Coupled with probability is the duration over which the probability applies.
For example, if we desire 99 of 100 to survive, we must state over which period of time this applies. It is proper to state the couplet of 99% reliable over 1 year.
It is not sufficient to define reliability as ‘5-year product’ as it does not contain the information related to how many are expected to survive the 5 years. Likewise, it is not sufficient to say a product has 5 – 9’s reliability (meaning the probability of failure is less than 0.00001) as it does not contain the duration.
If the product has high reliability for only a few seconds, that does not help us make judgments about the first year of life. [Read more…]