether they produce commercial or industrial goods are likely at some point to have a question about the quality of their product and want testing performed. It is a responsible process that ensures that the quality and safety of products remains uncompromised. Even if a problem does not currently exist, failure analysis can reveal certain steps in a production process that could pose increased risks to future problems if not fixed. At Avomeen we have analyzed products including pharmaceuticals, polymers, coatings, cosmetics, cleaners, fertilizers, and more to determine the cause of the product’s failure and develop a solution to solve the problem.
About Shri Thanedar:
Shri has been in the testing laboratory industry for over 30 years. He has served as a chief chemist and CEO for multiple highly recognized laboratories. With experience in organic, inorganic, and polymer chemistry he maintains a wide range of knowledge on the R&D of both consumer and industrial products. Since forming Avomeen the company has grown to be a respected leader in the areas of deformulation, unknown material identification, product failure analysis, custom formulation development, pharmaceutical analysis, and litigation support services.
To learn more about failure analysis services click here.