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What is a reliable product?

Quality vs Reliability
Quality vs Reliability

A motion
instead of a
• The probability that a product will perform its
intended function satisfactorily for a
prescribed life under certain stated
environmental conditions

• Factors associated with quality

– Numerical value
– Intended function
– Life – specified as a function of time, usage or
– Environmental conditions
Reliability Engineering

1. Apply engineering knowledge to prevent or
reduce the likelihood or frequency of failures

2. Identify and correct the causes of failure that do


3. Determine ways of coping with failures that occur

4. Apply methods of estimating the likely reliability

of new designs, and for analyzing reliability data
Achieving Reliability
• Emphasis
– Consumer Protection Act
– Products are more complicated
– Automation

• System Reliability
– As products become more complex, the chance they will
not function increases
– The method of arranging the components affects the
reliability of the system
• Series, parallel, combination
Achieving Reliability

Figure 1. Series Arrangement

Achieving Reliability

Figure 2. Parallel Arrangement

0.980 0.232

0.335 0.780


0.664 0.957 0.996

Achieving Reliability
• Design
– Fewer components, the greater the reliability
– Backup or redundant component
– Overdesign – use of large factors of safety
– Fail-safe devices
– Maintenance
• Easily maintainable; eliminate the need for maintenance
– Protect product from environmental conditions
• Heat shields, rubber vibration mounts, filters
Achieving Reliability
• Production
– Second most important aspect of reliability
– Basic quality control techniques will minimize the risk of
product unreliability
– Emphasis should be placed on those components which
are least reliable
– Design of experiments to determine which process
conditions produce the most reliable product
• Transportation
– The reliability of the product at the point of use can be
greatly affected by the type of handling the product
received in transit
– Good packaging techniques and shipment evaluation
Achieving Reliability
• Maintenance
– In many situations, it is not practical or possible to
eliminate the need for customer maintenance
– Customer should be given ample warning
– Maintenance should be easy and simple to perform
Three Classifications of
Reliability Failure
Old Remedy-
Type Repair mentality
• Early (infant mortality) • Burn-in test

• Wearout (physical • Maintenance

• In service testing
• Chance (overstress)

Bathtub Curve

Infant Useful life Wear out

Mortality No memory
Failure Rate
#/million hours No improvement
No wear-out
Random causes

Early failure causes or infant mortality
(Occur at the beginning of life and then

• Manufacturing Escapes
– Poor workmanship/handling
– Manufacturing defects
– Cracks, flaws
– Defective parts
– process quality control
– sub-standard materials
– contamination
• Improper installation

Chance Failures
(Occur throughout the life a product at a
constant rate)
• Insufficient safety factors in design
• Higher than expected random loads
• Human error
• Random load
• Environment
• Misapplication

(Occur late in life and increase with
• Aging
• Degradation in strength
• Materials Fatigue
• Creep
• Corrosion
• Friction
• Cyclical load
• Poor maintenance

Reliability Remedies

• Early • Burn-in testing, Screening,

Quality manufacture/Robust
Design, Acceptance testing

• Redundancy, Excess strength,

• Random Tight customer linkages, testing

• Wear-out • Derating, Preventative

maintenance, Parts
replacement, Robust design
(FMEA), Technology
Distributions Applicable to
• Normal
• Exponential
• Weibull
Measures of Reliability

Probability of no failure before time t

Measures of Reliability
Measures of Reliability
• Mean Time to Failure (MTTF) or Mean Time Between Failures
- Total up time / Number of Failures

• Mean Time to Repair (MTTR)

- average time required to repair a failed component or device
- also refers to maintainability

• Mean Time Between Downing Event (MTDBE)

- expected time between two consecutive downing events for
a repairable system.

• Availability
• For example, assume you are testing a system that can be
repaired when there is a failure. The failures causes the system to
go down. The first failure happens at 10 hours and it takes 5
hours to fix. The second failure is at 27 hours and the repair
duration is 3 hours. Then after working for 13 hours, the system
fails at 43 hours. The repair lasts for 7 hours and the system is
restored at 50 hours. This failure and repair process can be
illustrated using the following graph
Accelerated Life Testing
- Modified method of testing to readily determine the
time until failure of a component or product
- Testing moves at a faster pace
- Uses quantitative data
- End results yield times-to-failure data
1. Compressed-time testing - product is tested under
the usual conditions, but more intensively (e.g. a
washing machine used almost continuously)
2. Advanced-stress testing - product is tested under
harsher conditions than it will suffer in regular use so
that failure will tend to occur earlier (e.g. refrigerator
motor run at a higher speed than if operating within a
Life Testing for ASUS Laptops