Reliability issue - Frequent component failure of the product

#1
I am new to reliability. I recently encountered during my current work : I have a frequent component failure of the product made in our plant. The component has 4 types: A, B, C & D.

The product is operating in various oilfield condition across the world, mostly in the USA. The 4 types of component could have different run life in various oil well conditions or operation conditions (e.g. high temperature, low temperature, sandy, high pressure, low pressure, depth of well, etc.). Now management require my reliability team to define a matrix as a guideline quickly to advise customer “under what parameters of well conditions should use what types of component” should be used based on the many failure reports worldwide retrieved from database.

Due to time urgency, I wonder anyone have advices, e.g. sensitivity analysis, DOE (may take long time for testing), and what software can be used. Thank you. Shang.
 
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stevegyro

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#2
Mr. Shang,
Are A,B,C,D the same material alloy, geometry, and used in similar fashion?

The big challenge in determining failure factors in any industry, is in the eliminatation of ‘noise’ (unwanted, useless data).
Human factors, certainly in the oil field harsh environments, need to be accounted for carefully.

Unfortunately, people-money politics can sometimes occur. Parts ‘going missing’ or frequently breaking) for financial gain: IE Union leaders and supply companies usually have a relationship and (replacement parts) is ‘big business’. Added bonus - workers enjoy the over-time (paychecks) necessary to replace broken parts.
Mention of this is not to dis-trust the field workers, but if some crews have more breakage/part-failures than others, the ‘failure frequency data’ will not be fully representing the quality of the parts.

”All crews being equal”, a recommendation is to write down failure modes in several categories:
a. Design & as-built -Static: as-built (clearances too tight or loose; tolerance stack-up, interference/compression fit, and a few others)
b. Design & as-built -Dynamic: cyclic (in/out of balance; fatigue causes; Micro crack expansion to major crack. Heat generation from friction from FOD (SAND); Heat generation from cyclic strain on parts; internal heat/cracking From bending moments or shear.

c. Metallurgy design, and as received. Built-up and hidden stresses from heat-treat; from welding; from machining; from corrosion.

This collection of data is vital to begin solving whatever you wish to fix.
The good news is younger clerks or engineering interns can do a lot of the heavy lifting. It may seem like a goose-chase at first, but with the correct leadership, pays big returns and keeps your customer happy.

BR,
Stephen Giarratana
 
Last edited:

stevegyro

Involved In Discussions
#3
Also, it is almost impossible to solve all 4 problem areas simultaneously.
Unless part is same geometry/shape, material, and type of in-service use for the parts.

If the nature of failures is different between the 4 parts, i suggest choosing the ‘low hanging fruit’ (item/ process in field) the largest cost factor to your company, and most important- the satisfaction of your customer and the field workers.

Upon nailing the biggest failure item, your team will learn the process of RCA in a way that speeds up solving problems B, C, and D.


BR,
Stephen G.
Metrology Sr. Engr.
 
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