Archive

Archive Of The Category "Reliability Culture"
Influencing the Organization

Influencing the Organization

Adam / December 08, 2017

It can be hard as a reliability engineer to influence the greater organization.  Reliability engineers have that awkward dynamic of not just executing the tools they are expert in but directing others to incorporate them into their own process.  If the perception is that reliability engineers only instruct others what to do, like a coach, then the perception may be that “they don’t have skin in the game”. If they take complete ownership of reliability activities the effectiveness of any tools influence on the product greatly diminishes. “DfR principle #1, You can’t “Design for Reliability” if the design team…

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The forever outfit, and a car for “right now”

The forever outfit, and a car for “right now”

Adam / November 30, 2017

I didn’t create this image but I thought it was an interesting idea. A consumer has captured  a niche group of manufactures that are basing their brand on “service for life.”  The forever outfit.

I saw this the same day that Tesla came out with their semi truck announcement.  A few things that caught my attention from that announcement was how they emphasized reliability and low maintenance in their product profile.  “The brake pads will last forever” and “The drivetrain has a 1 million mile warranty.”

The interesting part of this is…

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The Bane of Our Existence

The Bane of Our Existence

Adam / November 16, 2017

The bane of our existence is one thing, generating enough data to demonstrate statistical confidence.  Every reliability engineer, every project manager, every Director and VP all have the same moment of panic in a new product development program.  In synchronicity they put their head in their hand.  It’s when the required number of test units and calendar time to demonstrate a required confidence in the reliability goal is calculated.  It’s usually about ten times more units than can be acquired and about two times longer than the entire product development program timeline.

It’s important to note that this is a…

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Language is The Tragedy of Reliability

Language is The Tragedy of Reliability

Adam / November 08, 2017

I was teaching a class on Reliability 101 a few years ago and it turned out to be one of those great classes where debate and discussion would just pop up all over the place.  I frequently start my classes with “If I end up being the only one speaking today I am going to take that as an indication of complete failure in having engaged you in this material.”  So I was loving that this group were starting to debate each other on the material we were covering.  I wasn’t even in some of the conversations.  This rich…

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Supplier’s Reliability Responsibility

Supplier’s Reliability Responsibility

Adam / November 02, 2017

We, as developers, create designs that we call “our own.”  Rarely are the materials for our in-house manufacturing process raw steel, rubber, and glass, like Henry Ford had feed into the Ford factory in 1930. Our manufacturing process receives a mix of materials and fully functional sub assemblies from other technology companies. It’s unlikely the PCB electronic components, bearings, motors, gears, drivetrains, sensors, power supplies, harnesses are ours. Why would you design any of these with so many options available made by specialists?  This results in us having little input…

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The Vasa: An Engineering Disaster

The Vasa: An Engineering Disaster

Adam / October 18, 2017

The Vasa is a Swedish ship that was constructed between 1626 and 1628.  It is a great story of an engineering disaster,  well that’s how it is labeled. It doesn’t take too much investigation to see it is really a leadership disaster.

I saw the Vasa in beautifully restored condition at it’s museum in Stockholm Sweden.  It was retrieved from the ocean floor in 1961.   Amazingly after almost 300 years it was intact and well preserved in the freezing waters off Sweden.  This is it’s story… and warning!

The ship was commissioned by…

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My Favorite Reliability Phrases

My Favorite Reliability Phrases

Adam / September 20, 2017

I like the occasional good catchphrase.  I typically tend to speak in analogies and anecdotes and many of my customers and colleagues have suggested documenting them.  So on occasion, I will write them in my notebook.  Here are a few.

  1. Language is the tragedy of Reliability
  2. The “5 Why” root cause analysis works so well because it is intuitive.  Ever have a 4-year-old ask you about how something works?
  3. Bad data is like driving with a dirty windshield
  4. A completely clean data set is a fake data set
  5. Statistics is a language.  Take the time to learn the vocabulary
  6. Stress margin… Read More