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About this book

This book shows how to build in, evaluate, and demonstrate reliability and availability of components, equipment, systems. It presents the state-of-the-art of reliability engineering, both in theory and practice, and is based on the author's more than 30 years experience in this field, half in industry and half as Professor of Reliability Engineering at the ETH, Zurich. The structure of the book allows rapid access to practical results. This final edition extend and replace all previous editions. New are, in particular, a strategy to mitigate incomplete coverage, a comprehensive introduction to human reliability with design guidelines and new models, and a refinement of reliability allocation, design guidelines for maintainability, and concepts related to regenerative stochastic processes. The set of problems for homework has been extended. Methods & tools are given in a way that they can be tailored to cover different reliability requirement levels and be used for safety analysis. Because of the Appendices A6 - A8, the book is also self contained from a mathematical point of view, and can be used as a text book or as a desktop reference, with a large number of tables (60), figures (190), and examples (210 of which 70 as problems for homework) to support the practical aspects.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Basic Concepts, Quality and Reliability (RAMS) Assurance of Complex Equipment and Systems

Considering that complex equipment and systems are generally repairable, contain redundancy and must be safe, the term reliability appears often for reliability, maintainability, availability & safety. RAMS (in brackets) is used to point out this wherever necessary in the text. The purpose of reliability (RAMS) engineering is to develop methods and tools to evaluate and demonstrate reliability, maintainability, availability, and safety of components, equipment & systems, as well as to support development and production engineers in building in these characteristics.
Alessandro Birolini

Chapter 2. Reliability Analysis During the Design Phase (Nonrepairable Elements up to System Failure)

Reliability analysis during the design and development of complex components, equipment, and systems is important to detect and eliminate reliability weaknesses as early as possible and to perform comparative studies. Such an investigation includes failure rate and failure mode analysis, verification of the adherence to design guidelines, and cooperation in design reviews.
Alessandro Birolini

Chapter 3. Qualification Tests for Components and Assemblies

Components, materials, and assemblies have a great impact on the quality and reliability of the equipment and systems in which they are used. Their selection and qualification has to be considered with care by new technologies or important redesigns, on a case-by-case basis. Besides cost and availability on the market, important selection criteria are intended application, technology, quality, long-term behavior of relevant parameters, and reliability.
Alessandro Birolini

Chapter 4. Maintainability Analysis

At equipment and systems level, maintainability has a great influence on reliability and availability. This holds, in particular, if redundancy has been implemented and redundant parts can be repaired (restored) on line, i. e., without interruption of operation at system level. Maintainability is thus an important parameter in the optimization of reliability, availability, and life-cycle cost. Achieving high maintainability in complex equipment and systems requires appropriate activities which must be started early in the design & development phase and be coordinated by a maintenance concept. To this concept belong failure detection & localization (built-in tests), partitioning of equipment and systems into (as far as possible) independent line replaceable units, and logistic support.
Alessandro Birolini

Chapter 5. Design Guidelines for Reliability, Maintainability, and Software Quality

Reliability, maintainability, and software quality have to be built into complex equipment and systems during the design and development phase. This has to be supported by analytical investigations (Chaps. 2, 4, 6) as well as by design guidelines and tests (Chaps. 5, 3, 7, 8). Developing design guidelines demands practical experience and engineering feeling. Adherence to such guidelines limits the influence of those aspects which can invalidate the models assumed for analytical investigations, and improve the inherent reliability, maintainability, and safety of both hardware & software. Each industry producing equipment and systems with high reliability (RAMS) requirements is aware of the necessity for such guidelines.
Alessandro Birolini

Chapter 6. Reliability & Availability of Repairable Systems

Reliability and availability analysis of repairable systems is generally performed using stochastic processes, including Markov, semi-Markov, and semi-regenerative processes. A comprehensive introduction to these processes is in Appendix A7 with reliability applications in mind.
Alessandro Birolini

Chapter 7. Statistical Quality Control and Reliability Tests

Statistical quality control and reliability tests are performed to estimate or demonstrate quality and reliability characteristics on the basis of data collected from sampling tests.
Alessandro Birolini

Chapter 8. Quality & Reliability (RAMS) Assurance During the Production Phase (Basic Considerations)

Reliability (RAMS) assurance has to be continued during the production phase, coordinated with other quality assurance activities. In particular, for monitoring and controlling production processes, item configuration, in-process and final tests, screening procedures, and collection, analysis & correction of defects and failures.
Alessandro Birolini


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