Utilization of Root Cause Failure Analysis in the Investigation of Marine Deck Fitting Failures
Cracking was discovered in the openings of cargo deck tie down fittings on ships under construction. There was a distinct possibility that these cracks could propagate through the fittings and into the strength deck plating, affecting the ship’s hull integrity. With more than 14,000 fittings installed on each ship, the appearance of approximately 400 cracks at the mid-ship area of the main and lower decks raised production and operational concerns. This article will discuss the successful application of a Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA) methodology employed by a Corrective Action Team established to solve the problem. Through their efforts and the systematic application of RCFA, various failure hypotheses were validated or discounted and consensus was achieved on the appropriate corrective action.
Based on the Logic Tree hypotheses a timeline with major events is shown in Figure 6. Plans of Action and Milestones were developed for each item based on the Logic Tree. The Logic Tree allowed management to see what was needed and in what time. It also allowed better allocation of funding in order to resolve each element/milestone.