Reliability Engineering Papers
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Recent technical papers presented by Paul Barringer are available as a PDF file. Need a free PDF reader?  Please note:  If you download the papers BEFORE you install the reader, you’ll not see anything!—so make sure you have the PDF reader BEFORE you download.


50. 71st Annual Instrument and Automation Symposium For The Process Industries, January 27, 2015

Instrument Reliability

Abstract: Examples of attribute data and Weibull data are shown for two groups of data and the risk associated with the failures are described.


49.  Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP) Analytics committee net meeting on March 17, 2015

FRACAS: Failure Reporting and Corrective Actions System.


Abstract: A perpetual maintenance and reliability data base for recording failure data and upgrading the information to prevent future failures by way of the recommended corrective action to prevent future failures and thus reduce costs.


48. The 61st Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium (RAMS) panel presentations and discussion concerning Discrete Event Modeling at the Innisbrook Golf & Span Resort, Palm Harbor, FL on January 27, 2015 at 10:15AM-12.15PM
      Don’t Just Tell Me!  Build A Model To Show Me.

Abstract: Reliability models can be simple or complicated.  The availability, maintainability, and reliability details need to be explained with life cycle cost for making the correct business decisions.  It’s not sufficient to simply tell the details.  You need to show the technical details from the model to make the tradeoffs needed to explain the money for business decisions.  The money details include acquisition and sustaining costs explained in net present values.


 47. Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP) Analytics committee net meeting on September 16, 2014.

         Pareto Distributions: The Most Important Reliability Tool

 

Abstract:  Effective Pareto lists are rank ordered lists, by money, of previous high cost failures plus the risk of potential failures.  Ineffective Pareto lists are rank ordered list by nose counts of failures.  Detailed examples are shown for both cases including high cost items from a major facility in Texas showing 10% of the equipment count are responsible for 80% of the maintenance costs + economic losses; whereas 20% of the equipment count are responsible for 80% of only the maintenance costs.  Concentrate your action on the vital few pieces of equipment driven by the money issues to make substantial cost reductions.  Winners in the organization solve the vital few problems associated with the high cost issues.  Losers in the organization concentrate on solving problems based on their love affairs and nose counts of problems.  Stay focused on solving the money problems for the business!


46. 4th Annual Maintenance Conference, Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico on September 10, & 11, 2014

            Essential Elements of a Successful Reliability Program – September 10, 2014

 

Abstract: Reliability is a strategic issue.  Maintenance is a tactical issue.  Effective reliability programs prevent failures and the risk of failure by attacking the high $ issues first.  This requires empowering and enabling the entire work force from top to bottom to prevent failures rather than only fixing failures.


            Life Cycle Cost and Reliability – September 11, 2014

 

Abstract:  Reliability details are needed to predict end of life for components and systems.  Failures and replacements drive costs during specific project intervals.  Cost details from reliability analysis drive life cycle decisions for calculating a key financial performance represented by a single number for net present values (NPV).


 45.  Saudi Aramco 2013 Reliability Conference, Houston, Texas on June 20, 2013

            Forecasting Future Failures From Your Maintenance Database

 

Abstract: Failure data in your maintenance database can be used to predict future failures using reliability growth plots with straight line in log-log formats of cum failures (Y-axis) and cum time (X-axis).  [If I can predict your future failures, why can’t you prevent them to save money and make my fearless forecast of future failures wrong by preventing the failures?]


 44.  Uptime Magazine article from the June/July 2013 edition:

            Where Do Failures Originate?

 

Abstract:  Reliability of people, processes/procedures and equipment terminates with a failure.  Want higher reliability? Get rid of your failures.  But that’s easier said than done.  There are many buckets to hold the different types of failures.  Each bucket has a different name for the root of the failures.  Frequently, the failure buckets are collected into three major categories for simplification: 1) People, 2) Processes + Procedures and 3) Equipment.  You must know where to attack problems to resolve the issues for a failure-free environment.  Failures don’t correct themselves!


 43.  Saudi Aramco 2012 Reliability Conference, Houston, Texas on June 27, 2012.  The slides are available in PDF format for:

            Essential Elements of a Successful Reliability Program

 

Abstract: Must do elements to achieve a successful reliability program.


 42.  Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP) Houston Chapter-Special Interest Group for the Oil, Gas, and Chemicals group in Houston, Texas on May 7, 2009.  The slides are available in PDF format for:

            Reliability Tools

 

Abstract:  Five important tools were presented in the one-hour presentation and Webinar for the SMRP-SIG.  These details are a small portion of the reliability tools available as a Problem Of The Month and included the What, Where, When, and Why questions associated with

            1)  Reliability,
            2)  Pareto,
            3)  Cost of Unreliability,
            4)  FMEA, and
            5)  Data.

Other reliability tools, in concise format, are located on this website.


 41.  Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP) Houston Chapter’s in Houston, Texas on November 5, 2008:

            Convert Maintenance & Reliability Issues To Business Issues

Abstract:  This presentation shows how to cost out maintenance issues and put the details into the form of a business issue using process reliability plots.  The analysis separates and categorizes special cause variation and common cause variations along with determining the reliability of the process.  Details for this presentation are shown in the October 08 list of problems of the month..


 40.  Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP) Houston Chapter’s 1-day conference in Houston, Texas on February 28, 2008:

            Are You Repair-Focused Or Reliability-Focused And How To Change?

Abstract:  Two out of three companies claim their work is focused on avoiding failures (a reliability-focus) while one out of three can demonstrate their claim (most companies are repair-focused).  Case studies are presented to show the evidence in Crow-AMSAA reliability growth plots with illustrations of how companies have changed their results.  Parallels in safety, quality, and environmental programs are provided to show how cultures have change in the past 40 years.


39.  Workshop 10 at the International Maintenance Conference in Daytona Beach, FL, sponsored by ReliabilityWeb.Com will review some of the Problems Of The Month.  Specifically we will cover:
              Which Reliability Tool To Use?
            Reliability And Data
            Pump Seal Failures
            Corrosion Problems And Inspection Data
            Forecast Future System Failures

            The Best Student Problem

The workshop is scheduled for December 5, 2007 from 8:00AM to 4:00PM.  On December 6 at 4:37PM, the Space Shuttle is scheduled to lift off and should be visible from the Hilton Hotel.


38.  The 4-day MARCON 2007 conference at the University of Tennessee Maintenance and Reliability Center is jointly sponsored by UT and Reliabilityweb.com. 

The following paper was presented on May 9, 2007:

       Bridging The Different Worlds of Reliability: Defense, Industry, and Academia.

Abstract:  The different perspectives of reliability are discussed and examples given of their different viewpoints.  The bridge between the three perspectives is simply money.


37.   The 2-day Weibull Users Conference is held once every two years.  The 2006 Conference is in Houston, Texas on March 8-9, 2006 at the Marriott Westchase Hilton Hotel.  The two papers are:

            Corrosion Problems Quantified With The Gumbel Lower Distribution

Abstract: Several case studies show how to separate general corrosion from accelerated corrosion and how to predict end of useful life for products.
Download a copy of the PowerPoint slides by clicking here.


            Life Cycle Cost and Weibull Distributions Go Together Like PB&J

Abstract:    Weibull details are needed to predict end of life for components and systems.  When the failures/replacements occur will drive costs during specific project interval.  Thes cost details from Weibull analysis drive life cycle cost decisions for calculating a key performance indicator represented by a single number for net present value. (NPV).

Download a copy of the PowerPoint slides by clicking here.

            Life Cycle Cost and Weibull Distributions Got Together Like PB&J-Short which includes three specific examples of life cycle cost

36.  Use Crow-AMSAA Reliability Growth Plots To Forecast Future System Failures—prepared for the 2006 IMEC conference in Toronto, ON, November 3, 2006.


Abstract: 
Reliability growth plots forecast when future system failures will occur.  Trend line slopes, b, tell if failures are coming faster, slower, or without much change.  Long term trend line slope b also tell if programs have a reliability-focus where b<1 or a repair-focus where b≥1.  Repair-focused organizations do not find failures intolerable, and they often reward faster repairs over avoiding repairs with acceptance of failure risks beyond prudent money limits.  Reliability-focused organizations abhor failures, and they make improvements to extend time to the next failure by rejecting risk of failures.  Examples are provided: 1) (repair+emergency) work orders for SAP software for a large international company to determine if they are reliability-focused or repair-focused, 2) failure data on a large pipe line which has shifted from a repair-focus to a reliability-focus, 3) safety records for a start-up chemical company showing the growth phases during maturation of the company.

 

Download a copy of the technical paper by clicking here.  Download a copy of the PowerPoint slides by clicking here.


35.  Defining Equipment Reliability—prepared for the Maintenance & Reliability Technology Summit 2006 in Rosemont, IL, April 17, 2006.


Abstract: Reliability conveys different ideas to various groups. This presentation explores the definition of reliability and all of the factors it entails.  The presentation advocates starting with a top-down viewpoint rather than a bottom-up approach to match management expectations for controlling money issues associated with reliability.  Before defining equipment reliability improvements the first emphasis must be on improving people, second on improving processes and procedures, and finally improving component reliability—if required.  An example of a centrifugal pump is illustrated to show how engineers want to attack components for improvement whereas bigger gains are made by understanding the people issues, the process/procedures used to control the best operating range, and how engineers must know the grade of installation and use characteristics to get the system installed and operating correctly for a reliability-focused viewpoint.  The presentation emphases differences between a: 1) repair-focused use of information (which allows wide variability in details and thus achieves short life); and 2) reliability-focused understanding (which demands tight technical control of people/processes/procedures/equipment to achieve long life) to achieve the inherent reliability of equipment.   Click here to download a PDF file of slides presented at the MARTS conference (118 K)


34.  How To Justify Equipment Improvements Using Life Cycle Cost and Reliability Principlesprepared for the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufactures Conference 2005 in Miami, Florida, January 14, 2005

Abstract:  Improvement justifications are based on financial details and alternatives.  The datum for all improvements begins with the cost of the status quo, i.e., no improvement as the launching point for alternatives.   Improvement justifications require knowing: 1) when things fail, 2) how things fail, and 3) conversions of failures into money statements.  Reliability engineering principles help define when and how things fail to provide facts for life cycle costs comparisons to help decide the lowest long-term cost of ownership driven by a single estimator called net present value (NPV) to converting hardware issues and alternatives into money issues.  Initial first costs are often a bad decision tool for making improvement decisions (lacking details and alternatives from engineering—the first cost may become the only decision criteria).  The Engineering Department is responsibility for providing life cycle costs over the project life and they must provide more than a single alternative.  Knowledge about times to failure and failure modes are found by reliability technology.  A short example illustrates the methodology.

Click here to down load a PDF file (116K).  Click here to down load a PDF file of slides presented at the conference (227K)

 


33.  “Predict Failures: Crow-AMSAA 101 and Weibull 101”, prepared for presentation at International Mechanical Engineering Conference, December 5-8, 2004, Kuwait.


Abstract:  Reliability growth plots known as Crow-AMSAA plots are powerful for predicting future failures for mixed failure modes.  Weibull probability plots are powerful single failure mode tools for predicting the type of failure mode which guides reliability centered maintenance strategies and forecasting future failures for each failure mode.  Both analytical tools are minimum requirements for every reliability engineer’s tool box.  Real data examples are shown to illustrate the value for acquiring engineering/maintenance data and using these basic tools to give the data a voice.  Giving data an unemotional voice is a rational for decisions and for corrective action.  Examples and illustrations describe the basics of each tool.  Click here to download a PDF file (278 KB).


32.  “Introduction And Evaluation Of Reliability”, prepared for presentation at International Mechanical Engineering Conference, December 5-8, 2004, Kuwait.


Abstract:  Reliability is the probability that a device, system, or processes will perform its prescribed duty, without failure, for a given time, when operated correctly, in a specified environment.  Reliability numbers, by themselves, lack meaning for making improvements.  For business, the financial issue of reliability is controlling the cost of unreliability from equipment and process failures which waste money.  Reliability issues are understandable when converted into monetary values by using actual plant data.  Several reliability engineering tools are discussed.  Click here to download a PDF file (225 KB).


31.  Process and Equipment Reliability”, prepared for presentation at Maintenance & Reliability Technology Summit, May 24-27, 2004, Rosemont (Chicago), IL at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, sponsored by Maintenance Technology and ReliabilityWeb.Com.


Abstract: Reliability for businesses begins with management and how they communicate the need for a failure free environment to mobilize actions to preserve operable systems and processes.  The need for reliability considers cost of alternatives to prevent or mitigate failures, which require knowledge about times to failure, and failure modes which are found by reliability technology.   Justifications for reliability improvements require knowing: 1) when things fail, 2) how things fail, and 3) conversions of failures into time and money.  Reliability engineering principles help define when and how things fail to provide facts for life cycle costs comparisons.  This helps decide the lowest long-term cost of ownership driven by a single estimator called net present value for converting hardware issues and alternatives into money issues.  Several short examples illustrate the methodology.  Click here to download a PDF file (180K) of the paper. Click here to download a PDF file (180K) of the slides.


30.  “Life Cycle Cost Analysis—Who Does What?”, prepared for presentation at NPRA Maintenance Conference, May 25-28, 2004, San Antonio Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas

Abstract:  Life cycle cost (LCC) analysis works toward finding the lowest long term cost of ownership (usually the view point of the investor) rather than simply cheapest first cost (usually the view point of project management).  Roles and responsibilities for preparing the LCC details are described for petrochemical and refining applications.  Practical tips for effective analysis and presentation are given.  Click here to download a PDF file (113K) of the paper.  Click here to download a PDF file (94K) of the slides.  This is NPRA paper MC-04-97

29.  Analyzer Reliability—prepared for the International Forum Process Analytical Chemistry Conference (IFPAC) in Arlington, Virginia, January 12-15, 2004.

Abstract: Fundamentals of analyzer reliability issues are discussed using failure criteria required for documenting both actual failure data and censored data.  An existing data set of end user supplied information is examined using Weibull analysis which is the tool of choice for most reliability studies.  Recommendations are provided for obtaining better data to enhance future Weibull analysis of analyzer data.

Click here to download a PDF file (216 KB) of this paper.


28.  The Evolution of Reliability—prepared for the International Maintenance Conference (IMC-2003) in Clearwater Beach, Florida, December 7-10, 2003.

Abstract: Key issues describe how to put reliability into equipment and processes based on personal experiences.  The steps along the way include both hardware and people so that we simply operate for reliability.  A path for progress outlines how to ensure reliability considerations along with alternatives for the cost of unreliability driven by the concept for a reliability policy.

 

Click here to download a PDF file (131 KB) of this paper.


27.  A Life Cycle Cost Summary—prepared for the International Conference of Maintenance Societies (ICOMS®-2003) in Perth, Western Australia, May 20, 2003.

Abstract:  Life cycle costs (LCC) are cradle to grave costs summarized as an economics model of evaluating alternatives for equipment and projects.  Engineering details drive LCC cost numbers for the economic calculations.  The economics of proposals drives the scenario selection process.  Good engineering proposals without economic justification are often uneconomical.  Good engineering with good economics provide business successes.  The LCC economic model provides better assessment of long-term cost effectiveness of projects than can be obtained with only first costs decisions.

Click here to download a PDF file (252 KB) of this paper.


26.  Predict Future Failures From Your Maintenance Records—prepared for the Maintenance Engineering Society (MESA) of Australia Speaker’s Tour May 13-16, 2003, New Zealand and Australia.  This paper contains 5 actual data sets.

Abstract:  Crow/AMSAA reliability growth plots use failure information from maintenance systems to provide a visual tool, with straight-line graphs, for predicting the next failure in systems where humans can influence the results.  C/A plots work well with single failure or mixed failure modes.  The simple log-log plots have easily calculated statistics to show if failures are increasing, decreasing, or exhibiting no-change in failure rates.  The straight-line plots are helpful for forecasting future failures—the “fearless forecast” of future events catches the interest of people who can change the system to prevent the forecasted events.  When implementing system improvements calculate and track the savings in failures between the old and new methods to convert maintenance situations into time and money for easy selection of alternatives.  The case studies include: 1) Pump failures, 2) Maintenance department costs, 3) Plant safety incidents, 4) Environmental spills, and 5) Co-generation failures.

Click here to download a PDF file (308 KB) of this paper.
Click here to download a PDF-Slide file (170 KB) used for presentation.
Click here to download an Excel Learning Curve Calculator file used for Figure 1 of Predict Future Failures From Your Maintenance Records.


25.  Process Reliability:  Do You Have It?—What’s It Worth To Your Plant To Get It?—prepared for the AIChE National Spring Meeting, March 10-14, 2002, New Orleans, LA

Abstract: Process reliability combines new techniques from the field of reliability and six-sigma methodology to help identify areas for improvement and reduce variability in production output.  Process reliability is this paper is addressed from a management perspective.  Weibull probability plots are used to summarize issues and problems on one side of one sheet of paper to help prioritize corrective action for the organization.  Some criteria are presented to show how to quantify issues.  A contrast is made with world class operation to reduce the production problems to time and money using production output data.

Click here to download a PDF file (286 KB) of this paper or click here to download the slide presentation as a PDF file (215 KB).


24.  Small Sample Size Datasets: Help or Hindrance?—prepared for the Society of Automotive Engineers Weibull Users Group, March 7-8, 2002, Detroit, MI

Abstract: Some common sense issues will be presented concerning the size and effectiveness of small datasets for Weibull analysis.  A few examples will illustrate the issues for aiding common sense evaluation of the data.  Some guides lines will be listed from a management perspective.

Click here to download a PDF file ( 286 KB) of this short article or here for a PDF file of the PowerPoint slides (144 KB).


23. Heat Exchanger IRIS Wall Thickness and Gumbel Smallest Distribution—prepared for the Northwest Houston Subsection of ASME, Houston, TX, January 24, 2002  The Northwest Houston Subsection is a subset of the South Texas Section of ASME which is largest Section within ASME.

Abstract:  This is a presentation to the Northwest Houston Subsection of ASME to show how a small amount of data can be used to answer the question: Should we retube the heat exchanger during our turnaround outage or can we wait until the next turnaround?  Comparisons are made between the Weibull distribution and the Gumbel smallest distribution using WinSMITH Weibull software for the calculations—the Gumbel smallest distribution has a Weibull Y-axis and a linear X-axis while the Weibull curves have logarithmic X-axis and both distributions magnify the smaller wall thickness measurements which are of major concern.  A bonus set of plots illustrates the use of the Gumbel largest distribution and how it magnifies the large data values such as occur with wind gusts and floods.

Click here to download a PDF file (238 KB) of the PowerPoint slides.


22.  Reliability Policy-Do You Have One?-Why Not?—prepared for the Society Of Reliability Engineers Lambda Notes, December 2001

Abstract:  Reliability for business starts with management.  Management uses policy statements to address major issues.  As the reliability professional in your organization, can you give a 60 second sound bite to state your view of a reliability policy?  Effective reliability professionals must help management communicate reliability to the organization with a clear reliability policy statement.  Reliability professionals—it’s your job to sell a reliability policy to your organization.  If it’s not your job, whose job is it?

Click here to download a PDF file (123 KB) of this short article.  Also visit the reliability policy page on this site.


21.  Process Reliability—prepared for the ASQ Reliability Review, December 2001

Abstract:  Daily production data from a production plant is used as a top down model in a Weibull probability plot to identify the reliability of a production process.  Failures of the process are defined, identified, and quantified.  Production losses for different categories are calculated.  Lack of process performance is related to six-sigma concepts and the details are quantified in financial values for top management attention about the cost of unreliability.

 

Click here to download a PDF file (140 KB) of this short article—also see below, on this page, for more publications on the same subject.  Additional items concerning Process Reliability are also addressed at other locations on this website.


20.  Reliability Issues From A Management Perspective—prepared for the 52nd API Pipeline Conference, San Antonio, TX, April 18, 2001

Abstract:  Reliability for businesses begins with management.  Management must communicate with a clear reliability policy statement.  The policy can mobilize actions for considering cost of alternatives to prevent or mitigate failures, which require knowledge about times to failure, and failure modes, found by reliability technology.   Justifications for reliability improvements require knowing: 1) when things fail, 2) how things fail, and 3) conversions of failures into time and money statements.  Reliability engineering principles help define when and how things fail to provide facts for life cycle costs comparisons.  This helps decide the lowest long-term cost of ownership driven by a single estimator called net present value for converting hardware issues and alternatives into money issues.  Several short examples illustrate the methodology.
Click here to down load a PDF file (353K).  Click here to down load a PDF file (256K) for slides used for presentation—these will be available until the end of May 2001.


19.  How To Justify Equipment Improvements Using Life Cycle Cost and Reliability Principles—prepared for the Power Machinery And Compression Conference 2001 in Galveston, Texas, March 20-21, 2001

Abstract:  Improvement justifications are based on financial details and alternatives.  The datum for all improvements begins with the cost of the status quo, i.e., no improvement as the launching point for alternatives.   Improvement justifications require knowing: 1) when things fail, 2) how things fail, and 3) conversions of failures into money statements.  Reliability engineering principles help define when and how things fail to provide facts for life cycle costs comparisons to help decide the lowest long-term cost of ownership driven by a single estimator called net present value (NPV) to converting hardware issues and alternatives into money issues.  Initial first costs are often a bad decision tool for making improvement decisions (lacking details and alternatives from engineering—the first cost may become the only decision criteria).  The Engineering Department is responsibility for providing life cycle costs over the project life and they must provide more than a single alternative.  Knowledge about times to failure and failure modes are found by reliability technology.  A short example illustrates the methodology.

Click here to down load a PDF file (196K).


18.  New Reliability Tool for the Millennium: Weibull Analysis of Production Data—prepared for the 9th International Process Plant Reliability Conference and Exhibition in Houston, Texas, October 23-26, 2000. 

This paper (with a few modifications) was published in Hydrocarbon Processing magazine, October 2001, Vol. 80, No. 10, pages 73-82, and you can request a reprint copy by use of Hydrocarbon Processing’s automated form service or you can download the Hydrocarbon Process paper as a PDF file (364KB) from this site.

Abstract: The authors will demonstrate how a major Chemical Process company has successfully utilized this new technique to answer questions such as:

             1.  Do I have a reliability problem or a production problem?

             2.  What is the demonstrated capacity of my plant?

             3.  What are efficiency/utilization losses costing me?

             4.  What is the reliability of my process plant?

The Weibull technique described has helped the company define a strategic course of action based on quantification of process reliability.  This tool when added to its reliability improvement arsenal will help any company optimize availability of its products to its customers and maximize profits to its stakeholders.  Click here to down load a PDF file (120K).

 

(Note: This paper was co-authored by Woodrow T. Roberts, Jr., Ph.D. Global Reliability Engineering Discipline Team Leader for the Dow Chemical Company.)


17.  “Why You Need Practical Reliability Details To Define Life Cycle Costs For Your Products and Competitors Products!” –prepared for presentation at the 16th International Titanium Annual Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans Louisiana, October 9-10, 2000.

 

Abstract: High-grade products are difficult to sell because of price resistance—particularly when the high-grade products have much longer life and require less maintenance than lower grade products.  Life cycle costs comparisons help decide the lowest long-term cost of ownership driven by a single estimator called net present value.  The initial low sales price item usually forms a datum for procurement decisions, and the higher sales price item must be compared over the entire life of the project.  The net present values require decisions about when and how much maintenance/replacement costs will be incurred which is driven by the time and modes for component failures found by using reliability technology developed during the past 60 years.  Click here to down load a PDF file (55K).


16.  “Process Reliability and Six-Sigma”, prepared for presentation at the National Manufacturing Week Conference 20000 in Chicago, IL for March 13-16, 2000.

Abstract: Reliability of manufacturing processes can be obtained from daily production data when process failure criteria are established.  Results of the analysis are displayed on Weibull probability plots.  Losses are categorized and identified for corrective action based on a demonstrated production criterion, which gives a point estimate for the daily production value.  Concepts from six-sigma methodology are used to establish the effective nameplate capacity rating for the process.  The differences between the nameplate rating and the demonstrated production are labeled as efficiency and utilization losses.  Click here to download a PDF file (132K) of Process Reliability and Six-Sigma. Click here to download the WinSMITH Weibull files used in the paper—you can import these into the demonstration version of WinSMITH Weibull Demo  A reference listed in the paper is called “Asset Utilization: A Metric for Focusing Reliability Efforts” by Richard Ellis, click here to download a PDF file (136K) of the reference document.


15.  “Process Reliability Concepts”, prepared for presentation at the SAE 2000 Weibull Users’ Conference in Detroit Michigan for March 9-10, 2000

Abstract: Weibull analysis, using daily production output data, is used on a production process to find the process reliability.  Output from multiple production lines is combined into a Monte Carlo simulation to avoid the typical manufacturing case of “over promise and under deliver” from production operations with process reliability problems.  Patterns from several processes are described, and Pareto losses are found to prioritize the problem solving effort.  Gross margin losses are quantified in a before/after case to show the value of making improvements.  Click here to down load a PDF file (164K) of Process Reliability Concepts. A reference listed in the paper is called “Asset Utilization: A Metric for Focusing Reliability Efforts” by Richard Ellis, click here to download a PDF file (136K) of the reference document.


14.  “Mechanical Integrity And Risk Based Decisions Using Weibull Analysis With Small Datasets”, prepared for presentation at the Improving Safety and Reducing Operating Costs through Risk Based Inspection Conference sponsored by IBC Global Conferences in Houston, Texas for September 13-14, 1999.

Abstract: Mechanical integrity problems often involve few failures and large quantities of potential future failures.  The questions are: When will mechanical integrity be lost as the next failure occurs, or, will the equipment survive with no/few failures until the next scheduled turnaround?  A factual dataset, with few failures, is used to illustrate how Weibull analysis can forecast the risk of failures based on a small dataset.  Three perspectives are described: 1) the statistical view, 2) the engineering view, and 3) the management view.  Click here to down load a PDF file (61K).


13.  "How to Justify Machinery Improvements Using Reliability Engineering Principles", prepared for presentation at the 1999 Pump Symposium sponsored by Texas A&M Turbo Lab on March 1-4, 1999.

Abstract: For the typical machinery engineer, the difficulties encountered with making reliability improvements lie not with the "mechanics" of improvements, but with justifying the cost of improvements. It’s difficult to translate sound engineering principles into terms that the accounting community can understand.  The purpose of this paper is to equip machinery engineers with reliability engineering principles that translate "best practices" into net present value financial terms. Using the concepts of life cycle costs, the effects of off-design conditions and poor installation practices will be shown to reduce the expected life of a pump by as much as 60%. A Monte Carlo simulation will be sued to compare commercial practices, good practices, and best practices for a specific pump installation. Life cycle costs will be summarized, for each case, in net present value, to select the best equipment choice.  Click here to download a PDF file (231K).

(Note: This paper was co-authored by Todd R. Monroe, P.E. at the Equistar Chemical LP plant in LaPorte, TX.)


12.  "How To Use Reliability Engineering Principles For Business Issues", prepared for presentation at the YPF Reliability Symposium, La Plata, BA, Argentina on November 30, 1998.

Abstract: Failures of equipment and processes waste money on unreliability problems. Unreliability is the costly part of the economic equation. The business issue of reliability is control and prevention of failures to reduce costs and improve operations by enhancing business performance with affordable levels of reliability. Reliability numbers by themselves will not motivate improvements. Money values resulting from unreliability will cause reliability numbers to spring into life and guide actions for making cost effective changes using actual plant data for costs and failures. Reliability engineering tools and principles are discussed which assist plant improvement programs for reducing the high cost of unreliability. Click here to down load a PDF file (202K).


11.  "Life Cycle Cost And Good Practices", prepared for presentation at the National Petroleum Refiners Association Maintenance Conference, May 19-22, 1998, San Antonio Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas.

Abstract: Life cycle costs (LCC) concepts are merged with installation and operating practices for a pumping system to form a reliability model. Reliability models show how inherent component life is reduced by various practices. As failed components are replaced, changes occur in the LCC values. The outcome of several installation/use alternatives and several grades of pumps are described in net present value format. Click here to download a PDF file (142K).


10.  "Pipe Wall Thickness Decisions Using Weibull Analysis", prepared for presentation at the Equipment Inspection For Mechanical Integrity seminar sponsored by McNeese State University Engineering Partnership and Lake Area Industries, Lake Charles, LA, May 29, 1997.

Abstract: Weibull analysis is used on the data from pipe wall thickness inspections to set inspection intervals and assign risks for exceeding the minimum wall thickness. A small data-set of actual pipe thickness readings, obtained from an actual operating loop, are used to illustrate the method and rationale.--Note: also refer to the June '97 problem of the month for more details. Click here to download a PDF file (58K).


9.  "Availability, Reliability, Maintainability, and Capability", prepared for presentation at the Triplex Chapter Of The Vibrations Institute, Beaumont, Texas, February 18, 1997.

Abstract: Availability, reliability, maintainability, and capability are components of the effectiveness equation. The effectiveness equation is a figure of merit which is helpful for deciding which component(s) detract from performance measures. In many continuous process plants, the reliability component is the largest detractor from better performance. Calculation of the components are illustrated by use of a small data set. Click here to download a PDF file (43K).


8.  "Life Cycle Cost & Reliability for Process Equipment", prepared for the 8th Annual Energy Week Conference & Exhibition organized by American Petroleum Institute, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and PennWell Publishing in Houston TX for January 28-30, 1997.

Abstract: Life cycle costs (LCC) are cradle-to-grave costs summarizing all ownership costs. Reliability plays an important role in selection of equipment for lowest long term cost of ownership. Results of a Monte Carlo simulation using an ExcelTM spreadsheet show good maintenance practices (GMP) can alter outcomes of both cost and reliability. Maintenance strategies are shown for an API pump using LCC. Click here to download a PDF file (231K).


7.  " Life Cycle Cost Tutorial", prepared for presentation at the Fifth International Conference on Process Plant Reliability organized by Gulf Publishing Company and HYDROCARBONS PROCESS Magazine in Houston, TX for October 2-4, 1996.

Abstract: Life cycle costs (LCC) are cradle to grave costs summarized in a three section, three hour tutorial:
1. LCC concepts and applications are described as an overview. Details are provided about how costs are gathered and merged to develop a LCC number usable as a figure of merit. References are provided for additional study--some accounting math is used in this 1.5 hour long section.
2. Failure rate data is used for LCC. Examples show how detailed calculations are prepared and evaluated for developing engineering estimates of LCC in hydrocarbons processing industries--some engineering math is used in this 1.0 hour long section.
3. Uncertainties are considered in preparing LCC values. Direction is provided for use of inexpensive software solutions using DOS and Windows based software programs--some statistics are used in this 0.5 hour long section.
(Note: This article was co-authored with    Description: Description: C:\MSOFFICE\Word\Internet\mailbox.gif David P. Weber , a reliability expert and author of papers in fuzzy logic for solving reliability problems.) Click here to download a PDF file (165K).


6.  " Reliability Of Critical Turbo/Compressor Equipment", prepared for presentation at the Firfth International Conference on Process Plant Reliability organized by Gulf Publishing Company and HYDROCARBONS PROCESS Magazine in Houston, TX for October 2-4, 1996.

Abstract: A methodology is presented to evaluate and determine the necessary level of reliability for process equipment such as large centrifugal compressors and turbines in a refinery environment using Weibull analysis.
(Note: This paper was co-authored by Michael Kotlyar, Senior Machinery Engineer at the ARCO Los Angeles Refinery.)  Click here to download a PDF file (69K).


5.  "Practical Reliability Tools For Refineries and Chemical Plants", prepared for the National Petroleum Refiners Association, presented at the NPRA Maintenance Conference in Nashville, TN, May 21-24, 1995.

Abstract: Reliability is the probability of equipment or processes to function without failure, when operated correctly, for a given interval of time, under stated conditions. Reliability numbers, by themselves, lack meaning for making improvements. For business, the financial issue of reliability is controlling the cost of unreliability from equipment and process failures which waste money. Reliability issues are understandable when converted into monetary values by using actual plant data. Several reliability engineering tools are discussed. Click here to download a PDF file (43K).


4.  “Optimizing equipment reliability data for end-users and equipment suppliers", prepared for the Center for Excellence in the Chemical Industry (CECI) first annual forum for Partnerships For Automated Life Cycle Care at the Nolan Ryan Center on the campus of Alvin Community College, Alvin, TX May 16, 1996.

Abstract: The need for using a planned acquisition of age-to-failure data is discussed along with rules for acquiring the data. The data is connected to the cost of unreliability and how this influences life-cycle costs (LCC). Click here to download a PDF file (15K)


3.  "An Overview of Reliability Engineering Principles", presented at Energy Week conference sponsored by PennWell, ASME, and API on January 30, 1996 in Houston, TX.

Abstract: Reliability is the probability of equipment or processes to function without failure when operate correctly for a given interval of time under stated conditions. Equipment and processes failures waste money on unreliability problems. The business issue of reliability is control of failures to reduce costs and improve operations by enhancing business performance with affordable levels of reliability. Reliability numbers by themselves lack motivation for improvements. However, converting unreliability into monetary values, causes numbers to spring to life and guides actions for making cost effective changes, by using actual plant data for costs and failures. Reliability engineering tools are discussed which assist plant improvement programs for reducing the high cost of unreliability. Click here to download a PDF file (33K).


2.  "Where Is My Data For Making Reliability Improvements", presented at The 4th International Conference For Process Industry Reliability, sponsored by Gulf Publishing Company and ASME on November 15, 1995 in Houston, TX.

Abstract: All failure data for plant equipment and processes contains problems with definition of failure, data accuracy, data recording ambiguities, data accessibility, and lack of currency values. These are not reasons for ignoring data. Data banks of plant maintenance and cost records are a gold mine for starting a chain reaction of improvements. Data analysis puts facts into an action oriented format involving age-to-failures, along with suspended data from successes, to focus on making improvements to reduce the cost of unreliability. Five data sets are analyzed to show how data is used. Understanding data is helpful, but making cost effective improvements by use of the data is the business objective!
(Note: This article was co-authored with    Description: Description: C:\MSOFFICE\Word\Internet\mailbox.gif David P. Weber , a reliability expert and author of papers in fuzzy logic for solving reliability problems.) Click here to download a PDF file (75K).


1. "Cost Effective Calibration Intervals Using Weibull Analysis", presented at the ASQC 49th Annual Quality Congress on May 24, 1995 in Cincinnati, OH.

Abstract: Calibration intervals are found from actual or forecasted time-to-failure along with both planned recalibration costs and unplanned failure costs by means of Weibull analysis using commercially available WeibullSMITH™ software. Calibration intervals are found for several examples. Click here to download a PDF file (131K).

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Last revised January22, 2016