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Cover image of Speaking Of Reliability: Friends Discussing Reliability Engineering Topics | Warranty | Plant Maintenance

Speaking Of Reliability: Friends Discussing Reliability Engineering Topics | Warranty | Plant Maintenance

Gain the experience of your peers to accelerate improvement of your program and career. Improve your product development process, reliability or warranty performance; or your plant uptime or asset performance. Learn about reliability and maintenance engineering practical approaches, skills, and techniques. Join the conversation today.

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What is this Risk Thing?

What is this Risk Thing? Abstract Chris and Fred discuss what ‘risk’ is. Or what most people think ‘risk’ is. Or what the experts think ‘risk’ is. Or what ‘risk’ feels like. Do you know what ‘risk’ is? Key Points Join Chris and Fred as they discuss what the term ‘risk’ means … or what we think it means. ‘Risk’ is often simply associated with the likelihood of ‘bad’ things happening. But the problem with ‘risk’ is that there are no ‘rewards.’ So ‘risk’ is not bad. So what is it? Topics include: Risk is the effect uncertainty has on something. And that means both good and bad. … but most ‘standard’ definitions don’t like this. We say ‘most’ standards … because at least one standards committee has recently redefined risk as the ‘effect uncertainty has on outcomes.’ But this is ‘controversial’ … or at least whatever ‘controversial’ looks like when stubborn risk engineers become irate. And so there are lots of different ‘standard’ definitions of risk out there. Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) standards talk about the combination of the likelihood and severity of all possible ‘bad’ outcomes. If you are ever in a meeting where a debate over what the definition of ‘risk’ is … run away. The definition of ‘risk’ that you should use should be ‘helpful.’ What do we mean by that? Think of the term ‘quality.’ Leonardo da Vinci painted images of extraordinarily high quality. A manufacturing engineer looks at quality as the absence of defects. So … does that mean that the Mona Lisa is simply ‘high quality’ because it has ‘no defects?’ No … because the quality of paintings are not measurable in terms of defects. This doesn’t mean that the manufacturer’s idea of ‘quality’ is wrong … because it is helpful. So if you are an investment banker, perhaps the definition of ‘risk ‘that helps you the most is one that incorporates both good and bad outcomes. If you are a safety engineer, perhaps the definition of ‘risk’ that helps you the most is one that focuses on harmful events only. Don’t let a standard or an ‘old expert’ tell you what risk is! Work it out yourself. Then there is risk appetite. Think about autonomous vehicles. Hundreds of thousands of people die every year due to impaired driving (drug or alcohol). And while no one thinks this is inherently good … societies fundamentally believe this is an acceptable realization of risk. While there are laws and police forces enforcing these laws and ‘campaigns’ (et cetera) … no one is suggesting that all vehicles or all humans should be banned from driving. But there is a serious belief amongst academics and regulators that autonomous vehicles need to be able to do things like ‘ethically’ select whether to kill an 80-year-old woman or 3-month-old child in the event of a vehicle accident. But do we hold current human drivers to these standards? … when trying to pass a drivers license test? … will the years/decades that it will take to come up with a facial recognition and age assessment system be worth the ongoing loss of life associated with the far from perfect human drivers? No. So risk appetite is frustrating fluid … even for the same applications. 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. Download Audio  RSS  iTunes Stitcher Show Notes The post SOR 704 What is this Risk Thing? appeared first on Accendo Reliability.

12 Nov 2021

Rank #1

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Hospital Power Supply Modeling

Hospital Power Supply Modeling Abstract Chris and Fred discuss a real-world problem … how do we use reliability engineering tools to work out how select a hospital power supply system. Key Points Join Chris and Fred as they discuss how we can use reliability engineering to do ‘non-traditional’ things like select a backup power supply for a regional hospital. How do we do this? Topics include: Traditional or ‘textbook’ reliability is all about physical system failure. But is it? Good reliability engineers and professionals need to understand the business or the context of problems. Which means we don’t just work out how reliable something is … we look at if there is an entirely different type of something that might be more appropriate. So let’s really think about the problem. Some hospital equipment cannot tolerate even a minute or two of power outage to provide care to patients. Some can. The backup power supply doesn’t need to run continuously … but it does need to be ready to start at a moments notice. So what can we do? Does installing local Uninterrupted Power Supplies (UPS) with batteries for the critical equipment that allows more flexibility for power supply options? Can we look at this problem in a way that gives us flexibility in system design? If you are struggling … a use case might help. And not just a use case where we specify power phasing, size, environment and so on. The use case forces us to work out what really matters. A use case should include all the details about which equipment needs uninterrupted power, which equipment can tolerate a power outage of a minute (for example) and which equipment is not critical to health outcomes. And when you do this, you might be surprised about what you learn about the problem … and you might be surprised on what your vendors can come up with. And then there is ‘confidence.’ Why are we talking about this? Because confidence is a measure of the decision maker. So who is going to decide which backup power supply to use? If the project manager has no engineering experience (… and no reliability engineering experience), they will have an entirely unique set of ‘criteria’ from which they derive confidence. And this usually devolves into compliance with standards, passing tests and so on. But a competent project manager can read the response from vendors and quickly see in a very ‘soft’ way if the solution is going to work. Responses to use cases are really good at showcasing if you and your team are honest, technically confident, clear in how they explain the solution and so on. 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. Download Audio  RSS  iTunes Stitcher Show Notes The post SOR 703 Hospital Power Supply Modeling appeared first on Accendo Reliability.

8 Nov 2021

Rank #2

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Podcasting and Reliability

Podcasting and Reliability Abstract James and Fred discussing how to know when you’re successful with a podcast. Key Points Join James and Fred as they discuss the importance of engagement when running a niche podcast. Topics include: People are listening and saying thanks Downloads is not enough – it’s the engagement, comments, questions. There are a bunch of podcasts now on reliability and maintenance related topics 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. Download Audio  RSS  iTunes Stitcher Show Notes Rooted in Reliabiity podcast by James Reliability.FM podcast network Maintenance and Reliability article series by James The post SOR 702 Podcasting and Reliability appeared first on Accendo Reliability.

5 Nov 2021

Rank #3

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Time to Market and Reliability

Time to Market and Reliability Abstract Kirk and Fred discussing companies making reliability a priority early in the product development as opposed to waiting to after market release to see if it’s reliability. Key Points Join Kirk and Fred as they discuss new product reliability development early and late. Topics include: Introducing new technology that has significant field reliability issues may damage the confidence for future development of that technology.  The smartphones that had a folding screen were released to the market and quickly had problems, making consumers less confident in folding screen smartphones in general. Electric automobiles have had reliability issues that shifted from combustion engine automobile mechanical problems to mostly electronics issues. With new technologies it is probably safer to over-design a product to make it reliable to insure the acceptance of the new technology. Newer consumer products lack of reliability will rapidly be shared widely on the internet. 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. Download Audio  RSS  iTunes Stitcher Show Notes Please click on this link to access a relatively new analysis of traditional reliability prediction methods article from the US ARMY and CALCE titled  “Reliability Prediction – A Continued Reliance on a Misleading Approach” For more information on the newest discovery testing methodology here is a link to the book “Next Generation HALT and HASS: Robust design of Electronics and Systems” written by Kirk Gray and John Paschkewitz. The post SOR 701 Time to Market and Reliability appeared first on Accendo Reliability.

1 Nov 2021

Rank #4

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Purpose of Accendo Reliability

Purpose of Accendo Reliability Abstract Kirk and Fred discussing the many years of discussions  on Speaking of Reliability since Fred and Kirk recorded Episode 1 in 2015, six years ago. Key Points Join Kirk and Fred as they discuss the purpose of Accendo Reliability and our podcasting about reliability topics. Topics include: Our love of discussing reliability especially from questions we get from you the listeners. Why we want to spread information about the ways of improving reliability development, and for Kirk, giving the profession a new frame of reference of HALT and HASS for reliability development that Dr. Greg Hobbs gave him We are trying to encourage better ways of thinking about reliability development or improvement, to have a more efficient and practical methods and test. Reliability is not just running a bunch of test, with the goal of passing the test. Instead it is finding the weaknesses, latent defects, and what will lead to failure. Reliability case histories and the real causes of reliability are rarely disclosed, and therefore disseminated so that the industry can progress with what works in developing reliable systems and what doesn’t 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. Download Audio  RSS  iTunes Stitcher Show Notes Please click on this link to access a relatively new analysis of traditional reliability prediction methods article from the US ARMY and CALCE titled  “Reliability Prediction – A Continued Reliance on a Misleading Approach” For more information on the newest discovery testing methodology here is a link to the book “Next Generation HALT and HASS: Robust design of Electronics and Systems” written by Kirk Gray and John Paschkewitz. The post SOR 700 Purpose of Accendo Reliability appeared first on Accendo Reliability.

29 Oct 2021

Rank #5

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Only have MTBFs

Only have MTBFs Abstract Chris and Fred discuss … MTBFs! Fred’s favorite! We (should) know that Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) is not reliability. So what do we do if we somehow need to get reliability from nothing but the MTBF. Key Points Join Chris and Fred as they discuss an often and unfortunate problem of reliability engineers being asked to ‘divine’ reliability from nothing but MTBFs and Failures in Time (FITs) numbers which are essentially the inverse of the MTBF for electronic components. So what do you do? Topics include: Acknowledge that if all you have are MTBFs, then you don’t have enough information. It is a reality. Even if your boss or management team don’t want to hear it. Components with the same MTBF are unlikely to have the same reliability at specific usage durations. It all comes down to failure mechanisms that drive what we call ‘shape’ parameters. And these shape parameters can mean that two components with the same MTBF might have an 80 % chance of failing in a warranty period … or a 1 % chance. So you can to look up the Physics of Failure (PoF) or use engineering judgment to understand the nature of failure and combine that with the MTBF to get some estimate on reliability. Get on the phone. Speak to suppliers and vendors (even those that have just given you MTBFs on the specification sheet), and ask what the real story might be. Focus on the vital few. The chassis of a vehicle is unlikely to fail as often as the transmission of a vehicle. So why should we ever focus on understanding how long it takes for the chassis to fail? If you ever abandon a vehicle in a forest, the last thing that will rust away will be the chassis. So focus on learning how the transmission … or the weakest part of your system … will fail. The VITAL FEW. Not the TRIVIAL THOUSANDS. Think about Bayesian analysis. This is a fancy (but simple!) way of combining lots of ‘expert assessments’ to come up with estimates of things like reliability. And when we say ‘experts,’ this could be the different members of the design and manufacturing teams. You WILL be amazed by how accurate this can be … if you do it well. 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. Download Audio  RSS  iTunes Stitcher Show Notes The post SOR 699 Only have MTBFs appeared first on Accendo Reliability.

25 Oct 2021

Rank #6

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Purpose of a Body of Knowledge

Purpose of a Body of Knowledge Abstract Chris and Fred discuss what the purpose of a ‘Body of Knowledge’ or BOK is? … or what is a BOK? … especially when it comes to reliability? Key Points Join Chris and Fred as they discuss what it is you need to know for a Body of Knowledge or BOK for reliability engineering? Topics include: BOK Approach #1 – Glossary. This is where we have a list of terms and their definitions so that you can look up the term you need to learn about. This runs the risk of becoming an ‘exhaustive’ encyclopaedia where every phrase needs to be defined … regardless of how prevalent or how obscure. BOK Approach #2 – List of Tools. This is where specific Design for Reliability (DfR) tools are outlined and described. This could be FMEAs, ALT, HALT, data analysis and so on. BOK Approach #3 – Narrative. This is where we tell the story of how to make reliability happen. You need a strategy and sequence of activities where you know what each one is and why you are doing it. And we also need to include topics that need to be avoided. The sad reality is that many reliability engineers passionately and blissfully use the wrong terms and tools. And you need to know that this is a thing. Pros and cons? You need to have a little bit of each. And this is one of the challenges of telling the story of reliability engineering. In some cases, the BOK needs to be really useful for learning about specific topics and ideas. In some cases, the BOK needs to be really useful for understanding how to come up with a reliability plan. And this is difficult. Most current BOKs are ‘certification exam answers.’ Which is because this is how that organization makes money. It charges engineers to undertake each exam, and if they pass, they become ‘certified.’ In fact, some organizations make sure that the only things that go into BOK’s that they author are ‘testable.’ Which brings me to the next point … A BOK doesn’t often replace experience. If a junior engineer can become ‘certified’ through demonstrating knowledge of a BOK, then the BOK does not reflect or acknowledge experience. There is a case for there being ‘masters’ BOKs that apply to 10, 15, 20 year veterans in the field. A BOK should cover what you need to know. Not what everyone else thinks you need to be able to say you know. Which is a problem … … and should include ‘soft’ skills. Nuance. Stuff that engineers are sometimes not born with. And this is often lost in most BOKs. You need to have an understanding how to work in the ‘human terrain’ and not just the ‘theoretical terrain.’ 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. Download Audio  RSS  iTunes Stitcher Show Notes The post SOR 698 Purpose of a Body of Knowledge appeared first on Accendo Reliability.

22 Oct 2021

Rank #7

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Reliability and Poor Project Management

Implementing Reliability Programs Abstract Carl and Fred discussing the challenges associated with implementing reliability programs. Key Points Join Carl and Fred as they discuss the execution step of the reliability process. Specifically, how to work with project teams that do not have excellent project management systems, and still successfully execute the tasks in your reliablity program. Topics include: Question: does your company have a system in place to execute project tasks? How mature is it? If so, you can utilize that system to help with reliability plan execution If not, there are ways to successfully implement reliability tasks in spite of lack of infrastructure. How does reliability integrate with the product development process? What mechanisms are in place (or not) to execute project tasks? How to avoid “pushing on a rope”? How enlightened is your management on the subject of reliability? Be persuasive in why reliability matters Management should participate in the development of the reliability plan; this will help with execution Learn project managment to better support the execution Reliability plan tasks need to be sufficiently detailed to support execution Get on the agenda of management meetings Reliability plan does not exist in isolation; it needs to integrate with overall project managment Ask project team, “How can I help you achieve your reliablity objectives”? Importance of building relationships and trust If project execution does not have sufficient infrastructure in your company, you need to step up and support the execution 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. Download Audio  RSS  iTunes Stitcher Show Notes The post SOR 697 Reliability and Poor Project Management appeared first on Accendo Reliability.

18 Oct 2021

Rank #8

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Interpreting Test Results

Interpreting Test Results Abstract Carl and Fred discussing a listener question about reliability demonstration testing; specifically how to deal with unrelated failures when using “success testing.” Key Points Join Carl and Fred as they discuss “success testing,” and the assumptions and principles that need to be considered. Topics include: Planning and interpreting binomial testing Pass-fail testing versus test-to-failure What assumptions go into “success testing”? Example of cracked glass in a device The importance of understanding the underlying failure mechanisms What happens when different mechanisms of failure are lumped together? The role of confidence interval in success testing What happens when unrelated failures are not independent? Can system testing be designed, without using Weibull parameters? When designing a test, how do you include the user conditions? When can you assume independence of failure mechanisms in a complex structure? Ask questions about how the planned tests represents the real world 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. Download Audio  RSS  iTunes Stitcher Show Notes Information about the relationship between sample size, testing time, confidence, and reliability can be found in a book titled “Statistical Design and Analysis of Engineering Experiments,” by Charles Lipson and Narenda Sheth, McGraw Hill, 1973. Reference section 5.4, page 178. The post SOR 696 Interpreting Test Results appeared first on Accendo Reliability.

15 Oct 2021

Rank #9

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Training and the Trades

Training and the Trades Abstract James and Fred discussing the impact of the labor shortage on maintenance programs. Key Points Join James and Fred as they discuss the dilemma of attracting the necessary talent that also has the experience and education to file maintenance trade roles, engineering roles, etc. Topics include: The plentiful openings, yet where is the talent? The various paths that are available to get into the trades The ‘Big Quit’ – the need to have a supportive culture to keep an attractive search 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. Download Audio  RSS  iTunes Stitcher Show Notes The post SOR 695 Training and the Trades appeared first on Accendo Reliability.

11 Oct 2021

Rank #10