Consumable Product Reliability
Join Chris and Fred as they discuss how to deal with consumable product reliability … that is the bits of your system that aren’t ‘components’ or ‘subsystems’ and are like fuel to your constantly degrading system. What is the reliability of these things?
- Consumables either work or they don’t (usually). Think of things like gaskets, batteries, lubricants, glues and bonding agents. These are often forgotten when it comes to system reliability analysis. But if your system fails when a consumable stops doing what it is supposed to do before you think it should … then you have to place consumables into your system reliability model.
- Some consumables have a shelf life – which we can treat like reliability. Some people call this ‘shelf-life’ reliability, or ‘ageing.’ Whatever you call it, what happens to your consumable while it is sitting on a shelf (or a shipping container in a tropical environment) before you put it into your system also needs to be thought of.
- What can we do without time to failure data? Consumables can be a lot easier to deal with when it comes to more complex components. For example, we usually have a pretty good idea of how we need to store glue in order for it to be ‘sticky’ when you use it. And suppliers are often able to give you shelf-life guidelines that help you keep track of that bottle of glue while it sits on your shelf (in perhaps a controlled environment). The easy thing to do is to assume that your consumables are ‘perfect.’ If failure of a consumable costs you money, then it is a reliability concern.
- … and understand what failure is. Does your smart lock ‘fail’ if the batteries run flat? … or does it fail if the batteries run flat with you getting no warning? So you absolutely need to take consumables into consideration for your system.
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.