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Some plants buy a high-powered microscope in order to do failure analysis. While this sometimes is necessary, it could be good to consider other options to get started. Why not start with a $13 macro lens from Amazon? The fracture surface in the picture below is about the size of 1/2 a dime (the center round area); you'll see the tip of a ballpoint pen at the 6 o'clock position for reference.

The picture was taken with a 2 year-old iPhone 5 with a $13 macro lens in fairly poor lighting. You can clearly see where the chevron marks are pointing at the 12 o'clock position. This is the origin of the fracture. We can also see that it is an instant break (not a fatigue break)... a pretty good start of a root cause investigation, right?

IDCON teaches the work process for root cause problem elimination using our How-Can Diagram together with some basic forensics of bearings, materials, lubrication, etc. Consider an in-house class where we use YOUR plant problems, or come to our next open class.

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Tip provided by: 

Torbjorn Idhammar

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