Musings on reliability and maintenance topics

Short essays and thoughts (musings) on reliability and maintenance engineering topics. Let me know your reaction and thought, plus any questions.
ISSN 2329-0080

Life Estimates Based on Supplier Data

August 27, 2015
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Life Estimates Based on Supplier Data Suppliers often include reliability information along with performance specifications. We look for reliability statements as one part of the selection process to ascertain if the component is likely to have sufficient reliability. When the vendor’s data is clearly stated and meaningful, that information saves us from potentially having to […]

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Supply Chain Process Control and Capability

August 19, 2015
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Process Control and Capability If you buy more than one of an item used in your product, you will have to deal with variability. In general, the variability from part to part is minimal and expected. Occasionally, the variability is large and causes reliability problems.

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Select Suppliers with Proactive Reliability Programs

August 13, 2015
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Supplier Reliability Program Maturity It was late Friday afternoon and the phone rang. Which is rarely a good thing. Their seems to a significant spike in field failures due to one component. The initial failure analysis work reveals the issue started with a batch of parts received about two months ago and the flaw continues […]

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Reliability Specifications and Requirements

August 6, 2015
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Specifications and Requirements The communication between suppliers or vendors and their customers is often using mix of specifications and requirements. Customers set requirements and suppliers offer specifications. When they match, or when a supplier component specifications meet the customer’s requirements, we have the potential for a transaction.

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Considerations When Setting a Reliability Goal

July 30, 2015
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Considerations When Setting a Reliability Goal Setting a reliability goal is more than selecting and number and duration that would be nice to achieve. Sure, 98% reliable over 5 years may be the right couplet, or it may not. The customer most likely would like no expected failures over as long as they expect to […]

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Achieving a Reliability Goal May Not Be the Best Plan

July 23, 2015
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Ready, Fire, Aim Reliability Goal Setting “Keeping the end in mind”, “working toward a common objective” and “providing a vision” are all convention management wisdom based on setting goals. Seeing a reliability goal is one of first tasks when creating a reliability plan. “How good (reliable) does it have to be?” That is answered with […]

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Introduction to Types of Life Testing

July 16, 2015
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Life testing My introduction to reliability engineering was my boss asking me to sort out how long a new product will last in use. The expectation was it would last for 20 years or more buried in Italian mountain concrete bridges. My first thought was about living in the Dolomites for 20 years monitoring the […]

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Do Your Statistics, It’s Good For You

July 4, 2015
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How to Encourage the Use of Statistics If nothing was uncertain we would not need statistics. Since nearly everything varies in some fashion, we need a way to describe and work with that variability. We already know this and we know about statistics as being the right set of tools. Yet we hesitate, avoid, and refuse […]

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Can a Product Have Perfect Reliability?

July 2, 2015
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What Happens When a Product Lasts Too Long? In the poem by Oliver Wendall Holmes, The One Hoss Shay, a deacon is confounded by the various parts of his carriage the fail. And, he decides to do something about it. But the Deacon swore (as Deacons do, With an “I dew vum,” or an “I […]

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Meditation and Design for Reliability

June 25, 2015
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Design for Reliability is More Than a Set of Tasks Is it possible for an individual to ‘do’ DFR? Is design for reliability something, like a specific technique, that is DFR? What is DFR and how would you recognize it if it was occurring? Like meditation, nearly anyone can strike a pose that appears similar […]

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