By Fred Schenkelberg
Graphics, when used well, can convey easy to understand information. Reliability graphics may focus on trends in failure rates or the verification of improvement work. Often reliability graphics convey time to failure patterns.
Pareto Diagrams, dot plots, and measles charts help you and others grasp what the data has to say. Cumulative distribution function plots and mean cumulative function plots likewise provide insights on reliability performance.
One of the first things I learned about data analysis was to create a plot, then another, then another. Let the data show you what needs attention and further analysis. Subtle shifts in the construction of a plot may hide or reveal critical information.
A well construction graphic both answers questions and prompts further inquiry. When done well a graphic can stand alone to reveal the information or tell a story. When done well a reliability graphic can signal a change in failure rate, the impact of a design or process change, or unwanted change in maintenance practices.
Let’s explore a few basic reliability graphics and the overall approach that helps you master the creation of meaningful and valuable data displays. Creating a basic plot of easy, creating a great graphic does take skill, which you can master with practice.