Quanterion publishes an electronic version of “Reliability Ques” periodically as a means of keeping its customers and other interested parties up-to-date on effective tools, techniques, and approaches to improving the reliability, maintainability, and quality of products and systems.
For demonstrating product reliability the question of how many test samples are needed to be “X” percent confident of having met a reliability objective often comes up. Let’s say that manufacturer is going to produce 5,000 rooftop car carriers and is willing to tolerate roughly 100 returns over the next five years. How can this… Read More
Last month we introduced you to the Department of Defense (DoD) Reliability Information Analysis Center (RIAC), formerly known as the Reliability Analysis Center (RAC), as a valuable resource for expertise and data/information in reliability, maintainability, quality, supportability, and interoperability.Now we want to tell you more about the technologies covered by all twenty-one Centers of Excellence… Read More
Starting salaries for engineers graduating from college this spring will be in the $50K neighborhood and even higher for the top students, as well as those with specialized experience. The degrees are typically electrical, electronics, mechanical, materials, civil, industrial, computer, and so on. Seldom is there a “reliability engineering” graduate. There are a few exceptions… Read More
The goal of improving system reliability often presents a design paradox; “mission” reliability cannot be increased without simultaneously decreasing “logistics” reliability. When faced with the challenge of a system that has inadequate reliability to meet specification requirements, hardware redundancy is often implemented, leading to an improvement in one metric while degrading others.
For example, let’s say… Read More
Painful as it is to many of us, the generally desirable product characteristicReliability is heavily dependent on Probability and Statistics for measuring and describing its characteristics. This edition of Reliability Ques will only be the tip of the iceberg in this regard. Let’s start with a few basics:
Failure Distribution: this is a representation of the… Read More
There are many approaches that can be used to predict the reliability of an item. Sometimes when asked to provide a “quick estimate” of an item’s reliability, the use of field experience is overlooked, or if no failures have occurred, overly conservative estimates are made by assuming one failure. This article describes a simple approach… Read More
There are those who would argue that the costs of reliability activities associated with developing new products have little payoff. Whether we’re talking about commercial products or military systems, we don’t agree. Concepts like Life Cycle Costs, Total Ownership Costs, Reliability-based Maintenance, Performance-Based Logistics, and others clearly recognize the contribution of reliability activities in reducing… Read More
Reliability predictions are an important tool for making design trade-off decisions and estimating future system reliability. They are often used for making initial product support decisions such as how many spares are required to support fielded systems. Inaccurate predictions can lead to overly conservative designs and/or excessive spare parts procurement resulting in added life cycle… Read More
This article is the first in a series addressing the availability of reliability knowledge, who has it and how you can take advantage of it to improve products and systems. Despite a broad interest in reliability, there is a general lack of coordination of the efforts of many disparate organizations dealing with reliability issues.
In recent… Read More