Communications in RMSL, pp. 25-30, January 1996.

Framework for an Objective and Process Based Reliability Program Standard

A. Malhotra, General Motors, Warren, USA;
A. Strange, British Aerospace, London, UK;
L. Condra, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, Seattle, USA;
I. Knowles, Ministry of Defence, London, UK;
T. Stadterman, U.S. Army, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, USA;
J. I. Boivin, United Technologies Automotive, USA;
A. Walton, United Technologies Automotive, USA;
M. Jackson, CALCE/EPRC, University of Maryland, USA


Before the Second World War, both civil and military products were usually mechanical or electro-mechanical, and reliability was conceived in terms of useful or safe life. The classic definition of reliability, "the ability of an item to perform a required function under stated conditions for a stated period of time", led designers to use well proven principles to calculate reliability and lifetimes for given service conditions. Conservative safety factors (or design margins) were applied, often on an empirical basis.

The reliability of military electronic equipment in the 1950s was a cause for concern, and resulted in the formation of the Advisory Group for Reliability of Electronic Equipment (AGREE). AGREE recommended that a reliability program, including a series of tasks, be required by contract. This program would, by incorporating lessons learned and current technology, embody the best available practices in reliability engineering.

Complete article is available to CALCE Consortium Members.

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