ANSYS Advantage - Oil & Gas Issue, 2014
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Product Reliability and Performance
The oil and gas industry’s sharp focus on safety and reliability is based on the economics of oil and gas production, maintenance and unscheduled downtime — and along with that comes environmental stewardship and protecting human life. As project costs and complexity increase, companies develop continuous-improvement processes to reduce equipment and product failure to increase operational reliability at drilling, production and processing sites. This industry strives for zero accidents and, therefore, undertakes extraordinary measures to avoid loss to human life, environment and capital.
Equipment reliability is the key to drive operational excellence and profitability, reduce resource waste, eliminate unnecessary downtime, decrease over-design and unplanned maintenance as well as non-productive time, and create smart intervention and prevention strategies. In fact, the industry spends a large part of its R&D budget on developing reliable products. The challenge is to develop these products for real-life conditions, environments that are often impossible to replicate with experiment.
Many variables must be considered when designing a new product. Because it isn’t possible to test and prototype every permutation, some designers over-design parts or focus on the 20 percent of equipment and processes that they consider the main source of a problem. For existing equipment and facilities in service, some rely heavily on inspection and data gathering, incorporating historical data.