Plants invariably suffer deviations and breakdowns. These disrupt operations and impose a financial burden. As a result, numerous sites have created detailed investigation procedures to assist in the quest for "the cause," using the focused thought process known as root cause analysis (RCA). However, differences in RCA methodologies used and in the expertise of staff may lead to inconsistencies that complicate efforts.
The Axiall Lake Charles, La., chemicals complex has taken deliberate steps to improve its RCA process, to turn it into a consistent and comprehensive tool that provides the best possible opportunity to determine true root causes. At a minimum, this consistency of effort now lets us get closer to the actual culprit than ever before.