Practical Plant Failure Analysis : A Guide to Understanding Machinery Deterioration and Improving Equipment Reliability, Second Edition book cover
2nd Edition

Practical Plant Failure Analysis
A Guide to Understanding Machinery Deterioration and Improving Equipment Reliability, Second Edition

ISBN 9781138324114
Published October 18, 2019 by CRC Press
400 Pages 380 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This is a practical guide for those who do the work of maintaining and improving the reliability of mechanical machinery. It is for engineers and skilled trades personnel who want to understand how failures happen and how the physical causes of the great majority can be readily diagnosed in the field. It explains the four major failure mechanisms, wear, corrosion, overload, and fatigue and, using easy-to-read charts, how they can be diagnosed at the site of the failure. Then, knowing the physical failure mechanics involved, the reader can accurately solve the human causes.

To improve the reader’s understanding, all the diagrams and most of the tables have been redrawn. The number of actual failure examples has been increased, plus the last chapter on miscellaneous machine elements includes new material on couplings, universal joints, and plain bearings.


  • A practical field guide showing how to recognize how failures occur that can be used to solve more than 85% of mechanical machinery failures

  • Incorporates multiple easy-to-follow logic trees to help the reader diagnose the physical causes of the failure without needing detailed laboratory analysis

  • Explains how the mechanics, corrosion, materials science, and tribology of components can fit together to improve machinery reliability

  • Includes more than 150 completely redrawn charts and tables, plus almost 250 actual failure photographs to help guide the reader to an accurate analysis

  • Contains clear and detailed explanations of how lubricants function and the critical roles of corrosion and lubrication play in causing mechanical failures

Table of Contents

1. An Introduction to Failure Analysis. 2. Some General Considerations on Failure Analysis. 3. Materials and the Sources of Stresses. 4. Overload Failures. 5. Fatigue Failures (Part 1): The Basics. 6. Fatigue ( Part 2): Torsional, Low, and Very Low Cycle Failure Influences, and Some Fatigue Interpretations. 7. Understanding and Recognizing Corrosion. 8. Lubrication and Wear. 9. Belt Drives. 10. Ball and Roller Bearings. 11. Gears. 12. Fasteners and Bolted Joint Failures. 13. Miscellaneous Machine Component Failures-Chains, Lip Seals, Couplings, Universal Joints, and Plain Bearings.

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A native of Northern New Jersey, Mr. Neville W. Sachs attended Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ where he received a Bachelor of Engineering degree, majoring in Mechanical and Chemical Engineering. After a variety of manufacturing, engineering, and supervisory positions, he joined Allied Chemical (now Honeywell International). From then until the Syracuse Works closed, he was heavily involved with plant reliability as an engineer and Reliability Engineering Department supervisor. While there, he was instrumental in developing one of the first large predictive maintenance inspection programs in the nation, served on a number of corporate technical committees, and received a patent for a device that demonstrates several of the mechanisms of fastener failures.

In early 1986, Mr. Sachs, a licensed Professional Engineer, joined with Philip Salvaterra to form Sachs, Salvaterra & Associates, Inc., (SS&A) a consulting "Reliability Engineering Department for Hire". After 25 years serving as the president of SS&A, the company was absorbed by Applied Technical Services of Marietta, GA and, in 2014 he returned to private practice.

Mr. Sachs has conducted thousands of failure analyses and taught hundreds of failure analysis seminars across North America and Europe. He is a past chairman of the Syracuse Chapter of the ASM, and is an active member of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, National Society of Professional Engineers, and the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE). In addition to being certified in several areas of nondestructive testing, his formal certifications include STLE’s "Certified Lubrication Specialist".

He is a frequent speaker for programs across North America, has written three textbooks Practical Plant Failure Analysis - a Guide to Understanding Machinery Deterioration and Improving Equipment Reliability, Failure Analysis of Gears and Bearings made Simple, and Failure Analysis of Shafts and Fasteners made Simple. He has also contributed significant sections to three other books concerning mechanical reliability and failure analysis, and has written over seventy technical articles and papers for US and European magazines and journals, primarily on failure analysis and equipment reliability. Among his honors are the RMLA’s "Outstanding Contribution to the Industry" award presented in 2019.

He and his wife, Carol Adamec, a noted sculptor, hike, bike, kayak, ski and try to keep up with 10 grandchildren. He also enjoys being an NSP Ski Patroller and playing with old cars.