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Modelling and managing reliability growth during the engineering design process

Walls, Lesley and Quigley, J.L. (2010) Modelling and managing reliability growth during the engineering design process. In: 2nd International Conference on Design Engineering and Science - ICDES2010, 2010-11-17 - 2010-11-19. (Unpublished)

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[This is a keynote speech presented at the 2nd International Conference on Design Engineering and Science, discussing modelling and managing reliability growth during the engineering process.] Reliability is vital for safe and efficient operation of systems. Decisions about the configuration and selection of parts within a system, and the development activities to prove the chosen design, will influence the inherent reliability. Modelling provides a mechanism for explicating the relationship between the engineering activities and the statistical measures of reliability so that useful estimates of reliability can be obtained. Reliability modelling should be aligned to support the decisions taken during design and development. We examine why and how a reliability growth model can be structured, the type of data required and available to populate them, the selection of relevant summary measures, the process for updating estimates and feeding back into design to support planning decisions. The modelling process described is informed by our theoretical background in management science and our practical experience of working with UK industry.