Reliability Engineering experts know there are many variables that impact operational failure rates. These variables even include how operations and maintenance are done at a specific site. Sometimes it feels like there are so many variables that no realistic failure rate can ever be predicted without a few hundred hours of engineering effort. Per part!
However, there are practical ways to proceed with realistic failure rate predictions. Followed by more detailed analysis when justified. If a fixed environmental profile is created, many variables are eliminated. If a specific application is defined, more variables are firmed up. Add in a specific operations/maintenance capability and the job can be done. The “first pass” results should be calibrated to be realistic and somewhat conservative – higher failure rates. Then if the expense of further analysis is justified, the most impactful variables are considered first followed by others as budget allows. We have shown that this approach can work.
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