Speed Up Defect Elimination and Reliability Improvement By Keeping Failed Parts

Mar 14, 2018 6:34:11 PM

Speed up Defect Elimination and Reliability Improvement by Keeping Failed Parts

Recently, Bluefield shared an article encouraging maintenance teams to collect and analysis their failed parts in order to improve the quality of work. The article is here and explains the importance of having a failed parts bin for learning and PM improvement.

Failed parts are also essential for defect elimination. Once the pareto charts have been developed it is then necessary to go and look at the failed parts for every failure within the top 5 or top 10 downtime areas. For example look at the following typical pareto charts. Even at the lowest level in this data set it is not possible to overcome the problem without more information.


The information required is the actual failure mode. This can be learned immediately by looking at the failed parts. Performing an RCA without the actual failure mode is hit and miss at best but when you know the actual failure mode you can easily design the necessary tasks to prevent a similar breakdown event.

Bluefield experienced a great example of this just recently. While working with a site, we noticed that it was common practice to throw away hydraulic hoses that failed. Hose failures had been a common problem over the years and was in the top 5 causes of downtime. Many believed it was just the nature of the operation to have hose failures. Once it was agreed to keep the hoses the very first one showed a failure mode that had already been solved and was the subject of a product improvement letter issued by the OEM, that had not been implemented on site. The problem was easy to overcome in a very short time but without the part to identify the actual failure mode this would have gone on for much longer.

The learning from this is, if you want to rapidly improve the reliability of the fleet, you need to make sure each and every failure is properly investigated to identify the failure mode and implement corrective actions that can prevent the failure reoccurring. Many people keep failed parts when there is a large visible failure, which is often difficult to eliminate and only occurs every 10 years or so, but for all of the day to day failures keeping the failed part or looking at the actual failure mode can lead to rapid elimination of these failures.

Bluefield is passionate about taking a proven and practical approach to rapid reliability improvement. Our methods have delivered fleet performance turn around in a matter of months.

See what one of our clients said here.