Jason Wiggins, Senior Research Engineer, US Synthetic
Performing measurement systems analyses (MSA) on test instruments or gauges prior to experimentation is a winning strategy for making useful decisions with experimental results. In the simplest case, multiple operators measure a group of parts multiple times using a measurement tool. The results are analyzed, after which instructions are written on how to utilize data from the test instrument. For this simple case to work, parts cannot change form between successive measurements, and no other factors contribute noise to the test. MSA can get tricky for destructive tests and tests with factors other than operators and parts. Things get even more interesting when one of the factors is hard to change in the experiment. US Synthetic completed an MSA on a test with these complications. The purpose of the test is to evaluate wear resistance of polycrystalline diamond cutters used in oil and gas drilling. The experiment was not perfect as many assumptions had to be made. Ultimately the results were and continue to be useful. The approach for experiment design and analysis of a destructive test with hard-to-change factors, along with discussion on how results are used is described.