Parts Quality Initiative (PQI)
What is Exelon PowerLabs’ Parts Quality Initiative (PQI) Program?
Fuses, Switches, and Circuit Breakers… are they failing?
In 2006, Exelon PowerLabs’ PQI program was founded to safeguard against downtime due to critical parts failure. Exelon PowerLabs uses historic model-specific failure data trends to identify which parts to PQI test.
PQI data and testing ensures defective parts are identified before installation, reducing downtime, labor and logistics costs, and yielding substantial warranty replacement savings.
PowerLabs is committed to working with manufacturers with high-failure rate parts to provide data and recommendations to solve the root cause of failure in manufacturing. For example, one vendor routinely had 40% failure rates on a tested part. PowerLabs identified the failure and worked with the vendor to modify the part, resulting in a failure rate of less than 3%.
How Does PQI Work?
Step 1: PQI includes a subscription to Exelon’s software program, OneLab, which provides access to Exelon’s extensive database comprised of test plans and historical findings on more than 50,000 parts. Since 2006, Exelon has compiled data revealing trends in failure variables specific to part type, manufacturer and model number. The comprehensive OneLab database fosters informed decision making on which manufacturer models to test.
Step 2: Send hardware to any four PowerLabs sites for critical characteristics testing. PQI ensures defective parts are identified before installation, reducing downtime, labor and logistics costs, and improving warranty replacement.
PQI Drives Profit
PQI identified 6.6% deficient parts of the 50,000 parts tested through 2019.
On average, 70% of the PQI program cost is supported by parts that are identified and replaced while under warranty.
Ship parts direct from manufacturer to PowerLabs resulting in a time savings.
Defective parts are shipped back to the manufacturer during warranty period.
Reduce post-installation failure analysis and reporting costs.
Savings Across Exelon
The average parts failure rate across the PQI community is 6%. PQI provides two very valuable solutions:
- Supplying nuclear plants with tested and fully functional parts.
- The cost savings of identifying deficient parts while still under warranty and before they are inventoried. This cost savings more than pays for the cost of implementing PQI year after year.
Exelon Nuclear Fleet MWh Lost Due to Critical Parts Failure
Limerick Nuclear Power Plant Business Case Study:
Limerick joined Exelon PowerLabs PQI program in 2007. From 2016 – 2018, Limerick tested almost 2,500 parts and identified a parts failure rate of 5%. Through identifying failed parts and obtaining replacements within the warranty window, warranty replacement cost savings covered a substantial portion of Limerick’s PQI program investment. These parts savings ranged from $107,000 to $191,000 annually.
Examples of failed parts included cable assemblies, valve regulators, various relay types, solenoid valves, and transducers.
“The PQI program makes my life easier as a Supply Manager. We send the part straight to PowerLabs and have reasonable assurance the part will work before we put it in inventory.” — Stanley Weglos, Site Supply Chain Manager
“Since 2017, the Exelon fleet has had zero reactor SCRAMS or MWh lost due to failed fuses, circuit cards, switches, solenoid valves, or circuit breakers as a result of implementing PQI. What is especially valuable is that the PQI program pays for itself.” — Dan Doran, former Engineering Director at Limerick