The main role of Reliability Engineer is identification and management of the reliability risks that may have a negative impact on production or post production operation of the product. This can be further split into three main sub categories i.e. Loss identification and reduction, Risk management and Product life cycle support management.
Loss Identification and Reduction
One of the most important role of Reliability Engineer is to identify the production losses and the components with high failure rates (low MTBF) during the design stage and then suggest ways to cut down the losses and improve the design. The Reliability Engineer with a coordinated help from other team members (Design, production and field engineers) does the planning to cut/reduce the losses/failures by doing root cause analysis.
Risk Evaluation and Management
The other role of Reliability Engineer is the Risk evaluation and its management to achieve the organisation’s accomplishment in terms of safety, quality, production, maintainability as well as the Environment’s health. There are various tools with which a Reliability engineer can evaluate all this. Few of them are :
PHA – Preliminary hazard analysis
FMEA – Failure modes and effects analysis
FMECA – Failure modes, effects and criticality analysis
SFMEA – Simplified failure modes and effects analysis
MI – Maintainability information
FTA – Fault tree analysis
ETA – Event tree analysis
CCM – Configuration control management
Product Life Cycle support (PLCS) Management
Earlier studies states that nearly 90-95 % of the total life cycle cost of a product is evaluated even before its utilisation. You can very well understand now how much important it is for a Reliability engineer to involve in the early stage (design and production) of a new product designs as well as modified older product designs.