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

Failure Analysis: The Key to Learning From Failure

October 22, 2015

Failure Analysis: The Key to Learning From Failure Why do so many avoid failure? In product development of plant asset management, we are surrounded by people that steadfastly do not want to know about nor talk about failures. Failure does happen. Let’s not ignore this simple fact. — continue reading NOTE: I’ve moved this series […]

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Reliability Benefits of Alpha and Beta Testing

September 10, 2015
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Alpha/beta testing Your customers are you best testers for your next product. They will explore the features. Expose the product to use conditions in unconscious ways. And, they will let you what they consider failures without needing the specification document. During the development process you and team may work to understand what customer may want […]

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Mechanical Systems Accelerated Life or Reliability Testing

September 3, 2015
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Mechanical Systems Accelerated Life or Reliability Testing Mechanical systems wear out and fail eventually. The ability of a structure to support a load, move though the specified range of motion, or spin degrades with use and time. Even our joints eventually wear out. Accelerated life testing (ALT) has plenty of literature concerning the failure mechanisms […]

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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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Supplier Reliability Program Maturity

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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How would you set a reliability goal for a delivery drone?

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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