Soon-Bok Lee, Asaf Katz, and Craig Hillman
CALCE Electronic Products and Systems Center
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD 20742
Failures are often due to a complex set of stochastic interactions between the loads that act on a product and the various elements (design, components, materials, software, human interface) that comprise the product. Preventing failures by understanding and improving product quality and reliability are sometimes hindered by the misapplication of important terminology. The intent of this article is to reduce this miscommunication by defining some of the key vocabulary in the field of quality and reliability and explaining their appropriate use and misuse.
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