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The Fluid Systems Engineering and Management Blog

by Swagelok Northern California

Are Your Risks Under Control? We'll Help You Find Out

by Jeff Hopkins, on 9/15/16 9:00 AM

Assess your Risk with our Fabrication and Assembly Risk Assessment Tool

Know your risk. Understand the level of risk within each of the key stages of your current fabrication and assembly process by taking our online assessment.

Get insight with our risk assessment tool for fabrication and assembly

Most companies know how to reduce some kinds of risk, such as having people wear protective equipment to prevent injury, or making sure they comply with regulatory rules. But there are other kinds of risk that aren't as obvious. Time, money, space, and even your reputation are all on the line when assemblies and subsystems are put into operation. How is your company managing those risks?

A 2015 survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed that focusing on risk management saves time on the front end of a business decision, and on the back end, it relieves the cost and time challenges of responding to a previously unseen risk. Done well, systematic risk reduction increases efficiencies and makes you leaner. It's a competitive advantage worth seeking.

Risk factors

Risk assessment starts with the design of a fluid system. It should start with rigid quality control on the raw materials, which includes making sure the materials are compatible with the fluids that will flow through the system. A design that merely works isn't good enough. It should work efficiently, with a minimum number of potential leak points. The design also should include a consideration of how easy it is to get the component parts.

The supply chain poses other risks. It takes a lot of coordination to order parts (often from multiple vendors), receive them, store the parts, buy or rent the right assembly tools, and supply the labor to put it all together. Even for a company that has those bases covered, there's the risk of having to adjust quickly to a major change in production demand. A more efficient approach is to turn the job over to a company with the skills, tools, and space to do this specific part of the job right.

Quality control is crucial to reining in risk, and especially difficult for companies that don't regularly tackle fabrication and assembly work. When turning the job over to an outside source, it's vital to make sure the work is covered by a good QA system, and a strong warranty.

It's important to consider "bench strength" when evaluating risk. If your project demands an uncommon skill, does your vendor have the experience and global connections necessary to access it? Also consider the vendor's support capabilities for training, troubleshooting and other post-sale support.

The biggest risks also extend beyond the efficient operation of your fluid system. Think of the risk to your company's reputation if you can't deliver what your customers are expecting.

Taking stock

Once you know the risks, you can deal with them before they turn into problems. But you have to know what to look for.

To help you focus your attention, we've created an assessment tool with 17 questions covering design, supply chain, quality, warranties, and support. It's OK if you don't have all the answers. Pick an answer from the dropdown menu that comes closest to the best of your knowledge. When you hit the "submit" button, you’ll get your risk assessment rating. We will follow-up with you to see if you would like to set up a time when we can meet and make some suggestions for the next steps to take.

It's a low-stress way to get started, and can save you much more stress down the road.


Assess Your Risk


Topics:Assembly Solutions

We perform under pressure

Your fluid systems can't fail—and they can't leak. That's why Swagelok Northern California offers mission critical solutions for the petrochem, semi, power, and oil and gas industries around the Bay Area and into NW Nevada. We manufacture and assemble reliable, customizable components that get the job done. Contact our team today to learn about custom solutions for your plant or refinery.

Swagelok Northern California
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