Reliability vs. Quality
Tuesday 4/6/10 time 3:06 PM - Andy
The first thing that comes into mind is that of course, product reliability is only one aspect of quality, thus it should be taken care of by the quality system and quality department.
I have a controversial opinion about this: Reliability engineers should identify themselves with product engineers and designers, not so much with the quality bureocrats.
Reliability engineering supports the actual design of a product or a system and 'Reliability people' must have an engineering background, which is not a requirement with the quality people.
In my experience, very seldom 'quality people' want to participate in reliability engineering analyses or activities. Not saying if it's good or bad but that's the way it has been.
My advice to a newly appointed reliability engineer: start hanging around with top designers and maintenance engineers and less with quality people!
A good starting point for a successful career in reliability engineering is our course on 'Reliability Engineering Basics', which gives a concentrated view of the reliability engineering terms, methods and calculation formulas.
If you want to find the proper connection between reliability and quality, the RMS (Risk Management Systems) course introduces generic risk management tools and procedures, which have proven useful in high requirement system development.
4/8/10 12:25 PM Andy
Clarification: In high requirement system development it is recommended to use the term 'Product Assurance', which includes many useful procedures to eliminate so called systematic failures. These procedures are not so obvious when reading the ISO 9000 standards but they have been as standard practise for example in space technology projects.