4Reliability Growth Planning

4.1 Introduction

Reliability growth planning (RGP) aims to identify and eliminate critical failure modes during the design, manufacturing, and use of a new product. It consists of two processes: reliability growth test (RGT) and latent failure elimination (LFE). RGT is applied in the early development phase while LFE is implemented in volume production. Recently, a growing number of firms start to bundle the product with aftersales services by offering a lifecycle reliability growth program under performance‐based maintenance. Therefore it is desirable to re‐examine the conventional reliability growth strategy and develop new methodologies to meet the changing business environment. This chapter presents a lifecycle reliability growth methodology with which corrective actions (CAs) are integrated into product development, volume production, and field use. We investigate the interactions between the reliability testing time and CA effectiveness in two aspects. First, an optimal reliability growth testing model is presented to minimize the failure rate in the product development phase. Second, the reliability growth initiative is further extended to the after‐sales market by continuously forecasting and eliminating latent failures via CAs. A case study is provided to demonstrate the application of the life-cycle reliability growth program to meet the time‐to‐market requirement.

4.2 Classification of Failures

Failures of a system can be classified into ...

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