Reliability engineering focuses on costs of failure caused by system downtime, cost of spares, repair equipment, personnel and cost of warranty claims.
It relates closely to safety engineering and to system safety, in that they use common methods for their analysis and may require input from each other.
One of the fundamental roles of the reliability engineer is to track the production losses and abnormally high maintenance cost assets, then find ways to reduce those losses or high costs.
These losses are prioritized to focus efforts on the largest/most critical opportunities. The reliability engineer (in full partnership with the operations team) develops a plan to eliminate or reduce the losses through root cause analysis, obtains approval of the plan and facilitates the implementation.
By lowering failure and optimizing maintenance there are normally fewer spare parts in the logistics system. This minimizes the distribution system costs for transportation, logistics and storage for spare parts. This also minimizes service labor costs.
One benefit of reliability engineering that is often overlooked is the potential to lower energy costs in a plant. Using predictive technologies allows plant personnel to find energy losses and correct them. These savings are over and above the “green initiative” savings through such items as lights, improved insulation, etc.
There are also many additional benefits that may be hard to measure but are nevertheless important to the organization. For example, numerous studies have shown that plants with high reliability and excellent maintenance programs have a lower safety incident rate than those without such programs.
Under the reliability engineer’s watch, it makes sense that if operations are carried out in an efficient manner, there is less haste to complete actions and less risk of an injury by carelessness.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers a large selection of Reliability Engineering Training courses — training that benefits most engineering specializations including mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and applied statistics.
Additionally, these courses are excellent for product managers, project managers and production supervisors or anyone else who wants to learn the foundation of reliability engineering through hands-on activities and directed classroom discussion.
Courses offered include:
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.