Reliability engineering is a subject that involves applications of scientific knowledge to a component, product, facility, or process that aims to ensure that it performs its intended function in a specific environment for the needed tenure without any hassle or complication. It focuses on product lifecycle management, which is defined as a system's or component's capacity to work under specified conditions for a fixed period. Moving forward, there are two important factors to reliability: time and stress.
A product must be able to withstand dangerous stresses such as temperature, vibration, shock, voltage, and other external conditions for several years while also performing its intended function.
What is Reliability engineering?
This concept of reliability engineering is used in quality management to ensure that a component, product, plant, or process performs its intended function without any sort of complication over the appropriate period in a specific environment. This whole process is known as functional reliability, and reliability engineering is the application of these concepts to achieve long product life.
How to assess the quality of the goods you purchase?
Generally, during a procession in a plant, it follows the same traditional quality control that will entail completing prescribed checks and testing. If the product meets all of the requirements, it is considered ready to use. However, you cannot claim to have purchased a good product if you had to go through the warranty process two or more times before the warranty period expires.
Reliability and dependability are two words that come to mind while thinking about reliability engineering. You already know that by adding the dimension of time to the quality equation, engineering helps us quantify product quality which has proved to be very helpful to mankind eventually. To put it another way, we no longer care if a thing will perform its intended function at the time of purchase. Rather, we aim to ensure that the product performs as expected under typical settings for as long as possible.
Not only does reliability engineering assist firms in producing more reliable goods, but it also instructs maintenance teams on how to maintain them to maximize MTBF (mean time between failures) and asset lifespan.
The following are the objectives of reliability engineering:
- To prevent certain failure modes and limit the likelihood and frequency of failures by applying technical knowledge and procedures.
- To determine and remedy the reasons for failures that occur despite best attempts to avoid them.
- To figure out how to handle failures that do occur if the causes have not been addressed.
- To use methods for predicting the anticipated dependability of new designs and analyzing data on reliability.
If you look closely at the list, you'll see that the objectives of reliability engineering are organized in a way that corresponds to the natural progression of the application of various dependability approaches. If some of the predicted failures can be avoided with simple design modifications, it's pointless to try to implement redundancies for all of them. To put it another way, the actions outlined above should be followed in the order listed above to ensure that reliability practices are implemented in a cost-effective manner that can turn out to be fruitful.
Reliability engineering activities and techniques include
There is a range of strategies and tasks that can be applied as part of our practical reliability engineering efforts, depending on how complex the system is and the sort of system we're looking at:
● Root cause analysis (RCA)
● Reliability centered maintenance (RCM)
● FMEA and FMECA
● Design FMEA and Process FMEA
● Physics of Failure (PoF)
● Built-in self-test
● Reliability block analysis
● Field data analysis
● Fault tree analysis
● Eliminating single point of failure (SPOF)
● Human error analysis
● Operational hazard analysis
Using all of these methods, we may identify the loopholes in our system and determine the likelihood that these flaws will result in problems. We must deal with them through corrective action if the perceived risk is significant enough. Design adjustments (e.g., adding redundancy), detection control, maintenance instructions, and user training are all common options.
How can reliability engineers make their facility's equipment more reliable?
There are several ways that reliability engineers can aid in the improvement and optimization of maintenance operations at their site, resulting in greater equipment reliability. We'll go over a few of them here.
Assisting in the development and design of spare parts
The wear and tear that comes with daily use know no bounds. To keep running smoothly, most assets will need to be outfitted with spare components regularly. Instead of regularly reloading their spare parts inventory, companies with the necessary resources may choose to use CNC machines or 3-D printing to make their parts.
Root cause analysis is being carried out
Identifying and comprehending failure reasons is something that reliability engineers should excel at and they may be charged with doing root cause analysis (RCA). They can look at OEM manuals, maintenance practices, equipment maintenance logs, and other data to figure out why certain machines are failing and make recommendations for how to remove and/or minimize each of the failure causes.
Ascertaining that maintenance operations are directed toward the appropriate failure modes
Most businesses will find themselves in a situation where they are performing routine maintenance on an asset yet it continues to fail. While there are a variety of causes for this, one of them is that maintenance technicians are performing incorrectly, such as failing to address the proper failure modes. Referring to RCA analysis can be quite useful in this situation.
Efforts to improve reliability engineering yield serious results. Regardless of the size of your firm, reliability approaches can be adopted with the correct information be it site reliability engineering or practical reliability engineering, or software reliability engineering. We hope that organizations will continue to invest in reliability in the future because it benefits everyone involved. Production firms gain from higher-quality products, maintenance teams benefit from easier maintenance, and users benefit from fewer performance concerns over the product's lifetime. It's a win-win-win situation for everyone.