“Have you ever seen a process like this before?” asked the company president. This was 90 minutes into a call scheduled for 30, but he was fascinated by how we had a Causal Explanation in only a few days when others had stumbled for months. “No, I haven’t,” I said. “But it doesn’t matter. In … Continue reading Functional Decomposition of Machine Behavior
His office had moved up and down the hall and across the building a few times over forty years. Mike was anxious the first time the company was sold but found that not much more than the name on the building had really changed. He didn’t pay much attention after that, other than to greet … Continue reading The Analytic Logic Map: Symptomatic and Topographic Problem Solving
“We have a scrap problem we are not happy with, and a backlog of orders we cannot ship. We just formed a task force and I would like your opinion.” I would rather he ask for my help than my opinion. He told me the cost of scrap and the value of backlog. Add them … Continue reading Grounds for Success
This case study gives us a chance to review the fundamentals of functional decomposition, and why it made this project, which had lingered like so many, a quick one. Like many projects, the starting point, dictated by those other than the technical group, led to a poor starting point. Often, hefty sums are paid to … Continue reading Case of the Run-Out Rotors
“We have been working on this for years and not been able to figure it out. Why do you think this guy from The New Science of Fixing Things can do it?” The plant manager had faith in his managers, one of whom we had worked for in the past, thus allowed him to engage … Continue reading Fast Work
“The truth is, the Science of Nature has been already too long made only a work of the Brain and the Fancy. It is now time that it should return to the plainness and soundness of Observations on material and obvious things.” -Robert Hooke, Micrographia Root Cause or Root Curse? “We have failed systems found … Continue reading Root Cause or Causal Explanation?
It felt like a knife to the hip, being twisted when I moved. What a start to the year! My hip was so painful that I couldn’t walk. When I got to the hospital, I found myself in a wheelchair. Nothing I could think of set it off. I didn’t fall on the ice or … Continue reading Reality Models and The New Science of Fixing Things
If it were not for the electronic gadgets we have available today, we couldn’t do what we do for a living. Only a few people would live on sailboats, what I do when not making a living helping people around the world with quality, product performance and reliability problems. We need to communicate with people … Continue reading IF A PICTURE IS WORTH 1000 WORDS…WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU NEED 100?
I live on my sailboat in the Caribbean. Now I am in Panama. I asked the local maintenance guy to change the zincs (sacrificial anodes) on my boat, a task for a diver. There are zincs on the end of the prop, the rudder support, the prop shaft and the bow thruster. The diver was … Continue reading English or Metric?