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About Reliability and Reliability Engineering

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Reliability and reliability Engineering: There is no fundamental limit to the extent to which failures can be prevented. We can design and build for ever-increasing reliability.

While considering the whole product life cycle, efforts be made to ensure that designs are intrinsically reliable, by good design and effective development test etc.

The concept of continuous improvement is more effective when applied to up-front engineering.

To apply engineering knowledge and specialist techniques to prevent or to reduce the likelihood or frequency of failures. Projects need to identify and correct the causes of failures that do occur despite the efforts to prevent them.

  • Engineers and PMs need to determine ways of coping with failures that do occur, if their causes have not been corrected. Corrective actions are needed.
  • We need to apply methods for estimating the likely reliability of new designs, and for analyzing reliability data.

Some of the Learning Objectives

  1. Explain the basic principle of reliability with its need in the modern industrial setup.
  2. Discuss how reliability can be useful in the changing industrial system.
  3. What is reliability?
  4. How it can be applied to the existing system?
  5. Define availability with its importance to maintenance organization.
  6. Discuss the concept of overall reliability.
  7. Enlist the factors responsible for system effectiveness.
  8. Highlight the importance of cost of reliability.
  9. Define reliability, quality and availability.

Reliability Engineering Techniques

  • Asset Management Systems design
  • Reliability performance monitoring and reporting system design and implementation
  • Reliability, Availability & Maintainability (RAM) studies
  • Design For Reliability Studies (DFRS)
  • Root Cause Analysis (RCA) training and mentoring
  • Defect Elimination (DE) process design and implementation
  • Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) training and implementation
  • Reliability Block Diagram (RBD)
  • FMEA and FMECA
  • Design FMEA
  • Process FMEA
  • Software FMEA
  • Fault Tree Analysis (FTA)
  • Success tree analysis (STA)
  • Design of experiments (DoE)
  • Environmental and Use Factors


Reliability is a measure of uncertainty and therefore estimating reliability means using statistics and probability theory

  • Reliability is quality over time
  • Reliability must be designed into a product or service
  • Most important aspect of reliability is to identify cause of failure and eliminate in design, if possible, otherwise identify ways of accommodation
  • Reliability is defined as the ability of an item to perform a required function without failure under stated conditions for a stated period of time
  • The costs of unreliability can be damaging to an organization
  • Reliability is the probability that the system-of-interest will not fail for a given period of time under specified operating conditions.
  • Reliability is an inherent system design characteristic.
  • Reliability plays a key role in determining the system’s cost-effectiveness.
  • Reliability Engineering is a specialty discipline within the systems engineering process.
  • Design - including design features that ensure the system can perform in the predicted physical environment throughout the mission.
  • Trade studies - reliability as a figure of merit. Often traded with cost.
  • Modeling - reliability prediction models, reflecting environmental considerations and applicable experience from previous projects.
  • Test - making independent predictions of system reliability for test planning/program; sets environmental test requirements and specifications for hardware qualification.

Reference: NASA Systems Engineering Handbook definition  (1995 version)