February 2015

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HP Reliability: Does Pareto’s 80/20 rule apply to reliability engineers?

In the 1970s, an oil refinery discovered that 7% of its 3,200 process pumps experienced a disproportionate share of the facility’s yearly pump outage events. Slightly over 60% of the money spent ..

Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In the 1970s, an oil refinery discovered that 7% of its 3,200 process pumps experienced a disproportionate share of the facility’s yearly pump outage events. Slightly over 60% of the money spent on pump maintenance was directed to the 7% poor performing pumps.1 In other refineries, up to 15% of process pumps consume about 65% of pump maintenance outlays. Either of these numbers reminds us of 19th-century Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto’s 80/20 rule. Pareto’s rule or principle could be extended to any reliability engineer’s priorities. Top and bottom performances There are top-tier and bottom-tier employees in virtually every craft, profession or job function. It is st

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