It’s happened to you. You go to your favorite restaurant for your favorite meal. But once the food comes out, something’s just not right. The fries aren’t as crispy or your burger doesn’t have the same juicy, delicious flavor it usually does.
You think: “Maybe the chef is just having an off night—or maybe they changed some ingredients.” Either way, the experience leaves a literal and figurative bad taste in your mouth.
What are we getting at here? Even the most seasoned chefs and recipes fail from time to time—something all manufacturers can identify with, too. Products and processes can and do fail, and when they do, swift action is needed to mitigate customer dissatisfaction and any damage to your company’s brand or bottom line. And that’s where failure analysis testing can lend a helping hand.
From identifying contamination that led to a malfunction to analyzing the chemical makeup of ingredients, failure analysis testing collects and analyzes data to determine the cause of a failure. But its utility extends beyond that, too.
Below we highlight three distinct benefits that failure analysis offers manufacturers across an array of industries.
Failure Analysis Testing Can Identify & Help Troubleshoot Product Quality Issues
When companies have issues with their products, production lines or damage to other equipment, they turn to the business of failure analysis. Everything from materials to hardware can fail, and without failure analysis—which determines the cause of the problem—time and money are wasted.
Innovatech Labs uses failure analysis to troubleshoot a variety of problems for our clients. For example, we were once approached by a company whose cooking oil was not reacting as it had in the past. This created problems with their product and with their customers.
Using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS), we analyzed samples of both oils. The original oil had a chemical composition that was completely different from the new batch. Knowing that it would affect the food preparation process, our client used failure analysis to make an informed decision for their company.
Failure Analysis Testing Can Help You ‘Bag’ New Customers
You are halfway up your driveway with a sack of groceries. You can feel the bag starting to rip and you know it’s a game of beat-the-clock. Two more steps and you have sidewalk marinara. Bag wins, dinner loses.
Concerned about their customers and curious about why their competitor’s bags made it from trunk to table, our client used failure analysis to determine how their competitor’s grocery bags were made. Using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR analysis testing), digital imaging, and attenuated total reflection (ATR) we able to analyze the various layers of the bag, their thickness, and determine their material. With the newfound knowledge gained from failure analysis testing, our client was able make a decision regarding their bag purchases.
Failure Analysis Can Help You Prevent Issues Before They Start
On ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s what a client of ours knew when he brought a pharmaceutical product to us for testing. Fearing that some of the solvent (ethanol) used during manufacturing was present in the finished product, we were asked to make a determination.
Using headspace analysis in tandem with GC/MS, we were able to confirm that ethanol was present and quantified the amount. With this failure analysis testing, our client had the necessary data regarding the powdered drug.
What industry application could failure analysis help you with? Get in touch with Innovatech Labs today to share the issue your facing and get recommendations on how to remedy it.