Reliability is a very broad term that focuses on the ability
of a product to perform its intended function. Mathematically
speaking, reliability can be defined as the probability
that an item will perform its intended function without
failure for a specified period of time under stated conditions.
Performing a reliability analysis on a product or system
can actually include a number of different analyses to determine
how reliable the product or system is. Once these RAM analyses
have been made, it is possible to anticipate the effects
of design changes and corrections in order to improve reliability.
The different RAM analyses are all related, and examine
the reliability of the product or system from different
perspectives, in order to determine possible problems and
assist in analyzing corrections and improvements.
Why is reliability important?
There are several reasons why RAM analyses are important.
A few of the most common are mentioned below:
A company's reputation is very closely related to the reliability
of their products. The more reliable a product is, the more
likely the company is to have a favorable reputation.
* Warranty Costs.
If a product fails to perform its function within the warranty
period, the replacement and repair costs will negatively
affect profits, as well as gain unwanted negative attention.
Introducing RAM analyses could be an important step in taking
corrective action, ultimately leading to a product that
is more reliable.
* Future Business.
A concentrated effort towards improved reliability shows
existing customers that a manufacturer is serious about
their product, and committed to customer satisfaction. This
type of attitude has a positive impact on future business.
* Cost Analysis.
Manufacturers may take reliability data and combine it with
other cost information to illustrate the cost-effectiveness
of their products. This life cycle cost analysis can prove
that although the initial cost of their product might be
higher, the overall lifetime cost is lower than a competitor's
because their product requires fewer repairs or less maintenance.
more information: http://www.e-reliability.org/