Hierarchy of Engineering
Chris and Fred discuss the ‘hierarchy’ of reliability engineering. Which is the hierarchy of the knowledge and terms we need to follow when we learn about reliability engineering. Is it possible to organize our thoughts in a better way?
Join Chris and Fred as they discuss the ‘hierarchy’ of (reliability) engineering.
- We often follow the novice-dangerous-curious-useful continuum. We all know what the novice stage of anything is. We then learn a little bit and think we can solve any problem. This is where we are dangerous. After a few (potentially humiliating) failures, we often become curious because we realize we need to learn more. And then finally … we become useful.
- Do we start with the decision we are trying to inform? You usually can’t go wrong with this.
- And don’t forget about communication. It doesn’t matter how good an engineer you are – if you can’t convey your information – it doesn’t matter.
- A lot of it comes down to a really simple, defining concept of who your organization is. Let’s call it an identity. Or vision. Steve Jobs had many personal failings … but was clearly an effective leader. He clearly defined Apple’s identity in terms of focus on customer experience. There are many people who lead effective organizations who don’t fit the textbook definitions of leadership. And perhaps it comes down to identity … but it applies to us reliability engineers. What is YOUR identity? Are you here to do data analysis? … that is not an identity. Are you here to prevent root causes of failure from ever appearing in your preliminary designs? … this could be your identity.
- And you might need to start by not knowing where to start. You may need to complete seemingly random courses without much rhyme or reason as a junior engineer. Then you might realize that you don’t like reliability engineering! Which is OK. There is no point in trying to become a master at something you don’t enjoy. It comes down to your personal vision or identity.
Enjoy an episode of Speaking of Reliability. Where you can join friends as they discuss reliability topics. Join us as we discuss topics ranging from design for reliability techniques to field data analysis approaches.
SOR 749 Hierarchy of EngineeringChristopher Jackson
The Hierarchy of Reliability…? My thoughts, for what its worth.
A: Solving field problems:
1) Root Cause Analysis. 2) Create Fix, based on understanding the POF – Physics of Failure. 3) Create Old-New test ALT plan. 4) Execute the tests. 5) Interpretation of test results. 6) Define improvement factor. 7) Field Lifetime prediction of new design.
B: Preventing field problems – by validation:
1) Create proper D-FMEA. 2) Select high risk items from the FMEA that needs tests to prove a certain Reliability level. 2) Create test plan for these, using ALT where possible. 3) Execute the tests. 4) Interpretation of test results. 5) Predict field performance.
C: Preventing field problems – by Design for Reliability (DfR) & validation:
1) Create proper D-FMEA. 2) Select high risk items from the FMEA that needs focus on understanding the POF properly. 3) Use the appropriate Damage Accumulation Model for the failure Mechanism to prove “on paper” that the design is able to withstand the load (stress) over time. 4) Show effects of variation in Stress and Strength – interference! 5) Use MC-Simulations or a other method to show the effect of variation. 6) Create test plan for these, using ALT where possible. 7) Execute the tests. 8) Interpretation of test results – compare with the model! 9) Predict field performance. 10) Document findings for future modelling and DfR activities
D: Teaching & sustaining all above:
– Educate Engineers in all above with focus on “C” Design for Reliability
– Educate Reliability Engineers with focus on A and B as a starter…
– Assure the methods are well documented and part of the Engineer Process.
E: Pray that when you leave the company, they will continue the work you did to your best for multiple years… 🙂
Fred Schenkelberg says
Thanks for listening and the note. I especially like part E – so true. One way to help with that is to create a culture that supports all aspects of designing in reliability.
Keep in mind that reliability engineering is more than FMEAs, ALTs, and data analysis – it also includes setting up design guidelines, stable and capable mfg’ing processes, and the ability for everyone in the organization to balance decisions with suitable information around the value of creating a reliable product or system.
Christopher Jackson says
Hi Ronald … Like your thoughts!
I might challenge the ‘prevention through validation’ bit. You only make reliability happen when we bake it into your design or manufacturing process. Validating it means you measure how much you prevented!
Keep the thoughts coming!