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Design for Usability

Thanh Pham

CS - 672

Colorado Technical University


Design for Usability

Chapter 12

Question 1: Define reliability. What are its major characteristics?

Reliability is the probability that a product or system will fulfill its mission in a

satisfaction or, the probability that an entity will execute in a satisfaction for a given period when

worked at specified operating conditions (Fabrycky, 2011, p.363).

According to Fabrycky (2011), reliability have some major characteristic that given


Probability is often used in quantitative terms as a percent specifying the number of times

that one can expect an event to occur in a total number of trials.

Satisfactory performance indicates that specific criteria must be established that describe

what is considered to be satisfactory.

Time represents a measure against which the degree of system operational performance

can be determined. Time knows the time period within which to assess a designated function.

Time is usually expressed in terms of mean time between failure or mean time to failure.

Specified operating conditions include environmental factors, such as the geographical

location where the system is expected to operate and the anticipated period of time, the

operational profile, and the potential impacts resulting from temperature cycling, humidity,

vibration and shock, and so on.

Question 2: Why is reliability important in system design? When in the life-cycle process

should it be considered? To what extent should reliability be emphasized in system design,

and what are some of the factor that governs this?


Reliability is very important in system design because failures had occurred soon, the

requirements for maintenance have been high, and the costs throughout the system life cycle

have been excessive. In addition, the systems in operational use have been unable to accomplish

the mission for which they were designed (Fabrycky, 2011, p.362).

Reliability is considered in the conceptual design phase in meaningful quantitative terms

as one of the design-to requirements, when the overall requirements for the system are being


Reliability is emphasized in system design in Failure Analysis.

Some factors that govern reliability are given below:

The arrangement of components and resources are as highest as possible.

Design approval is only performed after components and resources are calculated.

Question 3: What are the quantitative measures of reliability (discuss measures for

hardware, software, personnel, facilities, and data)?

Quantitative measurement is the process of assigning numbers to the attributes of client

variables. It serves the purpose of ensuring uniformity and objectivity in addressing client

problems as well as providing normative data by which to set clients' problems in a larger

context of clinical and nonclinical populations. Levels of measurement from lowest to highest

are nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio. Levels of measurement determine the sophistication of

data analysis procedures to be used and also are important when designing or evaluating

standardized composite measures of client characteristics or problems (Jordan, 2001).

Question 4: How would you define the overall failure rate for a system? What should be

included (excluded)? Why?


Failure rate is the rate which failures occur in a specified time interval. The failure rate

per hour is expressed as

𝑛𝑢𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑓𝑎𝑖𝑙𝑢𝑟𝑒𝑠
𝐹𝑎𝑖𝑙𝑢𝑟𝑒 𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑒 =
𝑡𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑜𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 ℎ𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑠

Failure rate should be expressed in terms of failures per hour, percentage of failures per

thousand hours, or failures per million hours.

A failure is also defined as an instance when the system is not operating within a

specified set of parameters. The failure rate is

𝑛𝑢𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑓𝑎𝑖𝑙𝑢𝑟𝑒𝑠
𝐹𝑎𝑖𝑙𝑢𝑟𝑒 𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑒 =
𝑡𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑚𝑖𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒

Question 24: Describe some of the advantages of reliability sequential testing. Identify some

of the disadvantages. What is meant by life testing? Accelerated testing?

According to System Reliability Center , reliability sequential testing is fixed time

reliability tests are based on the Consumer's risk, the probability of accepting products with a

mean time between failures (MTBF) considered poor (called θ1) and the Producer's risk, the

probability of rejecting products with a MTBF considered acceptable (called θ0). Sequential tests

are based on the ratio of these risks. This innovation permits faster acceptance or rejection when

the MTBF of the lot on test is closer to one of the MTBF values than it is to the other. It is

assumed that the failure rate is a constant.

Describe each of the following: FMECA, FTA

The failure mode, effects, and criticality analysis (FMECA) is a design technique that

can be applied to identify and investigate potential system weaknesses. It includes the necessary

steps for examining all ways in which a system failure can occur, the potential effects of failure

on system performance and safety, and the seriousness of these effects. The FMECA can be used

initially during the conceptual and preliminary design and development (Fabrycky, 2011, p.385).

The fault tree analysis (FTA) is a deductive approach involving the graphical

enumeration and analysis of different ways in which a particular failure can occur and the

probability of its occurrence. It may be applied during the early stages of design, is oriented to

specific failure modes, and is developed using a top-down fault-tree structure (Fabrycky, 2011,


Chapter 13

Question 1: Define maintainability. How does it differ from maintenance? Provide some


Maintainability is defined as an ability of a system to be maintained, whereas

maintenance constitutes a series of actions to be taken to restore or retain a system in an effective

operational state. Maintainability is a design dependent parameter and maintenance is a result of

design. Maintainability can be expressed in terms of maintenance times; maintenance frequency

factors, maintenance labor hours, and maintain cost (Fabrycky, 2011, p.411).

Question 2: Why is maintainability important in system design? When in the life cycle

process should it be considered? Why?

Maintainability is very important because past experience indicates that the reliability of

some of these systems is marginal and that they are inoperative much of the time, requiring

extensive and costly maintenance. Downtime and the waste of resources for maintenance stem

from lack of the proper consideration of reliability and maintainability in design. Maintainability

should be considered during the system design and development process (Fabrycky, 2011,


Question 3: What are the quantitative measures of maintainability (discuss measures for

hardware, software, personal, facilities, and for the logistic support infrastructure)?

According to Department of Defense, 1997: Quantitative maintainability requirements

are associated with those design characteristics controllable by the designer. They are determined

through an analysis of the customer needs and constraints. Customer-imposed constraints


• Expected operating time (or cycles) per unit of calendar time

• Maximum downtime or maintenance time, or required availability

• Operational environment and mission profile

• Skill types and skill levels of maintenance personnel

• Existing types of diagnostics and other maintenance support equipment available to

support the product and customer

• Turnover rate of personnel

Quantitative maintainability requirements may be expressed using many different metrics

and may be established at any or all levels of maintenance. For example, they may be structured

as functions of time, labor hours, or in terms of fault detection and isolation. Examples of

quantitative maintainability requirements include:

• Active maintenance in terms of corrective maintenance time in labor hours

• Mean preventive maintenance time in labor hours

• Mean active maintenance time in terms of mean labor hours per maintenance action

• Unit removal and installation times


• Inspection times

• Turnaround time

• Reconfiguration time

• Mean Time to Repair (MTTR)

• Mean Time to Restore System (MTTRS)

• Maximum Time to Repair [at a specified confidence level, Φ] (MMax ( ) Φ)

• Mean Man Hours (MMH) per repair

• Mean Man Hours per Operating Hour (MMH/OH)

• Mission Time to Restore Functions (MTTRF)

• Direct Man hours per Maintenance Action (DMH/MA)

• Mean Equipment Corrective Maintenance Time to Support a Unit Hour of Operating

Time (MTUT)

• Maintenance Ratio (MR)

• Mean Time to Service (MTTS)

• Mean Time Between Preventive Maintenance (MTBPM)

• Mean Man Hours per Flying Hour (MMH/FH)

• Probability of Fault Detection

• Proportion of Faults Isolatable

• Proportion of faults detected and percentage of time detected for failure modes to be

detected or isolated by automatic or built-in test equipment.

• Maximum false alarm rate for automatic or built-in test equipment

Question 4: What is the significant difference between MTBF and MTBM? Between MTBF

and MTBR? Between MTBR and MTBM?


1- MTBF (Mean time between failures) is a measure of asset reliability defined as the

average length of operating time between failures for an asset or component. It is used primarily

for repairable assets and elements of similar type. MTBF used to assess the reliability of a

repairable asset or component.

Reliability usually expressed as the probability that an asset or component will perform

its intended function without failure for a specified period of time under specified conditions.

MTBF mathematical formula is operation time in hours divided by the number of

failures, so a higher MTBF indicates better asset reliability.

2- MTTR (Mean Time to Repair or Replace) is a primary measure of the

maintainability of a repairable asset. It represents the average time required to repair a failed

component or asset regardless of whether it is repaired or replaced.

MTTR used to assess maintainability, including the effectiveness of plans and


MTTR mathematical formula is Total repair or replacement time (hours) divided by

Number of repair/replacement events.

Prediction of the number of hours that a system or component will be unavailable while

undergoing maintenance is of vital importance in reliability and availability studies. Meantime to

repair yields much information that can help reliability engineers make informed decisions such

as repair or replace, hire, optimize maintenance schedules, store parts onsite or switch parts


3- MTBM (Mean Time Between Maintenance) is the average length of operating time

between one maintenance action and another maintenance action for an asset or component. This

metric is applied only for maintenance activities which require or result in function interruption.

MTBM is a measure of the reliability taking into account the maintenance policy, which

is the total number of life units expended by a given time, divided by the total number of

maintenance events (scheduled and unscheduled) performed on that item.


Question 21: How are the FMECA and the RCM analysis related?

Reliability Centered maintenance (RCM) is a systematic approach to developing a

focused, effective, and cost efficient preventive maintenance program and control plan for a

system or product. With the RCM analysis directed toward the establishment of a cost effective

preventive maintenance program, a necessary prerequisite is the accomplishment of the FMECA

(Fabrycky, 2011, p.440).


Department of Defense. (1997). Designing and Developing Maintainable Products and Systems.

Fabrycky, B. S. (2011). Systems Engineering and Analysis. Prentice Hall.

Mo Izzaldin, B. (2017, 01 30). MTBF, MTTR & MTBM, Reliablility metrics. Retrieved from


System Reliability Center . (n.d.). Sequential Reliability Tests . Retrieved from Alion Science:

Jordan, C. & Hoefer, R. (2001). Reliability and validity in quantitative measurement. In

Thyer, B. A. The handbook of social work research methods (pp. 52-67). Thousand Oaks, CA:

SAGE Publications Ltd. doi: 10.4135/9781412986182