Total Performance Characterization

The success of any discovery process depends on the opening question. Our Total Performance Characterization  (TPC) actually helps you gain insight into “What is Happening” in a system before you frame the First Question, making that all important First Question even more effective and powerful.  Total Performance Characterization is the secret to our speed and success!  

It is why we are called to solve tough problems around the world, and why our discovery process is so effective. It begins with TPC.

David Hartshorne, John Allen, Tobias Mack in Munich Hofbrau Hous

We want to teach the product performance and problem solving world the simple principles we have learned and the system we have created. We want people to see the beautiful simplicity of what we do, which is centered on the history of scientific discovery.  We have captured what is but a few principles we have learned in over 30 years of professional problem solving.  The best and fastest way for you to learn, is in one of our project-based workshop where we work side-by-side in your workplace from start to finish. Then do it again.

In the past three years, we have worked on several projects on electrical contacts for EV’s.  In the previous 30 years, none!  On one of those projects, it took ten days to discover the Causal Explanation  after a team of engineers, with support of a Master Black Belt from the customer worked on it for 18 months.  A hard failure prevented a vehicle from starting; the driver had to find an alternate way home.  The reported failure rate was a few per thousand. We were able to TPC the system and discover the Causal Explanation with just a few parts and provide a way to defeat the fault mechanism.  This is just a one example of the application of Energetic Principles for discovery.

At the Symposium in Munich in October, we will show how discharging a precision potential energy storage device through the contacts provides the ability to characterize its primary function, Transmit Power.  Rather than looking for failures or defects, Total Performance Characterization provides the ability to visualize the transmission in its ideal form and deviations from that form on every part placed on test.  The objective becomes to discover deviations from the ideal, the associated Causal Explanation, providing the ability to stay well away from hard failures.  

Total Performance Characterization of the primary Energetic Functions could have been done before the first one was sold.  The Symposium will be about the foundations of Total Performance Characterization and case studies demonstrating its power, simplicity and effectiveness in product development, reliability and quality assurance.

A company that makes inspection equipment for oil pipelines had a problem with magnetic inspection machines keeping them from shipping.  After months of working on it, they asked us to help.  It took four days to figure it out, which we did with a single system.

A manufacturer of steering systems for trucks had a reported difference in required effort from the driver for turning right vs. left. We were called once the customer decided to shut down the assembly plant, no longer willing to tolerate the lack of knowledge about the System Function. After the manufacturer failed to discover the Causal Explanation by swapping parts around, we figured it out in three days. Total Performance  Characterization (TPC) led the way to a Causal Explanation, once again, with a single system. The fix was a simple adjustment to the dwell time of a hone, reducing impedance of a bore to a sleeve, each within specification and from capable processes.

The steering system Energetic Functions could have been TPC’d during the product development phase, providing engineers with an advanced knowledge of system performance and problem avoidance.

A company which had created a breakthrough in the technology of rubber tire tracks had a scrap rate of about 50% and could not keep up with demand, nor tolerate the cost of scrap.  We took two weeks to figure it out.  One finished part sold for thousands of US dollars.  There were but a few serial tests needed in the discovery process, each performed with a single part, or a subset of a part. The project centered on discovering an Energetic Function which was failing within the manufacturing process, then learning how it was created and then controlled.  The client had a control system in place in short order that eliminated scrap and gave them confidence in every part that was delivered to the customers.

A company in Asia was making ABS coils that were thought to cause PPM failure rates in expensive European cars. After spending hundreds of thousands of US dollars for inspection equipment which still did not screen them out, we figured it out in a week.  It wasn’t a PPM failure rate.  Close to 30% were damaged, while only a small percentage caused a system level failure. The system we used for discovery was installed at the production line to TPC the ideal load profile.  We learned the safe insertion profile, which when exceeded, was a dead giveaway that the part had been damaged and created a precursor to failure.  The new control system stopped the line until an operator pulled that part. Within weeks, the  damage was eliminated when a simple additional system was installed to control the angular position of an inserted component, which periodically deviated beyond a limit then unspecified, and thusly required an excessive load to insert, damaging a wire.

In none of the above cases was the failure associated with a single parameter being out of specification. In many cases, Total Performance Characterization of primary Energetic Functions would have avoided the cost of failure, delays, and scrap. 

We want to teach you to apply what we have learned while working with you on your own projects. We want you to see the beautiful simplicity of what we do, which is centered and built on the foundation and  history of scientific discovery over centuries.  We have captured it all in but a few principles, and want to show you how to apply to Total Performance Characterization (TPC) 

At some point, we want to hear from you about the projects you finished after others struggled!

Perhaps even more important, the knowledge base of the technicians, product engineers and operating engineers in each of the above examples, would have been advanced if soundly centered on Energetic Performance and TPC.  The primary knowledge capture system, FMEA, would become far more powerful.

Why are we so confident that Total Performance Characterization will provide so much insight with such small sample sizes? Often only one? 

  • In the vast majority of cases, the explanation for poor performance or reliability is exposed within a single cycle of a machine, whether product or process.
  • The next most common occurrence is that the poor performance is seen when comparing one cycle to the very next cycle and they are very different.
  • It is uncommon for differences between machines to have the leverage needed to explain behaviour, particularly for processes.
  • It is most rare for differences that are manifested over longer timescales than a few hours of production to be meaningful, and so leverageable, for improving product performance or reliability.
  • Machine behaviour, whether production machines or products they make, are constrained by certain Energetic Functions.  They are most often simple and easy to monitor in such a way so that system behaviour  reveals itself in a cycle or two in a search for a Causal Explanation.

The first step in TPC – A Cartoon.

The key to getting out of an endless cycle of mediocre improvements is to focus on what happens within a cycle. Being able to see that detail is essential for real improvement. Looking in the right place makes it quick and easy to explain performance and reliability. The nature of What is Happening, the Truth, lies in small sample sizes, often one, properly tested and measured! This is all you need, if and only if you know how machines and processes reveal the truth based on First Principles and Energetic Functions. We are guided and constrained by the First Principles discovered by those who came well before us.  We have captured, apply and teach them, to solve problems, gain new knowledge, and to avoid problems, beginning with Total Performance Characterization best applied in the product development and validation phase. 

TPC will be the central message of the Symposium in Munich in October.  You cannot afford to miss it.

The New Science of Fixing Things, a Crossover Solutions Company

Contact the person in your region for more information about the October Munich Symposium

John Allen Naples, FL

David Hartshorne London, England

Tobias Mack Munich, Germany

Ozge Erol Bursa, Turkey