Poor design along with poor workmanship, poor manufacturing, and poor-quality materials are often the causes of product and project failures in any industry or sector. The costs of these failures can quickly add up. Consequences can range from simple product replacements, to redesign or scrapping of a project line, up to large scale safety impacts and reputational damage that can linger for decades.
Poorly-designed equipment and parts can result from a number of factors, ranging from inexperienced designers, poor engineering, or an inability to follow specifications and calculations to ensure compliance with the application. A design with good intentions could be handicapped by poor quality prototypes and a lack of proper testing, or too much of a focus on costs that results in shortcuts and compromised quality. Designs can also raise unrealistic expectations for a product’s geometry by requiring shapes that are too complex to actually be machined or cast properly. Therefore both the design and implementation of the design must be carefully carried out.
Perfect product design can still be let down by failures in manufacturing. Everything from defective or worn out equipment and tools, improperly calibrated equipment, operator error, and programming errors can impact product dimensions and finished product quality. Design tolerances can cause manufacturing issues in both directions (by being either too small or too large). For example, tolerances that are too small can result in parts that are extremely expensive to machine, requiring a significant amount of finishing work to ensure they are met. This also complicates long term use and product lifespan, as any minor blemish, mark or impact could cause the product to no longer be compliant with the manufacturer’s specifications. On the other hand, tolerances that are too large will cause fitment issues with other components and a lack of geometric similarity when multiple pieces must be tested in a fluid application. Thus the same products made at different times could perform very differently.
Finally, material quality is just as critical for creating a successful product. The material must be properly chosen according to the application and desired standards compliance. For example, the material strength requirements should be determined based on application load, pressure compliance, and other factors. Proper thickness of the material must be calculated, and the material should function within the desired temperature range without failure. Cold weather applications may require a certain material temperature range and ductility to ensure that the material does not become brittle and fracture under load. The material may also need to be properly heat treated as per the application and standard requirements. Heat affected zones in welded applications must be properly addressed. The material must also be selected based on corrosion allowances and reactiveness with the fluids it will be exposed to. Last but not least, the actual quality of raw material is critical to ensure that the material does not have any voids or inclusions that can result in premature failure.
There are many variables that must be carefully considered in part design and production to avoid a product failure. That is why at Canada Pipeline Accessories (CPA) we take great care in attending to the finer details in our part design, part compliance, and manufacturing processes.
With over 20 years experience in manufacturing under our belt, our products are specially engineered using computer-aided design. Whether they are flow conditioners from a stock inventory, or nozzles custom designed to your exact specifications, we can back up the the entire process from design and engineering to final manufacturing, including part and material quality control. Call us now and let’s discuss how we can be of service to you.