What is Reliability Engineering – For Product Design

Reliability engineering is related to systems engineering ( as a subsystem). Reliability engineering is concerned with ensuring a product or component operates without failure, over a specified lifespan.

The role of a Reliability Engineer

The main role of a reliability engineer is to identify and manage potential risk factors to the reliability of a system.

For example, when I previously worked for an international defence aerospace company, I analysed the systems and subsystems of a space satellite, to identify potential failure weakness areas of the satellite’s design.

Why analyse systems

When a system such as a communications satellite is designed, a number a pressures on the designers will be in place.

Pressures such as time contsraints to complete the project.

This can be due to contractual conditions agreed with a customer.

Specific contractual conditions and timescales apply to bespoke engineering projects, rather than systems designed for mass production and sale.

Other pressures designers face, include cost contraints imposed by the accounting departments.

Short term gain but potential long term pain

Pressures to complete the system engineering project within a certain timescale, mean that reliability and maintainibility considerations may suffer.

Reliability and Maintainibility known as R&M ideally should considered early on, and throughout the product design stages.


How to perform system analysis


FMEA is short for Failure Mode & Effect Analysis



FMECA is short for Failure Modes Effects & Criticality Analysis


Def-Stan is short for defence standards.


DRACAS is short for Data Reporting, Analysis and Corrective Action System.


Nato codification gives a standard identification for parts and components.

In the UK the United Kingdom National Codification Bureau has sole responsibility for issuing NATO codification numbers. United Kingdom Codification Bureau – Home (mod.uk)


Published by Craig Miles

Craig Miles

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