The Caribbean Industrial Research Institutes (CARIRI’s) Metallurgy department recently hosted a “Root Cause Failure Analysis Seminar” on Wednesday 15th July 2015 at the Cara Suites Hotel and Conference Centre. The aim of the seminar was to introduce Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA) as a new concept for analyzing failure and suitable measures to prevent such recurrences.

The seminar was well attended by approximately 100 persons. Senator the Honourable Dr. Bhoendradatt Tewarie, Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development who delivered the featured address. Dr. Tewarie spoke of the importance of CARIRI’s Metallurgy department in relation to Failure Analysis as statistically 75% of failures occur due to corrosion related problems. The cost of corrosion and even the maintenance of corrosion can prove to be a financial strain for the country. He also touched on the pioneering work being done by CARIRI in terms of its Corrosion Mapping within Trinidad.

CARIRI’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Liaquat Ali Shah gave the opening remarks which spoke of CARIRI’s operations specifically its Centre for Enterprise Development (CED) and its international partnerships with organizations such as WAITRO, National Metallurgy Laboratory (NML) of India and the Danish Technological Institute in particular which influenced the Inventor Advisory Service (IAS). Mr. Shah explained that CARIRI recognizes the fit between the DTI’s approach to IAS and CARIRI’s efforts at the CED and the benefits a programme of this nature can have to the national economy.

The featured speaker was international expert Dr. Devendra Deo Narain Singh, Chief Scientist and Consultant on Metallurgical and Corrosion Failures of India. Dr. Singh spoke on the need for Metallurgical Failure Analysis in Trinidad and Tobago. The theme of his discussion was “Learning from Failures makes us wiser.” His presentation highlighted how prone Trinidad is to corrosion and gave the example of the Point Lisas Industrial Estate which has an abnormally high rate of corrosion and possible reasons for this. Dr. Singh also spoke on Metallurgical failures and states the main human reasons for this are ignorance, negligence and greed. He closed off his presentation by urging companies to approach expert companies such as CARIRI for Root Cause Failure Analysis instead of simple Failure Analysis.

CARIRI’s own Metallurgy experts Mr. Marco Nunes and Mr. Frank Byron were presenters at the seminar. Mr. Marco Nunes spoke on CARIRI’s capabilities in Metallurgical Failure Analysis as well as the state-of-the-art analyzers, specialized tools and equipment to properly conduct Failure Analysis and Root Cause Failure Analysis. Mr. Nunes ended by touching on the cadre of human intelligence specifically the engineers with 20 years experience as well as support from external consultants through CARIRI’s partnerships with laboratories in Malaysia, India and Egypt.

Mr. Frank Byron focused his presentation on “Case Studies of Metallurgical Failures.” He discussed failures on Sucker rod from oil wells, Socket head cap screws for Trunnion cap valve, 2” and 3” Ø Steam pipelines connected to steam generators and three heat recovery seam generator tube samples (HRSG). His presentation highlighted issues such as design deficiencies and inadequate maintenance, material and processing deficiencies and lastly service conditions and improper operations.