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Some Strategic Management (i.e., Basic) Aspects of Reliability. Bruce Stolte April 21, 2010. Purpose.
April 21, 2010
The intent of this presentation is to give the audience a basic, qualitative introduction to a discipline that can be relatively complex and highly quantitative. It should help you better understand why ASQ has chosen to offer a certification focused on reliability. It may provide a sufficiently informative trailhead sign that will prompt you to begin hiking the path of CRE certification.
Reliability is defined as the probability that an item will perform a required function without failure under stated conditions for a specified period of time. (CRE Handbook)
Quality is a snapshot at the start of life and reliability is a motion picture of the day-by-day operation. (e-Handbook)
Customers expect products to not only meet the specified parameters upon delivery but to function throughout what they perceive as a reasonable lifetime.
Accurate prediction and control of reliability plays an important role in the profitability of a product. (e-Handbook)
As products become more complex, the reliability requirements of individual components increase. (CRE Handbook)
Proper spare part stocking and support personnel hiring and training depend upon good reliability fallout predictions. (e-Handbook)
An unreliable product often has safety and health hazards. (CRE Handbook)
Sometimes equipment failure can have a major impact on human safety and/or health. Automobiles, planes, life support equipment, and power generating plants are a few examples. (e-Handbook)
Reliability values are used in marketing and warranty material. (CRE Handbook)
Service costs for products within the warranty period or under a service contract are a major expense and a significant pricing factor. (e-Handbook)
Competitive pressures require increased emphasis on reliability. (CRE Handbook)
Companies that can economically design and market products that meet their customers' reliability expectations have a strong competitive advantage in today's marketplace. (e-Handbook)
An increasing number of contracts specify reliability requirements. (CRE Handbook)
Missing reliability targets may invoke contractual penalties and cost future business. (e-Handbook)
Quality and reliability engineers provide different inputs into the design process. Quality engineers suggest changes that permit the item to be produced within tolerance at a reasonable cost. Reliability engineers make recommendations that permit the item to function correctly for a longer period of time. (CRE Handbook)
Sometimes equipment failure can have a major impact on human safety and/or health. From the point of view of assessing product reliability, we treat these kinds of catastrophic failures no differently from the failure that occurs when a key parameter measured on a manufacturing tool drifts slightly out of specification, calling for an unscheduled maintenance action. (e-Handbook)
It is up to the reliability engineer (and the relevant customer) to define what constitutes a failure in any reliability study. More resource (test time and test units) should be planned for when an incorrect reliability assessment could negatively impact safety and/or health. (e-Handbook)
Reliability analysis can be used to improve product design.
Marketing and advertising can be assisted as warranty and other documents that inform customer expectations are prepared.
It is increasingly important to detect and prevent or mitigate product liability issues.
Manufacturing processes can use reliability tools in the following ways:
The impact of process parameters on product failure rates can be studied.
Alternative processes can be compared for their effect on reliability.
Reliability data for process equipment can be used to determine preventive maintenance schedules and spare parts inventories.
Other possible uses in manufacturing:
The use of parallel process streams to improve process reliability can be evaluated.
Safety can be enhanced through the understanding of equipment failure rates.
Vendors can be evaluated more effectively.
Purchasing, QA, packaging, field service, logistics, and so on, can benefit from a knowledge of reliability engineering. An understanding of the lifecycles of the products and equipment they use and handle can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their function. (CRE Handbook)
Mean time between failure (MTBF) values for existing products can be determined and reasonable goals established.
MTBF values for components and purchased parts can be determined.
Failure types and times of occurrence can be anticipated.
Optimal break-in/burn-in times can be determined.
Recommendations for warranty times can be established.
The impact of age and operating conditions on the life of the product can be studied.
The effects of parallel or redundant design features can be determined.
Accelerated life testing can be used to provide failure data.
Field failure data can be analyzed to help evaluate product performance.
Concurrent engineering can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of product development by scheduling design tasks in parallel rather than sequentially.
Reliability engineering can provide information to individual teams about failure rates of their proposed components.
Cost accounting estimates can be improved through the use of lifecycle cost analysis using reliability data.
When management employs FMEA techniques, reliability engineering provides essential input. (CRE Handbook)
Reliability analysis provides estimates of the probability of failure. The reliability engineer must go beyond these calculations and examine the consequences of failure. These consequences typically represent costs to the customer. (CRE Handbook)
The customer finds ways of sharing these costs with the producer through the warranty system, loss of business, decrease in reputation, or the civil litigation system. (CRE Handbook)
Therefore, an important reliability function is the anticipation of possible failures and the establishment of reliability acceptance goals that will limit their occurrence and consequent costs. (CRE Handbook)