Root Cause Analysis

Date: November 28, 2014 Author: Working Knowledge Categories: Industrial | Waste Management
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Understanding what is happening at your factory is part of the knowledge you seek, but almost as important is understanding why it happens, and how you can best manage for improved results.

That's why we recommend root cause analysis of waste generation. By understanding the mechanisms and processes which produce waste in your plant, you can better control them. When these controls manage the amount of raw material used, the outcome is better cost containment. When the controls identify ancillary causes – such as high volumes of waste water – you can identify processes and solutions to manage risk and safety.

A good example could be a packaging audit. A careful analysis can highlight that high volumes of waste cardboard are generated. By looking at the causes for this, it may be possible to redesign the processes, or the packaging itself to alleviate this. And of course cost less in both raw materials and waste processing.

Not all factory processes can be easily changed or tweaked, but understanding the root causes helps you identify the levers which can help you optimize productivity, and reduce costly waste.