A major manufacturer had a problem with an improper o-ring being installed during assembly. This was causing oil leakage in the field, resulting in warranty claims and unhappy customers.
O-rings of similar sizes were used in an assembly and stored at the same work station during use. The o-rings were often mistakenly interchanged because they were not visibly different. It was not easy to identify the problem during routine assembly quality checks, so the product non-conformance was not discovered until later in manufacturing or through field failures.
R. E. Purvis and Parker offered two alternatives to solve this problem:
- Offer a blended color mixed into the compound to differentiate the o-rings
- PTFE coating applied to the o-ring to give visibility to different sizes.
This customer chose the PTFE coating option. We were able to provide the solution quickly (less than a week), with minimal cost impact. This eliminated confusion and re-work during assembly and resulted in greatly reduced warranty claims.