Failure Analysis Expert

Failure Analysis Expert

Failure Analysis Expert

Failure Analysis Expert: Partner with Michael Pfeifer, Ph.D., P.E. for Metallurgical Engineering Insight

This video explains how we help clients solve problems
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Why us?

Welcome to Industrial Metallurgists LLC, the authoritative voice in failure analysis solutions and trusted partner to industry leaders. At the head of our cutting-edge consulting is Dr. Michael Pfeifer, a failure analysis expert with world-wide experience, and one of the most experienced metallurgical consultants in the industry.

About Michael Pfeifer, Ph.D., P.E.

With a career spanning over a quarter of a century, Dr. Pfeifer is not just a consultant - he's a pioneering force in the field of metallurgy. His specialized nine-step failure analysis process, developed over years of practice and research, has become a cornerstone in metallurgical consulting.

See the About page for more about our background and experience.

Dr. Pfeifer is also the author of "Materials Enabled Designs," a book that's gained widespread respect and admiration among industry leaders in manufacturing and applied engineering. His unique perspective and deep understanding of the intricacies of metals used in manufacturing make him the perfect ally in addressing complex challenges and bringing about meaningful change.

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Our 9 Step 3 Phase Failure Analysis Process

We'll be part of your expert during the failure analysis process and work with your team. We don't just do an analysis, give clients a lab report, and leave it to them to figure out how to use the information. See this case study.

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For the past 6 years Michael has provided metals engineering expertise to help us design products and fix quality problems. He fills a critical engineering gap and enables faster, better-informed decisions.

Al McGovern, Director Mechanical Engineering
Shure Inc., Illinois

Dr. Pfeifer's engineering approach helped improve the reliability of my company’s product. Metallurgical analyses and consideration of the metallurgical factors of importance led to an unsuspected solution involving materials and processes.

Stuart Gordon, President
Bestway Products Co., California

Failures Analysis Expert Services

At Industrial Metallurgists LLC, our primary mission is to help our clients solve complex manufacturing and product failure issues quickly and cost-effectively. One of the ways we do this is through our unique Nine-Step Failure Analysis Process, meticulously designed by our lead consultant, Dr. Michael Pfeifer, PhD. This comprehensive process leverages decades of metallurgical expertise to get to the root of the problem swiftly and provide tangible, real-world solutions.

As a leading Failure Analysis Expert, we dedicate our expertise to preemptively counteract manufacturing flaws using state-of-the-art metallurgical engineering methodologies. Over the past 25 years, our advanced failure analysis services have been honed to perfection, underpinned by a rich bedrock of hands-on experience with a diverse client base. Our professional proficiency has led us to develop a comprehensive spectrum of solutions tailored to our customer's unique needs.

The key to effective failure analysis lies in the convergence of robust design experience and profound engineering acumen. Identifying structural inadequacies in equipment or processes is a task for competent professional engineers who possess a firm grasp of the critical role that quality assurance plays, and the methodologies to conduct intricate technical investigations.

As your collaborative partner, we seamlessly integrate into your team, liaising with your project management, coordination professionals, and engineers to deliver bespoke projects. While some Failure Analysis Experts venture into the legal arena as expert witnesses, we at Industrial Metallurgists LLC are committed to pragmatically resolving real-world challenges and precluding issues before they arise.

Our failure analysis services merge our extensive experience with our meticulously crafted 9-step process to deliver tangible results. Working with us means unlocking the potential for heightened productivity, improved quality, and ultimately, amplified profits. Engage with us and experience the transformative benefits of our professional expertise in English language communication.

Root cause analysis begins with failure analysis

Metallurgical failure analysis is the first step of the root cause analysis process. For failures during testing and use, a failure analysis is performed to determine the failure mode and failure mechanism of the failed item, whether any metallurgical characteristics of the failed item contributed to the failure, and the metallurgical reason for the failure. For quality problems, a failure analysis is performed to assess metallurgical characteristics of the problem item, whether they meet the item’s specifications, and the metallurgical reason for the problem. The information obtained from a failure analysis is then used to identify the root cause of the failure or quality problem.

The Imperative Need for Expert Failure Analysis: A Key to Progress

In the challenging landscape of manufacturing, the phrase "time is money" holds more truth than ever. Each minute lost to a failing component, an inefficient process, or a flawed product can translate into significant financial losses. The key to making consistent progress in such a demanding environment is having a deep understanding of the issues at hand. And this is where expert failure analysis comes into play.

The Complex Nature of Failures

Failures within manufacturing and production processes can be incredibly complex, often requiring a multidisciplinary approach to decipher their origins. They could stem from factors as varied as material defects, improper design, manufacturing anomalies, or environmental impacts. Without the right expertise, isolating the root cause from such a multitude of possibilities can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

The Value of Expert Failure Analysis

An expert failure analyst, like Dr. Michael Pfeifer at Industrial Metallurgists LLC, comes armed with years of experience, deep domain knowledge, and a systematic approach to uncovering the root causes of failures. Dr. Pfeifer's Nine-Step Failure Analysis Process is designed to methodically dissect the problem, leaving no stone unturned. This kind of comprehensive approach is key to making substantial progress, as it allows for targeted, effective solutions rather than mere stop-gap measures.

Learning from Failures

Moreover, proper failure analysis conducted by an expert offers more than just immediate solutions. It can be an invaluable learning opportunity, transforming failures into stepping stones for future success. Understanding why a failure occurred can provide insights into improving design, refining manufacturing processes, and implementing robust quality control measures.

Consequently, the knowledge and insights gained from expert failure analysis can drive significant improvements in efficiency, reliability, and profitability, ultimately leading to steady progress and growth.

In conclusion, without expert failure analysis, an organization risks being stuck in a cycle of repeat failures, resulting in wasted time, resources, and stunted progress. Invest in expertise like Dr. Pfeifer's to unlock the potential of failure analysis and turn challenges into opportunities for advancement.

The most important action to take

The best step to take when a metal problem occurs is to call a metallurgist. In every case I have ever worked for a client, the benefits of involving a metallurgist quickly outweighed the cost, time, or effort used with any other approach. Just like any problem in life, when done properly, formal failure analysis saves money, effort, and time. What distinguishes us from other metallurgical organizations is metals engineering expertise combined with lots of experience with every aspect of product design and manufacturing. With this broad experience, we bring multiple perspectives to help clients quickly get the information they need to solve problems and help them use the information to solve the problem.

Metal failure analysis is a science for identifying the root cause of problems.

Understanding what causes your metal failures is key to preventing them from happening again. We will get you the information you need to help you identify the root cause and the corrective action to prevent the problem from reoccurring. Hire us to find out what’s wrong with your product, equipment, or manufacturing process so that it doesn’t fail again!

Check out this classic book about component failures: Understanding How Components Fail, 3rd Edition

Your on-call metallurgy and metals engineering experts

Imagine having a team of professionals dedicated to providing solutions for metal failures, regardless of where or when they occur. They can help you pinpoint the root cause and provide you with recommendations on how best to prevent the failures from occurring again. For people involved with product design and manufacturing, learning more about failure analysis will help you productively deal with component failures and quality problems. Want to learn more? Take our failure analysis course or webinar.

Failure analysis process summary

Needs Review Every failure analysis project starts with a conversation with you and your engineering team to review the problem and collect background information. This is done by phone or internet meeting and usually takes 15 – 30 minutes. There’s no charge for this step. We’ll review photos and drawings of the problem component or material and discuss the circumstances of the problem. We will also discuss the project scope, the metallurgical analysis and samples required, and approximate cost. For the scope, it’s critical to have complete agreement on the problem to solve.

Identify the Project Approach This is where I use my experience, training, and knowledge to identify the best path forward. This includes metallurgical analysis of components or metal stock. Selecting the appropriate metallurgical analyses and samples to examine is critical to get information that enables finding the cause of the problem and preventing it from reoccurring. The approach might also include review of technical literature and discussions with suppliers.

Project Quote A project quote includes the project scope, the work to be performed, and the cost. After you approve the work we begin right away, and we meet or beat our timelines. We understand that failure analysis work is time sensitive.

Perform the Analyses The metallurgical analyses are performed, and the data is collected and reviewed. The analysis information combined with the background information is used to identify the metallurgical cause of the problem and possible root causes.

Review data We review the analysis findings with you and discuss possible root causes of the failure or problem. At this point your input is important. The metallurgical analyses results will indicate the conditions that cause the failure and whether there was anything metallurgically wrong with the metal. However, more background information is often needed to use the analysis to identify the root cause. Your knowledge about the item’s design, manufacturing, and use are important. This part is key - we won’t just give you a report and leave it to you to figure out how to use the information to fix your problem. We work with clients to help them use failure analysis results to understand how the failure or problem occurred, its root cause, and how to prevent it from reoccurring. This is what distinguishes us from other companies that offer failure analysis. We do more than just forensics - we help engineer solutions.

Written Report and Support Once you have your reports and understand the findings we continue to support you throughout the implementation of the changes recommended. One reason to choose Industrial Metallurgists is because of our ongoing support during implementation.

Check out Michael Pfeifer's articles about metals and product reliability on the Accendo Reliability website

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Past projects

Industrial Metallurgists, LLC

Providing metals engineering expertise for failure analysis and forensic investigations of metal components and products.
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