Even with the best processes, equipment, and operators, upsets or unusual events will occur. Sometimes these episodes are the result of a string of events or contributing factors that appear to be unrelated, making it difficult for facility staff to determine the problem source.
McKinnon Engineering LLC can help you identify the cause of the problem and implement the steps necessary to correct it.
When a situation requires immediate action to mitigate a compliance risk or prevent production curtailment, we’ll help you identify and implement emergency actions while we define longer term solutions.
Our approach to problem solving begins with identifying the change that has occurred by answering a series of questions including:
- What should the situation or condition be normally?
- What is not as it should be? What is different?
- How far off of the expected condition are we? What is the gap?
- Where do we observe the change?
- How did we detect the change?
- When did it happen, or when was it noticed?
- Did it happen suddenly or over time?
- Do data trends reveal any gradual shifts away from normal conditions?
- What conditions are within normal ranges or are otherwise OK?
Next, we will identify potential causes for the abnormal condition and determine whether or not resolving them would correct the abnormal condition. Potential causes could include:
- Out-of-range process conditions
- Upsets, spills, or excessive loads from the manufacturing processes
- Changes in manufacturing processes or chemicals
- Improper process controls
- Improper sampling or testing procedures
- Chemical use problems
- Equipment failures
- Operational errors
- Seasonal impacts
Once we evaluate the data and identify potential causes, we will determine whether or not removing the potential cause would resolve the problem by testing each potential cause one at a time. Once we determine the true causes of the problem, we will work with your team to identify and implement short term and long term correction measures.
Following implementation of the remediation plan, we will monitor the new process to confirm that the problem has been solved completely. If the new process solves the problem, it can become part of your normal process. You can also share results with other company facilities to address similar issues or prevent them before they occur.