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Root Cause Analysis Examples in Manufacturing

Manufacturing businesses are faced with unique challenges that threaten their productive efficiency. They need to not only identify but solve these challenges as well, making sure they do not resurface again. The best way to go about it is through root cause analysis. In this article, we will look at some root cause analysis examples in manufacturing. But first, let us look at answer the question, ‘what is productive efficiency?’

Simply put, productive efficiency is the ability to yield maximum results using limited resources. The optimal production potential of the given tools and assets is its productive efficiency.

Root Cause Analysis Examples

Let us suppose that a company’s final assembly time exceeds the targets that are set for it. The best way to go about performing the root cause analysis to this issue is 5 Whys.

Why is the downtime higher than we want it to be?

You use a Pareto chart that highlights the biggest cause of that being the constant adjustment requirement of Machine A.

Why is that so?

Machine A has alignment issues.

But, why?

The seals of the machine are worn.

And why is that?

Because they have not been replaced for a long time.


The needs assessment report did not feature seal replacement.

5 Whys does not have to be and are seldom five. The goal is to peel away all the surfaces of the problem one by one to get to the root cause.

Having systems in place that offer constant visibility and insights into what is going on with the manufacturing processes is a great way to ensure productive efficiency. It also allows you to empower your operators as they would always have data on hand to compare the expected metrics with the ones that are achieved. It equips the manufacturing companies with the ability to get alerted as soon as there is an issue and perform root cause analysis to identify the cause of the problem.

Let us look at one of the most common root cause analysis examples that arise within manufacturing companies. You discover that your productive efficiency is low or not at its optimal. You analyze the production report and all the metrics that it provides you with, such as:

Expected setup

Ideal part-time

Expected PPH

Average PPH

Total part-time

Total setup

Expected part-time

Ideal PPH

Actual part-time

Productive efficiency

Once you identify the area where discrepancies are found, you can initiate a root cause analysis using the method that is most appropriate for the type of issue. Once you get to the bottom of the issue, it will be easier for you to come up with the ideal plan for its solution.

The manufacturing environments in today’s world are making huge strides in the data collection sphere. This is because they have learned from different root cause analysis examples that the more information you have about your systems, the easier the application process of root cause analysis is. Automating the collection and storage of analytics and metrics allows manufacturing companies to perform one less step in their root cause analysis endeavors. This increases their productive efficiency and allows them to maintain agile quality management and quality assurance processes.

The above-mentioned root cause analysis examples are just two of hundreds of situations a root cause analysis can help you with. The manufacturing industry especially requires RCA techniques and methods, as a hindrance to their productive efficiency can diminish the quality of their products, subjecting them to lowered revenues.

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