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

Environment Element of Reliability Goal

March 1, 2015
Thumbnail image for Environment Element of Reliability Goal

Environment This element of a reliability requirement answers the questions of where and under what conditions the product should operate. It includes storage, transportation, and installation conditions too. One way to think of the environment is to consider the weather around the device. Temperature, humidity, preoccupation, etc.

Read the full article →

Use Profile and the Reliability Definition

February 23, 2015
Thumbnail image for Use Profile and the Reliability Definition

Use Profile How a customer uses a product matters. It matters in the amount and type of stress your product receives. It determines the life span. Someone that uses the product often isn’t necessarily going to have a short life span, it might be the lack of use that most damages a product.

Read the full article →

Function: A Reliability View

February 16, 2015
Thumbnail image for Function: A Reliability View

Defining the product’s function well, allows us to define failures well, too.

Read the full article →

Understanding Customer Reliability Expectations

February 8, 2015
Thumbnail image for Understanding Customer Reliability Expectations

Customer Expectations Once asked a customer what they wanted concerning product reliability. She fully understood that some units will fail, that it’s matter of chance. She seemed understanding of the difficulty creating every product such that none would fail. Then said confided that all that is fine, as long as the product she buys does […]

Read the full article →

How to Select Tasks for a Reliability Plan

February 5, 2015
Thumbnail image for How to Select Tasks for a Reliability Plan

How to select tasks for a reliability plan There are a lot of reliability tools. From FMEA to FTA, from ALT to HALT, from derating to sneak circuit analysis. We also have a lot of acronyms. We cannot afford to do all the tasks, so which do we select and why? Each activity has some […]

Read the full article →

The Meaning of a Failure

January 28, 2015
Thumbnail image for The Meaning of a Failure

Meaning of a failure Every failure provides information. It provides time to failure, stress strength relationship, process stability and design margin types of information. In every case. Even failures directly related to human error. A hardware intermittent failure observed by a firmware engineer should not be dismissed. Rather recorded, explored and examined. A single intermittent […]

Read the full article →

How Well Do You Know Your Supply Chain’s Impact on Reliability?

January 18, 2015
Thumbnail image for How Well Do You Know Your Supply Chain’s Impact on Reliability?

3 Stories of Electronics Supply Chain Reliability Impact Some days are better than others. We sometimes run into failure when working to create a new product. With a little investigation we suspect the components are not working as expected. We’ll call the vendor and ask for an explanation. If this is normal production and variability […]

Read the full article →

A Saga of Modern Customer Service

January 11, 2015
Thumbnail image for A Saga of Modern Customer Service

Reliability and Customer Service As reliability professionals know, products fail. They fail for a wide range of reasons and over broad span of time. We know it happens. This doesn’t help when it impact us directly though. When we purchase a product or service, it should just work. We know the odds, we know better, […]

Read the full article →

Minimize Supply Chain Failure Causes

January 7, 2015
Thumbnail image for Minimize Supply Chain Failure Causes

Supply Chain and Reliability What happens when a product you produce fails? You customer may call and return the product. They may expect you to provide a replacement or refund. Does it matter if the failure was due to a capacitor or motor that you didn’t design, just purchased? No. Does it matter if a […]

Read the full article →

2 Design Approaches to Creating a Reliable Product

December 28, 2014
Thumbnail image for 2 Design Approaches to Creating a Reliable Product

Design Approaches to Creating a Reliable Product There are two basic philosophies when creating a reliability plan for a a new product or system. One is to experiment with prototypes as quickly and often as possible, the build, test, fix, approach. Or, you can research and model detailed aspects of a the materials and structures […]

Read the full article →