Many Ways to Estimate Reliability
Chris and Fred discuss how we can go about estimating reliability … especially when you don’t have a lot of data, experience or other things that textbooks say you need to have to estimate reliability?
Join Chris and Fred as they discuss how you go about estimating reliability, especially if your product or system is not mature or well-understood. How do you measure reliability early in the design process (for example)?
- Start with the decision you are trying to inform. For example, if you are trying to work out which gasket or material is more reliable than another to inform your supplier choice, then you don’t need to have an incredibly accurate estimate. Are you instead trying to work out what specifications need to go into a document for a supplier’s component performance, then you simply might need a ‘best guess’ of all the other component reliabilities to get that right. And the less confidence you have in the ‘best guess,’ the more margin you might need in that specification. Is this going to be a problem? If not, then don’t bother doing more modeling or analysis.
- … so it is about the ‘confidence’ you need. Not every reliability measurement needs to be accurate to six significant figures. Focus on the decision first, and then actually talk about the confidence you need so that people don’t panic over getting a ‘perfect’ answer.
- Estimating reliability is primarily there to provide guidance. Too many organizations are all about having a number that can be put in a document, brochure or meeting minutes. Let’s say that we come up with a ‘best guess’ for a component at the start of the design process. As the design becomes more mature, do they still feel good about this number? If not … talk about it! Can this be accounted for in other components? Or will this break the bank? Just start thinking (and talking)!
- And don’t use parts count predictions … we have lots of webinars and podcasts on why not!
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.