Product Failure Analysis

Written by Patricia Skinner
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The Life of a Product Failure Analyst

A failure analyst spends his professional life investigating the reasons for product failures of all descriptions and in all sections of the engineering industry. Although product failure analysis is very much a discipline where specialists specialize to some degree or another, it is also a science where all the different areas of materials failure knowledge overlap to a large extent. Specialized engineering software provides a vast resource for engineers to begin their failure analysis.

A large part of product failure analysis will concern the investigation into why the product failure occurred in the first place when there is such a wealth of software to use during the design and production process that can very accurately predict failure analysis. In theory at least, there is no real excuse for such failure in today's engineering climate. However, this is theory, and it is well known that Murphy's Law is still a given in the engineering world, despite the wonderful strides in computer technology that have given us safer engineering across the board.

Why Product Failure Analysis?

Product failure analysis can be said to be a much smaller part of the engineering world today however, even though it is still very necessary. CAD design integration with extensive stress analysis resources coupled with virtual prototyping has undoubtedly made design processes a great deal faster and safer than they were in days gone by. Perhaps this is why product failure is taken so seriously by all.

A large part of the product failure analysis industry today is plastics, rather than metals or other composites. This is because plastic is far more susceptible to environmental conditions than, for example, steel. Whatever type of product failure analysis is required, it is always wise to make sure you're getting an engineering professional who is actually well experienced and specialized in that particular aspect of product failure analysis.

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