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RAMS-CON

MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS

Wolfgang Ansorge
Reliability
Availability
Maintainability
Safety
In
ScientificTechnical
Projects
January 2000

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Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS ................................................................................................ 2


1 SCOPE .......................................................................................................................... 3
2 INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................ 3
3 DEFINITIONS.............................................................................................................. 5
4 APPLYING RAMS TECHNOLOGIES TO SCIENTIFIC-TECHNICAL
PROJECTS .................................................................................................................. 6
4.1 BASIC CONSIDERATIONS .......................................................................................... 6
4.2 PHASING OF RAMS ACTIVITIES ............................................................................... 7
4.2.1 Organisational Aspects.................................................................................... 9
4.2.2 Concept and Definition Phase.......................................................................... 9
4.2.3 Design and Development Phase ( Final Design Phase)................................. 13
4.2.4 Manufacturing Phase..................................................................................... 16
4.2.5 Installation Phase .......................................................................................... 18
4.2.6 Operation and Maintenance Phase ................................................................ 20
4.3 DISPOSAL PHASE.................................................................................................... 22

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Scope

This document is intended to supply additional information to a lecture on the subject


RAMS in Scientific-Technical Projects held at CERN in the framework of the Academic
Training Programme. It was prepared to give an introduction to the relevance and the
application of RAMS management and engineering processes to projects related to the
acquisition and operation of technical facilities and equipment needed to facilitate
scientific research projects.
The goal of the author is to attract the attention of the scientists, managers and engineers
involved in these kinds of projects to a modern, state of the art technology, and to
encourage them to apply this technology also in their projects as a means to optimise the
facilities and equipments functionality and to achieve the scientific goals most efficiently
and at affordable costs.
Since it is the authors personal interest to promote and foster the application of the RAMS
technology in new scientific-technical projects and those already under execution, and to
already existing facilities and equipment, the booklet may be copied or otherwise
distributed without any special agreement by the author.

Introduction

The term RAMS stands for all aspects concerning the

Reliability
Availability
Maintainability, and
Safety

performance characteristics of a product, whereby the term product is used in this


booklet as synonym for systems, subsystems, equipment etc.
The RAMS characteristics of a product determine essential parameters of the product such
as the user satisfaction, the usability and acceptability of the product, the operation and
maintenance costs, and last not least the users safety and health risk when operating the
product.
The RAMS technology is a recognised management and engineering discipline for the
purpose to guarantee the specified functionality of a product over its complete live
cycle, and to keep the operation, maintenance and disposal costs at a predefined
accepted level, by establishing the relevant performance characteristics at the
beginning of the procurement cycle, and by monitoring and control of their
implementation throughout all project phases.

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Despite the fact that the basic RAMS technologies were already established nearly a
generation ago, the attempt to achieve high level reliability, availability, maintainability
and safety was in the past very often limited to the aerospace and military industries and to
complex industrial systems. Today the world-wide competition, the increasing system
complexity leading to high investment and operation and support costs, and the decreasing
financial budgets promote the wider distribution of the RAMS technologies and their
application also by industries reluctant in the past to apply these resources and efforts
saving techniques.
The RAMS characteristics are by their very nature closely connected with each other. For
an unreliable product the maintenance support and the number of necessary maintenance
activities will be high in order to keep the product in an operational condition and available
for its intended use. Failures of the product or hazardous maintenance operations may
impair the operators health and safety. Modifications of one of these characteristics in any
direction have an immediate impact on the other three RAMS characteristics.
Predetermining and influencing the RAMS performance characteristics of a product during
its design and development phase is quite a frequently used method in commercial serial
production industries, to influence the products lifetime, the production costs and thereby
indirectly also the production quantity and the profit the company makes with that specific
product, e.g. the lifetime of washing machines is perfectly controlled, and spare parts and
maintenance activities are main income sources for car manufacturers and service stations.
RAMS performance characteristics not only influence the life cycle costs and usability of
the commercial serial products. They are equally important to facilities and equipment of
scientific research programmes, where the achievement of the scientific goals and the
efficiency of the research programme depend to a large extent on the high availability of
the facilities and equipment at affordable costs.

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Definitions

In the following some basic definitions and explanations are given to create a common
basis for the understanding of this document.

Acquisition Phase : The first part of the product life cycle covering the
- Concept and Definition Phase
- Manufacturing Phase, and the
- Installation Phase

Availability (performance)1: The ability of an item to be in a state to perform


a required function under given conditions at a given instant of time or over a
given time interval, assuming that the required external resources are provided.
Note: there are two types of availability, the inherent availability of a product
and the operational availability.
Inherent Availability2: Inherent availability reflects the percentage of time a
product would be available if no delays due to maintenance, supply, etc. (i.e.,
not design-related) were encountered.
Ai =

MTBF
* 100%
MTBF + MTTR

MTBF is the mean time between failures, and MTTR is the mean time to repair
Operational Availability: Operational availability is similar to inherent availability but includes the effects of maintenance delays and other non-design
factors. The equation for operational availability Ao is:
Ao =

MTBM
MTBM + MDT

where MTBM is the mean time between maintenance, and MDT is the mean
downtime.
Note that MTBM addresses all maintenance, corrective and preventive, whereas
MTBF only accounts for failures. MDT includes MTTR and all other time
involved with downtime, such as delays. Thus, Ao reflects the totality of the
inherent design of the product, the availability of maintenance personnel and
spares, maintenance policy and concepts, and other non-design factors, whereas
Ai reflects only the inherent design.
1
2

from ESA document Glossary of Terms


from MIL-HDBK-470

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Dependability3: The collective term used to describe the availability


performance and its influencing factors: reliability performance, maintainability performance, and maintenance support performance.

Life Cycle: The time interval from products inception until its ultimate
disposal and removal from use.

Life Cycle Costs: The summary of all costs associated with procurement of a
product, its operation and maintenance and its disposal.

Maintainability4: The relative ease and economy of time and resources with
which an item can be retained in, or restored to, a specified condition when
maintenance is performed by personnel having specified skill levels, using
prescribed procedures and resources, at each prescribed level of maintenance
and repair. In this context, maintainability is a function of design.

Product Support: A collective term for all operation and RAMS activities
performed for operation, maintenance and disposal.

RAMS : Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, Safety

Reliability: The probability that an item will perform its intended function for a
specified interval under stated conditions.

Safety5: The freedom from those conditions that can cause death, injury
occupational illness, or damage to or loss of equipment or property, or damage
to the environment.

Scientific-Technical Project: A project established in the framework of a


scientific research programme for the acquisition of the technical facilities
and/or equipment necessary for the execution of the research work.

Applying RAMS Technologies to Scientific-Technical Projects

4.1 Basic Considerations


The facilities, tools and equipment designed, developed and manufactured within the
framework of scientific research programmes are in most cases highly complex so called
prototypes. These facilities, tools and equipment will built and installed only once,
without actually having the chance to benefit from the large know how and the capabilities
available in high-tech and commercial serial production industries for the production of
3

from ISO 9000-4/ IEC 300-1


from MIL-HDBK-470
5
from Mil-STD-882C
4

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complex, highly valuable, reliable products at moderate prices. Other particularities of


large-scale research facilities and equipment are the generally extremely long lifetime
expectancies and the required ability to be easily adapted to new scientific goals,
programmes and needs. They very often serve as a kind of research platform, where the
detailed research activities are not known yet at the start of the procurement.
Prototypes are by their nature more expensive than serial products not only with respect to
their acquisition but also with respect to the operation and maintenance costs, and last not
least with respect to the costs for their ultimate disposal. If these costs are not carefully
watched and controlled from the early start of the acquisition project, the operation,
maintenance and disposal costs will sum up to an amount which is factors between ten and
hundred higher than the initial costs for buying and installing the prototypes; money which
is lost for the intended scientific research or new research activities.
One of the most effective ways to minimise the acquisition, operation, maintenance and
disposal costs, i.e. the total Life Cycle Costs, is the early and thorough consideration of the
reliability, availability, maintainability and safety performance characteristics of the
facility or equipment. These characteristics have not only a major influence on the life
cycle costs, they also determine the efficiency of the actual research work for which the
items are built.
Summary :
The technical facilities and equipment built in the framework of a scientific
research programmes have to be considered as is done in industry as a
highly reliable, efficient and safe production lines, or parts thereof, installed
to produce a predefined output quantity and quality of scientific data. They
have to be available for the production at each moment when needed at low
operation and maintenance costs. This means that the RAMS performance
characteristics of these production lines are of paramount importance for the
scientific research work and the achievement of the scientific results. Last
not least, beside the actual research results, also the efficiency with which
the results were obtained, reflect the thoroughness and the responsibility of
the scientists towards the economic and efficient use of the resources needed
for their work.

4.2 Phasing of RAMS Activities


Reliability, maintainability and safety have to be designed into the product is not just a
pure statement, but a fundamental philosophy in reliability, maintainability and safety
management and engineering. In order to be able to execute the work successfully, strong
support from the general management and a clear management commitment based on the
understanding of the principles of the RAMS technology, its advantages and benefits are
substantial prerequisites.

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PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE


Design & Development Activities
The product life-cycle phase during which the need for the
product is established and (usually) its requirements are
specified

The product life-cycle during which the products hardware


and/or software is created and documented as detailed
manufacturing/coding specifications, and other product
documentation such as operation and maintenance instructions
are produced

The product life-cycle phase during which the product is


produced, software replicated and the product assembled

The product life-cycle phase during which the product is


installed

The product life-cycle phase during which the product is used


for any purpose and is maintained and supported

The product life-cycle phase, after the operation and


maintenance phase, during which the product is removed from
its use site and decommissioned, dismantled, destroyed or
stored if necessary in protected environment.

Life Cycle Phase

RAMS Mgmt. and Engineering Activities

Concept and
Definition Phase

Transformation of user needs into realistic, achievable, testable


RAMS characteristics
Definition of product support requirements
Analysis of alternative solutions
Establishment of RAMS Programme Plans

Design & Development Phase

Design analyses and compliance verifications Contractor &


subcontractor management and control
Life cycle cost analysis
Preparation of product support plan including training
programmes and user documentation, support equipment, tools,
spare parts, manpower, etc

Manufacturing
Phase

Support in parts material procurement


Contractor & subcontractor management and control
Verification of product and .user documentation
User training during assembly, integration test
Procurement of product support equipment, tools, etc

Installation
Phase

Operation &
Maintenance Phase

Disposal
Phase

RAMS performance characteristics verifications


Product acceptance, transfer of ownership
Establishment of product support organisation (maintenance,
safety, maintenance-support)
Safety certifications of integrated product
Product support : Preventive, corrective maintenance,
Safety activities,
Analyses of modifications, updates
Initialisation of parts, materials, equipment replacement
programme

Safe and economic material disposal


Control of hazardous materials disposal

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The above flow diagram illustrates the life cycle phases definition6 as used today with
some minor differences in the nomenclature in nearly all modern industries and
international standards and norms. Since these definitions are of too general nature for the
purposes of this document some more details will be used in the following text.

4.2.1 Organisational Aspects


For large and complex facilities and equipment it is advisable to implement RAMS Project
Management as key function in the overall project management organisation. The RAMS
Manager needs the close and intensive contact with all project management team members,
but especially with those responsible for systems engineering, quality assurance, and
configuration management. He is with respect to the RAMS aspects the contact person for
the client/user and contractors, and he co-ordinates, monitors and controls the involved
reliability, maintainability and safety engineering departments.

4.2.2 Concept and Definition Phase


Since the Concept and Definition Phase is the most critical phase in the whole product life
cycle, it is recommended to do some further dividing of this phase into the sub-phases
Initial Planning Phase and Concept Definition Phase (Preliminary Design Phase)

Project Activities

Definition of valid,
complete, achievable
needs, operation
constraints & modes,
interfaces, resources

Project Phase

INITIAL PLANNING
PHASE

RAMS Activities
Definition of
expected life time
failure classification
reliability, MTBF
acceptable downtimes
available resources

Definition and comparison


of alternative concepts,
trade-off studies, selection
of proven final concept,
final specifications

CONCEPT
DEFINITION

Preliminary reliability,
maintainability and safety
analyses of alternative
concepts
Requirement definition &
allocation for selected
concept
RAMS Program & Plan for
subsequent phase

DESIGN &
DEVELOPMENT
PHASE
6

the definitions are take from the IEC Standard 300-2

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The Initial Planning Phase is the very beginning, the start of a project and the initiation of
a new product. A valid need for a product that shall help to solve an existing problem is
formulated by the scientist or group of scientists. Together with the functional performance
needs other characteristics like interfaces, operational scenario etc. are defined. The clear
definition of the needs is fundamental for the success of the project. How can a product
meets the original needs if this needs are not carefully defined ? And if the product does
not meet the real needs, the money spent to build the product is wasted.
During this phase first thoughts have to be spent on the requirements reliability,
availability, maintainability and safety performance characteristics. Not just the functional
characteristics should be of interest, but also the operational, administrative and financial
aspects for the long operation phase. What is the affordable effort to keep the product in
operational and safe status? Already at this stage a RAMS expert must be consulted to help
to investigate and to define carefully relevant factors like

expected total life time,


frequency of use,
operational modes
acceptable number and frequency of failures (reliability, MTBF)
acceptable system downtimes,
available time, financial and other resources
who will operate and maintain the product, (quantity and skill level of people)
basic safety requirements (applicable legislation, standards, norms, etc.)
possible location for the installation and operation of the product (access, environmental conditions)

An extensive sense of reality and of financial consequences is necessary in order not to kill
the project already at this stage due to excessive requirements leading to an explosion of
the necessary financial budget. Also unrealistically low reliability requirements or no
requirements at all concerning the maintainability and safety of the product will lead although not immediately at this status of the project to a catastrophic situation at the
beginning of the operational phase if not before when it turns out that more time and
money have to be spent for keeping the system operational than for the main purpose, the
production of scientific data at a high production rate.
The subsequent requirement analysis and review work is an important interim task to
consolidate the defined needs and to prepare the first system specification.
The Concept Definition Phase -also called Preliminary Design Phase- is the period of
searching for, and establishing of alternative concepts for the product. Trade studies and
the different proposed concepts have to be analysed (preliminary analyses) with respect to
the fulfilment of the reliability, availability, maintainability and safety performance
requirements.

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By comparison of the different concepts with respect to their performance capabilities,


their financial consequences on the acquisition, operation and maintenance costs, and the
realisation schedule, the most promising solution is selected for further development.
For the realisation of the selected concept the specification needs to be updated to include
the experiences gained from the comparison of the proposed concepts, and the final, agreed
and accepted performance characteristics.
The RAMS performance characteristics are specified on system and subsystem specification level in the following typical form
a. Chapter Reliability
This chapter shall contain quantitative requirements in the form of overall reliability or
Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) including the operational conditions and
environmental under and the duration for which the requirements shall be meet. If
applicable availability requirements may be specified like mission reliability or similar.
b. Chapter Maintainability
Because of the very close functional connection this chapter should follow immediately
after the chapter reliability. This chapter shall specify the quantitative maintenance
requirements. The requirements shall apply to maintenance in a planned maintenance
and support environment, and shall be stated in quantitative terms, like

Mean time between maintenance actions


Mean down times
Man-hours per specified maintenance action
Frequency of permissible preventive maintenance
Maintenance complexity, e.g. number and skill level of people, variety of
maintenance equipment

c. Chapter Safety
This chapter shall specify requirements to preclude or limit hazards to personnel and
equipment. To the extent practical, the requirements shall be imposed by citing
established legislation, and recognised standards. Limiting safety characteristics
peculiar to the item due to hazard in assembly, disassembly, test, transport, storage,
operation and maintenance shall be stated. Fail-safe and emergency operations shall
be included where applicable. These shall include interlocks and emergency circuits
required either preventing injury or providing recovery of the equipment in the event of
failure.
The definition of these characteristics is a task to be performed in close co-operation with
systems engineering in order to reflect the real operational needs, and to be able to identify
those kinds of deviations of the product from its normal operating which are considered as
failure or fault situation. A failure of one measurement channel might not be considered as
a failure of the complete product, if e.g. another channel with lower accuracy can be used
instead.

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In the case of different operational modes, one possible way to be able to use the product
even if one particular mode is not working anymore, is to switch to another operational
mode and/or to use the system for alternative scientific activities (operation scheduling).
When specifying the related requirements, utmost care has to be taken not to over-specify
them. The requirements should reflect realistic needs and state of the art technology. A
correct and complete specifying process includes also the definition of those methods and
procedures necessary for demonstrating in all project phases, that the product meets or is
capable to meet the specified performance requirements.
The main RAMS engineering activity during this project phase are the analysis of the
different proposed concepts and the support of the design and system engineers for finding
the optimum solution. The main task of the RAMS Project Manager is to define and plan
in close co-operation with the responsible project managers the future system and
subsystem level RAMS activities, the work procedures and processes to be applied, and the
required financial and other resources. Depending on the size and complexity of the
product, the RAMS activities will be planed in form of a separate document :
Reliability and Availability Programme Plan
Maintainability Programme Plan
System Safety Programme Plan
or the subjects will be merged into one single System RAMS Program Plan. In relatively
small projects it might be more convenient to include the RAMS activities in the normal
project planning.
Since all the plans serve the same purpose, namely to define, manage and execute the
necessary RAMS work in the most efficient and economic way, they use similar basic
layouts and table of contents :
Basic approach
Organisation and responsibilities
List of Activities
a) What has to be done ?
b) Why is the activity necessary ?
c) Who is responsible ?
d) Which procedure has to be applied ? and
e) What are the expected results ?

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Summary :
At the end of the Concept and Definition Phase the reliability, availability,
maintainability and safety performance characteristics valid for the entire life
time of the product are defined and accepted, based on, and in compliance
with the scientific needs and the intended scientific research activities, and
under strict considerations of the financial and other resources available and
affordable. He characteristics are complemented by a description of the
appropriate compliance demonstration methods applicable to each life cycle
phase. The detailed man-power, schedule and resources planning for an
effective execution of the RAMS tasks completes the RAMS activities of this
phase:
A sound basis for the subsequent Design and Development Phase !

4.2.3 Design and Development Phase ( Final Design Phase)


.
Design/Development
Activities

Project Phase

CONCEPT AND
DEFINITION
PHASE

Full scale engineering


and development,
Verified manufacturing drawing sets,
Operation and
maintenance manuals

RAMS Engineering
Activities

DESIGN AND
DEVELOPMENT
PHASE

Evolution of preliminary reliability/availa


bility, maintainability
and safety analyses to
final versions.
RAMS complianse
demonstrations
Planning of future
compliance
demonstrations
Parts &materials
selection
Safety instructions for
operaton and
maintenance

MANUFACTURING
PHASE

Fig. 4.2.2 Design and Development Phase

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The Design and Development Phase is defined by the IEC Standard 300-2 as :
That product life-cycle phase during which the products hardware and/or
software is created and documented as detailed manufacturing/coding
specifications, and other product documentation such as use and
maintenance instructions produced.
This is the full-scale engineering and development phase for the product that has been
selected and specified at the end of the previous phase. The engineering and development
activities are nearly in parallel analysed and supported by the RAMS engineering process:

Break down of system level requirements to and lower level requirements


Tailoring of verification methods to subsystems, unit, assemblies, etc
Performance of reliability, availability, maintainability and safety analyses to
evaluate the design with respect to its capability to meet the specified RAMS
performance characteristics as soon as the first design drawings, concepts etc. are
available
Collection and combining of lower level analyses results to system level reliability,
maintainability and safety analyses.
Feedback to and support to the design and development engineers for necessary
design changes and improvements.
Generation of RAMS documentation for the Operation and Maintenance Phase
Review of operation and maintenance manuals,
Initiation of the legal safety compliance process

Some basic tools generally used in RAMS engineering are


A. General RAMS Engineering
Functional Analysis
Life Cycle Cost Analysis
B. Reliability Engineering
Reliability Apportionment/Allocation
Reliability Modelling and Prediction
Reliability Analysis
Failure Mode and Effects and (Criticality Analysis), FME(C)A
Fault Tree Analysis, FTA
C. Maintainability Engineering
Maintainability Allocation
Maintainability Prediction
Maintainability Assessments/Analysis
Maintainability Tests

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D. Safety Engineering
Preliminary Hazard List
Preliminary Hazard Analysis
Subsystem Hazard Analysis
System Hazard Analysis
Safety Compliance Assessment
Operating and Support Hazard Analysis
Workplace Safety Analysis
Software Hazard Analysis

Some of the above analyses and lists may serve only for the specific purpose they are
performed for, like a workplace safety analysis or maintainability analysis. A large fraction
of the results of the analysing work are however of interest to all RAMS disciplines.
Typical analyses of this type are the reliability analyses, the functional analyses or the
FMEAs and FTAs.
Monitoring and control of contractors and subcontractors reliability, maintainability and
safety activities is an important activity of the RAMS Project Manager. The RAMS
programme plans prepared during the Concept and Definition Phase form the basis for
RAMS related internal work as well as for the work of the contractors and subcontractors.
Depending on the type, criticality, complexity, and the technical and financial amount of
the work contracted, and the contractors experiences, separate reliability, maintainability,
and safety related programme plans tailored to the particular subject of the contracted work
have to be prepared by the contractor. These plans should carefully be reviewed by the
clients RAMS Project Manager for compliance with the overall RAMS approach. Also the
results obtained by the contractors during this period should be reviewed to identify any
deviations from the specification and to be able to launch corrective actions on time.

Summary :
The design and development activities and the RAMS engineering are
iterative processes ending with the manufacturing documentation of a
product. If the RAMS programme plans are strictly applied, the functional
performance characteristics of the product and its and agreed life cycle
costs are also during this project phase perfectly under control. Even if it
turns out, that a certain requirement cannot be fulfilled due to technical
problems, financial or schedule constraints, or a combination of these
factors, and the respective requirement has to be changed, the impacts of
the change on the functionality, the operation and maintenance, and the
total life cycle costs are immediately analysed. The results serve a basis for
the project managements decision finding process.

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4.2.4 Manufacturing Phase


The Manufacturing phase is from the RAMS point of view again a critical phase. While in
the previous phase theoretical analyses where the main tool to verify the compliance with
the specified requirements, this theoretical work is now confirmed -or not- by actual failure
rates values of the ordered components and materials and/or practical experiences from
inspections and tests.
Changes of the design might be the only possible consequence if it turns out, that the
RAMS performance characteristics of the ordered parts, materials or equipment differ in an
unacceptable amount from the specified behaviour.

Manufacturing
Activities

Project Phase

RAMS Engineering
Activities

DESIGN AND
DEVELOPMENT
PHASE

Parts & Materials


Procurement
Manufacturing
Off the shelf equipment Procurement

LOWER LEVEL
MANUFACTURING
& INSPECTIONS

Assembly,
Integration
Test
User Training
Acceptance Tests

SUBSYSTEM
LEVEL
AIT

Assembly,
Integration
Test
User Training
Acceptance tests

SYSTEM
LEVEL
AIT

Note: AIT = Assembly, Integration and Test

Input to Procurement
Specifications
Incoming Inspections
Definition of inmanufacturing tests
Burn In

Maintainability
verifications
Maintenance training,
Safety verifications
Safety training

Reliability monitoring
programme
Maintainability
verifications
Maintenance training
Safety verifications
Safety training

Fig. 4.2.4 Manufacturing Phase


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There are four fundamental principles for a successful manufacturing of highly reliable
systems and components :

Use standard parts and materials with known reliability wherever possible
Order parts materials and equipment only from well known reliable sources
Use stable and reliable manufacturing methods and procedures whenever possible
Use experienced people to perform the work

These principles do not only reduce the risks due to new parts and materials without any
traceable history. They also increase the confidence in the results of the reliability,
maintainability and safety analyses, and they minimise the in-manufacturing and end-item
inspection and control effort.
Reliability tests of parts and components or even integrated units or subsystems should
normally not be considered in a scientifictechnical project as verification method and
reliability compliance demonstration. They are too expensive and there should actually not
be a need for this kind of tests if the above fundamental principles are carefully considered.
A realistic and practical way to bring the end product into a failure rate stable condition
right from the start of the operation is the execution of Environmental Stress Screening.
Environmental stress screening is a test or a series of tests specially designed to disclose
weak parts and workmanship defects for correction. It should be applied to parts,
components, ... or equipment ... to remove defects which would otherwise cause failure
during higher level testing or early field service.7
The assembly, integration and test periods on subsystem and system levels are the ideal
opportunities to perform operator and user training programmes. Using the operation,
maintenance and safety plans and manuals prepared during the Design and Development
Phase the operation and maintenance staff becomes familiar with the operation and
maintenance activities and with the relevant safety precautions and procedures.
Proper testing at the end of the manufacturing process is an effective means to eliminate
material and workmanship defects before shipping the equipment to the installation site.
However,

testing does not improve reliability or safety. Only corrective


actions that prevent the reoccurrence of the failures actually
improve the reliability and safety characteristics !

from MIL-STD-785

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Summary :
Starting with the Manufacturing Phase the RAMS activities change from
theoretical, analytical, and specifying work to practical, verifying,
reassurance work. From now on detected non-compliances result if not
accepted- in expensive and time consuming hardware and/or computer
software changes. Therefore the results obtained from the RAMS activities
of the previous phases have to be sound, realistic and without ambiguities.
Excellent co-operation and information flow with all participants including
the contractors and subcontractors are essential.
A perfectly functioning Failure Reporting and Corrective Action System
combined with a well functioning Configuration Control System and a
well organised Quality Assurance System are a fundamental prerequisite
to avoid undetected and not acceptable alterations of the reliability,
availability, maintainability or safety characteristics, and to keep also
during this phase the functional performance characteristics and thereby
the life cycle costs under control.

4.2.5 Installation Phase


During this project phase the product is installed at its operation site, tested and handed
over to the client and the clients operation and maintenance staff.
Installation
Activities

Project Phase

RAMS Engineering
Activities

MANUFACTURING
PHASE

Installation
Tests
Preparation for operation and maintenance
Operation, maintenance, safety training

PRODUCT
INSTALLATION
& TEST

Final compliance verifications :


-Reliability/Availability
-Maintainability
-safety
System safety compliance certification
Safety training

PRODUCT ACCEPTANCE
AND TRANSFER OF
OWNERSHIP

Fig.4.2.5 Installation Phase


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No intensive reliability engineering work is related to this phase, except the review of noncompliance reports, change requests, etc.
From the maintenance and the associated logistic support point of view this phase is quite
important. It includes the preparational work for the subsequent operation and maintenance
phase, like storing of spare parts and maintenance support equipment, setting up of the
maintenance organisation and crew, implementation of work schedules, safety plans and
procedures, etc.

Summary:
The acceptance of the product by the client and the handing over of the
product are legally important acts. Not only that the client becomes the
owner of the product, the client is from this moment on totally responsible
for the correct and safe operation and maintenance of the product in
accordance with the plans, instructions and manuals delivered by the
supplier as part of the product.
For non-serial systems and products of prototype characteristic, like
large complex facilities for scientific research, the deliverable
documentation must include a status list (Configuration Item Data List)
showing the actual configuration status of the product at the moment of the
acceptance by the client. Any modification of this status by the client/user
after the acceptance without formal agreement by the supplier may free the
supplier from his liability for the product.

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4.2.6 Operation and Maintenance Phase


Although the best efforts have been spent to design and manufacture a reliable, highly
available, maintainable and safe product, some problems may not evidence themselves
until the product will be used in the real environment and is operated by the foreseen users.
Functional problems will occur, and it is important to determine their criticality and
whether the problems are serious enough to require corrections. If the problem is still
covered under the warranty, the supplier must take the necessary actions.
If the problem is due to misuse of the product or lies in the clients maintenance policy
and procedures, these factors have to be changed.

POperation and Maintenance


Activities

Project Phase

RAMS Engineering
Activities

PRODUCT ACCEPTANCE
AND TRANSFER OF
OWNERSHIP

Operation for scienticic


research including
alredy initially foreseen
adaptations
Standard preventive and
corrective maintenance

OPERATION &
MAINTENANCE

Updates due to wear out


and new techno-logies
modifications due to
malfunction, improvements,ornew research
projects

UPDATINGS
&
MODIFICATIONS

Monitoring of RAMS
evolution of characteristics
Improvements where
necessary
corrective maintenence

Selection of adequate
equipment for replacements
Assesment of proposed
modifi
ations with respect to
RAMS

DISPOSAL

Fig. 4.2.6 Operation and Maintenance Phase

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The generally very long lifetime of large and complex research facilities leads automatically to necessary updates of equipment because the old equipment is outdated, a new
equipment with increased performance characteristics will drastically reduce the research
efforts, and similar. Computers and their increasing speed and memory capacities are a
typical example. But not all equipment which is on the market and promise to do miracles
is adequate for fulfilling the availability demands and/or other RAMS characteristics. In
this context reference is made to one of the four fundamental principles mentioned in
chapter 4.2.4 Manufacturing. use only parts and materials with known, verified reliability
characteristics.
Even if spare parts are provided for equipment which was specially designed and
manufactured for the product, replacement problems will occur in 5, 10. 15 years. The
originally used technologies are not available anymore, the original supplier does not exist
anymore, etc.. This means, that in order to guarantee the specified availability of the
product for the entire life time, modification programmes have to be initiated relatively
early in the operation and maintenance phase. Their starting date depends on one hand on
the critical life time of the equipment but on the other hand also on the general evolution of
the technologies used in the original equipment.
Summary :
Modifications, modernisation, updates, and equipment replacements, as
well as adaptations to changing research goals have to be considered from
the beginning of a project although these aspects may only become
relevant in 5 years or later. In a period of 5 years two or three generations
of new computers and associated parts and materials will be on the market.
To find spare components for the old equipment will not be trivial. A
close monitoring of the failure occurrence frequencies, and the
implementation of special update programmes to be able to start
procurement activities well in advance of increasing failure rates are
mandatory parts of the overall maintenance planning.
Since product modifications and updates will occur during the long life
time Configuration Management and Control must be performed by owner
to keep the product safety and consequently the safety of the user and
maintenance personnel in a controlled status. It goes without saying that all
modifications need to be analysed and approved by RAMS experts.
Provisions have to be taken in advance to make sure, that not only a
general RAMS expert is available, but an expert familiar with the product,
the specific product (logistic) support, and the constraints generated by the
scientific programmes and the environment of scientific institutes.

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4.3 Disposal Phase


The disposal or phaseout of a product or parts of it has to be considered as sub-phase of the
products life cycle from the beginning of the project.
In connection with the expiry of the products useful life, wear-out or if the product
becomes obsolete, the owner will be faced with the critical question what to do with the
material :

Dismantling of the product or parts thereof


Recovery of precious metals or other valuable, recyclable materials
Salvage of equipment and components for use in other products
Safe disposal of hazardous materials
Logistics support of disposal

The most elegant and advanced solution is to answer these questions already during the
Concept and Definition Phase and to include corresponding requirements in the product
specification. Thereby everybody involved in the procurement is forced to take the
disposal already into account during the design and development phase, and to generate
safe, efficient and economic methods and procedures for activities which will be
performed in the far future.

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