Reliability engineers and quality engineers both work to ensure that products and systems are functioning effectively and efficiently. However, they have slightly different focus areas and goals.
The primary focus of reliability engineering is designing systems that are dependable and able to function consistently over time. This may involve identifying and addressing potential sources of failure, implementing preventive maintenance protocols, and conducting testing to ensure that the system is functioning as intended. The ultimate goal of reliability engineering is to minimize downtime and ensure that the system is available for use when needed.
Quality engineers, on the other hand, focus on ensuring that products and systems meet the required specifications and standards. This may involve designing and implementing quality control processes, conducting inspections and testing, and identifying and addressing defects or issues. The goal of quality engineering is to produce products and systems that are of high quality and meet the needs of the end user.
While the goals of reliability engineering and quality engineering may be somewhat different, they are often closely aligned, as both disciplines work towards the common goal of producing reliable and high-quality products and systems. By ensuring that products and systems are both reliable and of high quality, organizations can improve customer satisfaction and reduce costs associated with defects and failures.
One way in which the goals of reliability engineering and quality engineering can be aligned is by integrating reliability considerations into the design process. By considering reliability from the outset, it is possible to design systems that are both reliable and of high quality, rather than trying to address reliability issues after the fact. This can help to reduce the number of defects and failures, and can also help to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the system.
Ray Harkins is the Quality and Technical Manager for Ohio Star Forge in Warren, Ohio. He earned his Master of Science from Rochester Institute of Technology and his Master of Business Administration from Youngstown State University. He also teaches manufacturing and business-related skills through the online learning platform, Udemy.