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Achieving Product Reliability: A Key to Business Success

Chapter 1: Reliability and the Role of Statistics: An Introduction

By Necip Doganaksoy, Bill Meeker and Gerald Hahn

Ensuring high reliability in the design and manufacturing of modern products is, as argued by Bill Meeker, et al. in their book Achieving Product Reliability, a team effort with reliability engineers and statisticians as important members. This excerpt, from chapter 1 of their book, provides an overview of the important role statistics plays in reliability assurance and discusses the unique challenges associated with defining, measuring, and improving reliability.

In this chapter, you'll learn how customers define reliability, hear about some infamous reliability failures, and discover how the right data and the proper analyses at the right time could have avoided - or at least mitigated - these problems.

Meeker et al. also leads us through a discussion around the role of statistics in reliability assurance and how it has evolved from fire-fighting to validation testing to actively contributing to proactive reliability improvement. Meeker also shows us the benefits of this change and how shifting reliability assurance from a reactive to a proactive mindset can prove less expensive, have a substantial positive impact on customer relations, and turn major issues into "non-events."

Finally, Meeker et al. take us through a full discussion of reliability assurance over the entire product lifecycle, from setting reliability goals, to the early stages of design, product development, manufacturing and, ultimately, field use and tracking.

Excerpted from Achieving Product Reliability: A Key to Business Success by Necip Doganaksoy, Bill Meeker and Gerald Hahn. Copyright © 2021. Published by CRC Press, an imprint of Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Reprinted by permission.

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