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Original Title: Reliability Foundation

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A Probability of a product to fulfill its intended function for a specified period of time

under state operating conditions.- NSWC handbook.

In simple words, we can say that Reliability is the probability that a system will survive

after a particular time.

For example, 95% reliability at t=5 yrs. means that 95 out of 100 units performs its

intended function at t=5 yrs. when the system is used under defined operating

conditions.

Explain reliability in details stating how do we calculate failure rate

Give example of failure rate and how it is calculated

Failure Rate:

The probability of failure per unit of time for the item still functioning.

Mathematically, Failure rate= (No. of failure/Accumulated operation time of item).

Average Failure Rate is inverse of MTTF (Mean Time To Failure).

Types of failure rate are: decreasing failure rate (seen at start of system life), constant

failure rate (seen due to random causes), and increasing failure rate (seen due to wear

out).

Confidence Level:

Confidence level is the probability that a given statement is correct. Thus, when a 90%

confidence level is used, the probability that the findings are valid for the device

population is 90%.

Confidence Bounds:

Because life data analysis results are estimates based on the observed lifetimes of a

sampling of units, there is uncertainty in the results due to the limited sample sizes.

"Confidence bounds" (also called "confidence intervals") are used to quantify this

uncertainty due to sampling error by expressing the confidence that a specific interval

contains the quantity of interest. Whether or not a specific interval contains the quantity

of interest is unknown.

For example: we have to pass a lot of 50 systems by testing 2 samples, then there

exists an uncertainty that all the system will individually pass the criteria. This

uncertainty is represented by confidence bounds.

90% Two- Sided Confidence Bound 95% One Sided Upper CB 95%

One Sided Lower CB

When we use two-sided confidence bounds (or intervals), we are looking at a closed

interval where a certain percentage of the population is likely to lie. That is, we

determine the values, or bounds, between which lies a specified percentage of the

population. For example, when dealing with 90% two-sided confidence bounds of

, we are saying that 90% of the population lies between and with 5% less

than and 5% greater than .

Similarly, if is a 95% upper one-sided bound, this would imply that 95% of the

population is less than . If is a 95% lower one-sided bound, this would indicate that

95% of the population is greater than .

Give example of marbles to make them understand better,

of reliability testing being planned primarily to improve reliability by showing up potential

weaknesses. However, a properly designed series of tests can also generate data that

would be useful in determining if the product meets specied requirements to operate

without failure during its mission life, or to achieve a specied level of reliability. Many

product development programs require a series of environmental tests to be completed

to demonstrate that the reliability requirements are met by the manufacturer and then

demonstrated to the customer. Reliability demonstration testing is usually performed at

the stage where hardware (and software when applicable) is available for test and is

either fully functional or can perform all or most of the intended product functions. While

it is desirable to be able to test a large population of units to failure in order to obtain

information on a products or designs reliability, time and resource constraints

sometimes make this impossible. In cases such as these, a test can be run on a

specied number of units, or for a specied amount of time, that will demonstrate that

the product has met or exceeded a given reliability at a given condence level. In the

nal analysis, the actual reliability of the units will of course remain unknown, but

thereliabilityengineerwillbeabletostatethatcertainspecicationshavebeenmet.

Most product design specications come with some form of reliability requirements,

which are expressed as reliability metrics. If the system is complex those requirements

may come from reliability apportionment or other requirements generated at the system,

subsystem or component level. Probably the most common reliability metric is the

simple reliability function R(t). For example a product specication may state that the

expected reliability over a 5-yr life should be no less than 98.0% meaning R(5 yrs) =

0.98. A reliability requirement often comes with a specied condence level based on a

test sample size.

.Convertthisrequirementtootherreliabilitymetrics. Under the assumption of exponentially

distributed failures: R(5yrs)=0.90=exp 5yrs MTTF (14.2)

Solving (14.2) we obtain MTTF = 47.5 years. Failure rate = 1/MTTF = 0.021 failures

per year or assuming 24 hours per day operation =0.0210/(36524)=2.4106 failures

per hour. Also, based on (14.1) R(5yrs)=0.9 would mean 100000 PPM at 5 yrs

The Weibull shape parameter, , is also known as the Weibull slope. This is because the

value of is equal to the slope of the line in a probability plot. Different values of the shape

parameter can have marked effects on the behavior of the distribution. In fact, some values

of the shape parameter will cause the distribution equations to reduce to those of other

distributions. For example, when = 1, the pdf of the three-parameter Weibull reduces to

that of the two-parameter exponential distribution. The parameter is a pure number (i.e.,

it is dimensionless).

The following figure shows the effect of different values of the shape parameter, , on the

shape of the pdf (while keeping constant). One can see that the shape of the pdf can take

on a variety of forms based on the value of .

Looking at the same information on a Weibull probability plot, one can easily understand

why the Weibull shape parameter is also known as the slope. The following plot shows how

the slope of the Weibull probability plot changes with . Note that the models represented

by the three lines all have the same value of .

This is one of the most important aspects of the effect of on the Weibull distribution. As is

indicated by the plot, Weibull distributions with < 1 have a failure rate that decreases with

time, also known as infantile or early-life failures. Weibull distributions with close to or

equal to 1 have a fairly constant failure rate, indicative of useful life or random failures.

Weibull distributions with > 1 have a failure rate that increases with time, also known as

wear-out failures. These comprise the three sections of the classic "bathtub curve." A mixed

Weibull distribution with one subpopulation with < 1, one subpopulation with = 1 and

one subpopulation with > 1 would have a failure rate plot that was identical to the bathtub

curve. An example of a bathtub curve is shown in the following chart.

A change in the scale parameter, , has the same effect on the distribution as a change of

the abscissa scale. Increasing the value of while holding constant has the effect of

stretching out the pdf. Since the area under a pdf curve is a constant value of one, the

"peak" of the pdf curve will also decrease with the increase of , as indicated in the

following figure.

If is increased, while and are kept the same, the distribution gets stretched out to

the right and its height decreases, while maintaining its shape and location.

If is decreased, while and are kept the same, the distribution gets pushed in

towards the left (i.e., towards its beginning or towards 0 or ), and its height increases.

has the same unit as T, such as hours, miles, cycles, actuations, etc.

Reliability demonstration

importance of reliability testing being planned primarily to improve reliability

by showing up potential weaknesses. However, a properly designed series of

tests can also generate data that would be useful in determining if the product

meets specied requirements to operate without failure during its mission life,

or to achieve a specied level of reliability. Many product development

programs require a series of environmental tests to be completed to

demonstrate that the reliability requirements are met by the manufacturer

and then demonstrated to the customer. Reliability demonstration testing is

usually performed at the stage where hardware (and software when

applicable) is available for test and is either fully functional or can perform all

or most of the intended product functions. While it is desirable to be able to

test a large population of units to failure in order to obtain information on a

products or designs reliability, time and resource constraints sometimes

make this impossible. In cases such as these, a test can be run on a specied

number of units, or for a specied amount of time, that will demonstrate that

the product has met or exceeded a given reliability at a given condence level.

In the nal analysis, the actual reliability of the units will of course remain

unknown, but

thereliabilityengineerwillbeabletostatethatcertainspecicationshavebeenmet.

requirements, which are expressed as reliability metrics. If the system is

complex those requirements may come from reliability apportionment or other

requirements generated at the system, subsystem or component level.

Probably the most common reliability metric is the simple reliability function

R(t). For example a product specication may state that the expected

reliability over a 5-yr life should be no less than 98.0% meaning R(5 yrs) =

0.98. A reliability requirement often comes with a specied condence level

based on a test sample size.

Reliability Demonstration Tests (RDT): Often used to demonstrate if the product reliability

can meet the requirement. For this type of test design, four methods are supported in Weibull++:

from the time of the required reliability. An underlying distribution should be

assumed.

o Non-Parametric Binomial: No distribution assumption is needed for this test

design method. It can be used for one shot devices.

o Exponential Chi-Squared: Designed for exponential failure time.

o Non-Parametric Bayesian: Integrated Bayesian theory with the traditional non-

parametric binomial method.

o

Expected Failure Times Plot: Can help the engineer determine the expected test

duration when the total sample size is known and the allowed number of failures is given.

Difference Detection Matrix: Can help the engineer design a test to compare the BX%

life or mean life of two different designs/products.

Simulation: Simulation can be used to help the engineer determine the sample size, test

duration or expected number of failures in a test. To determine these variables, analytical

methods need to make assumptions such as the distribution of model parameters. The

simulation method does not need any assumptions. Therefore, it is more accurate than the

analytical method, especially when the sample size is small.

Cumulative Binomial

This methodology requires the use of the cumulative binomial distribution in addition to the

assumed distribution of the product's lifetimes. Not only does the life distribution of the product

need to be assumed beforehand, but a reasonable assumption of the distribution's shape

parameter must be provided as well. Additional information that must be supplied includes:

b) the confidence level at which the demonstration takes place,

c) the acceptable number of failures

d) either the number of available units or the amount of available test time.

The output of this analysis can be the amount of time required to test the available units or the

required number of units that need to be tested during the available test time. Usually the

engineer designing the test will have to study the financial trade-offs between the number of

units and the amount of test time needed to demonstrate the desired goal. In cases like this, it is

useful to have a "carpet plot" that shows the possibilities of how a certain specification can be

met.

demonstrate a certain reliability, , at a certain time. With the exception of the

exponential distribution (and ignoring the location parameter for the time being), this

reliability is going to be a function of time, a shape parameter and a scale parameter.

---------- (A)

--------------- (B)

where:

= the allowable number of failures

= the total number of units on test

= the reliability on test

= shape parameter of Weibull distribution

= scale parameter of Weibull distribution

Example

In this example, we will use the parametric binomial method to design a test to

demonstrate a reliability of 90% at hours with a 95% confidence if no

failure occur during the test. We will assume a Weibull distribution with a shape

parameter .

Determining Units for Available Test Time

In the above scenario, we know that we have the testing facilities available

for hours. We must now determine the number of units to test for this amount

of time with no failures in order to have demonstrated our reliability goal. The first step is

to determine the Weibull scale parameter, . The Weibull reliability equation is:

equation and solve for :

The last step is to substitute the appropriate values into the cumulative binomial

equation, which for the Weibull distribution appears as:

The values of , , , and have already been calculated or specified,

so it merely remains to solve the equation for .

Similarly, we can use equation (A) and equation (B), to find the value of .

welcome

Looking at the same information on a Weibull probability plot, one can easily understand

why the Weibull shape parameter is also known as the slope. The following plot shows how

the slope of the Weibull probability plot changes with . Note that the models represented

by the three lines all have the same value of .

Another characteristic of the distribution where the value of has a distinct effect is the

failure rate. The following plot shows the effect of the value of on the Weibull failure rate.

This is one of the most important aspects of the effect of on the Weibull distribution. As is

indicated by the plot, Weibull distributions with < 1 have a failure rate that decreases with

time, also known as infantile or early-life failures. Weibull distributions with close to or

equal to 1 have a fairly constant failure rate, indicative of useful life or random failures.

Weibull distributions with > 1 have a failure rate that increases with time, also known as

wear-out failures. These comprise the three sections of the classic "bathtub curve." A mixed

Weibull distribution with one subpopulation with < 1, one subpopulation with = 1 and

one subpopulation with > 1 would have a failure rate plot that was identical to the bathtub

curve. An example of a bathtub curve is shown in the following chart.

Weibull Scale parameter,

A change in the scale parameter, , has the same effect on the distribution as a change of

the abscissa scale. Increasing the value of while holding constant has the effect of

stretching out the pdf. Since the area under a pdf curve is a constant value of one, the

"peak" of the pdf curve will also decrease with the increase of , as indicated in the

following figure.

If is increased, while and are kept the same, the distribution gets stretched out to

the right and its height decreases, while maintaining its shape and location.

If is decreased, while and are kept the same, the distribution gets pushed in

towards the left (i.e., towards its beginning or towards 0 or ), and its height increases.

has the same unit as T, such as hours, miles, cycles, actuations, etc.

As was mentioned in last month's Reliability Basics, the pdf can be used to derive

commonly-used reliability metrics such as the reliability function, failure rate, mean and

median. The equations for these functions of the Weibull distribution will be presented in the

following section, without derivations for the sake of brevity and simplicity. Note that in the

rest of this section we will assume the most general form of the Weibull distribution, the

three-parameter form. The appropriate substitutions to obtain the other forms, such as the

two-parameter form where = 0, or the one-parameter form where is a constant, can

easily be made.

Most Weibull beta (slope of the Weibull line which is a shape factor) and eta values (a

location parameter know as the characteristic value) are frequently viewed by

experienced end users of the data as proprietary

information. Experienced practitioners of Weibull technology do not widely publish

or disseminate their expensive data.

Weibull beta values are driven by the physics of failure. Weibull eta values are

measures of durability. Eta values can be changed by grades of materials whereas the

beta values cannot be dialed up but are dependent upon the physics of failure.

There are no true values for betait depends upon experience and specific cases

even with test results from manufacturers.

The real data is in the databases of manufacturing companies, who treat the data as

very valuable proprietary information and they will not broadly release the

information because of misuse, arguments, and abuse of their expensive test data.

When we have the Weibull Users conference (usually held every two years, but it did

not occur this year, 2009, because of the poor economy), we hear manufactures

describe beta/eta values for practical applications. Remember manufactures have to

spend money to get test data under carefully controlled test, whereas end users of

equipment acquire their data as a product of using the equipment under variable and

uncontrolled conditions. So its important to know some typical values by failure

modes.

mortality type failure modes (its easier to pry the belt over the lip of the pulley when

no one else is looking but that incorrect assembly method breaks the back of the

belt and produces an infant mortality failure mode). When infant mortality data is

mixed with longer lives of properly assembled belts which fail by wearout failure

modes, you will observe flatter betas!!with many mixed failure modes the

beta 1.

Remember the correct values for beta are hidden from competitors and inquiring eyes

by both manufactures and end users who have the correct values for their specific

cases. They will not widely disclose this valuable information because they use their

data for warranty costs, repair costs, and guaranteed maintenance contracts involving

substantial sums of money.

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