Statistics and Reliability
Chris and Fred discuss what came first … reliability or statistics? Reliability of course! There are plenty of organizations that focus on baking reliability into designs without the need for statistics. But statistics are a part of reliability engineering. So what is the relationship between the two? Listen to this podcast to learn more.
Join Chris and Fred as they discuss the relationship between reliability and statistics. The reality is that engineers and designers have been designing reliable things for thousands of year – with statistics a relatively recent phenomenon. So reliability doesn’t need statistics. But if you read a textbook or complete a reliability course it feels like statistics is everything. So what is going on?
- Reliability happens at the point of decision. A decision is not a statistical analysis. That statistical analysis might create information that may then go onto to help inform a decision that creates reliability. But it is not the statistical analysis that makes reliability happen.
- Statistics is easy to teach … sometimes. Decision-making is a reflection of culture. Which means the extent to which reliability ‘happens’ is also a reflection of culture. And culture is a challenging topic to broach in courses. But probability and statistics has textbooks and standards that can form the basis of a course. So we often have lots of reliability ‘luminaries’ simply teaching probability and statistics because they don’t have the ability to teach culture.
- … so there is now a ‘statistics in reliability’ industry. There are professors, reliability consultants and reliability engineers who are perceived to be valuable because they appear to have mastered probability and statistics. So when we suggest that they need to focus on good design, manufacturing and maintenance decisions instead of endless statistical analysis, those who only bring a knowledge of statistics to the table panic as they are no longer relevant.
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.