Reliability engineering deals with an organized approach of time & Cost effective engineering methodologies over a span of product’s lifecycle. Its basic purpose is to develop methods and tools to evaluate and demonstrate Reliability, Maintainability, availability Obsolescence management, Configuration Control Management (CCM) and safety of components, equipment and systems, as well as to support Design and Production engineers in developing these characteristics in the design stage.
Thus, we can say that the basic aim of Reliability Engineering is evaluation of a product’s inbuilt reliability, and thereafter, localisation of important areas for improvement in the product’s overall reliability. Practically, it is impossible to eliminate all the failures of a product in the design or production stage. It is therefore, the another aim of Reliability Engineering is identification of common failures and then goes the identification of necessary / suitable measures for eliminating/ minimising the failure effects.
This process of evaluating a Reliability is carried out using various Reliability tools. The selection of the most suitable Reliability tool basically depends on the stage in which the product is during its product life cycle. The effect on reliability of a product by a design change or correction can also be calculated during reliability evaluation. The output of all these tools are inter-related to each other and are very helpful in anticipation of the probable failures and their remedial actions.
Reliability engineering is not confined to a particular stream of engineers. It can be carried out by any stream, however, the person must be a qualified Reliability analyst. These days the need of Reliability engineers is growing exponentially and almost all major production companies need to submit their product’s Reliability analysis before mass production.
It must be noted that Reliability Engineering is always a smart choice financially as it helps to improve the design and fault analysis in early design stage itself. It is always beneficial to improve the design at an early stage rather than improving it post manufacture / mass production.