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CRC Press

Six Sigma

Book: New Publication Describes the True Behavior of Failure

Practical Reliability Engineering and Analysis for System Design and Life-Cycle Sustainment

Published: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - 11:08

(CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL) — William Wessels wrote the new book, Practical Reliability Engineering and Analysis for System Design and Life-Cycle Sustainment (CRC Press, 2010), for practicing engineers and introduces the interference theory to applications for design-for-reliability. 

In today’s sophisticated world, reliability stands as the ultimate arbiter of quality. An understanding of reliability and the ultimate compromise of failure is essential for determining the value of most modern products and absolutely critical to others, large or small. Whether lives are dependent on the performance of a heat shield or a chip in a lab, random failure is never an acceptable outcome.

This book departs from the mainstream approach for time to failure-based reliability engineering and analysis. The book employs a far more analytical approach than those textbooks that rely on exponential probability distribution to characterize failure. Instead, the author, who has been a reliability engineer since 1970, focuses on those probability distributions that more accurately describe the true behavior of failure. He emphasizes failure that results from wear, while considering systems, the individual components within those systems, and the environmental forces exerted on them.

Dependable products are no accident: A clear path to the creation of consistently reliable products

Taking a step-by-step approach that is augmented with current tables to configure wear, load, distribution, and other essential factors, this book explores design elements required for reliability, and dependable systems integration and sustainment. It then discusses failure mechanisms, modes, and effects—as well as operator awareness and participation—and also delves into reliability failure modeling based on time-to-failure data considering a variety of approaches.

From there, the text demonstrates and then considers the advantages and disadvantages for the stress-strength analysis approach, including various phases of test simulation. Taking the practical approach still further, the author covers reliability-centered failure analysis, as well as condition-based and time-directed maintenance.

As a science, reliability was once considered the plaything of statisticians reporting on time-to-failure measurements, but in the hands of a practicing engineer, reliability is much more than the measure of an outcome; it is something to be achieved, something to quite purposely build into a system. Reliability analysis of mechanical design for structures and dynamic components demands a thorough field-seasoned approach that first looks to understand why a part fails, then learns how to fix it, and finally learns how to prevent its failing. Ultimately, reliability of mechanical design is based on the relationship between stress and strength over time. This book blends the common sense of lessons learned with mechanical engineering design and systems integration, with an eye toward sustainment. This is the stuff that enables organizations to achieve products valued for their world-class reliability.

William Wessels is a reliability engineer who serves as a principal research scientist in the reliability and failure analysis lab of the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH), and teaches reliability engineering on the faculty of the UAH Industrial & Systems Engineering Department. He earned his doctoral degree in industrial and systems engineering at the UAH in 1996. He earned his bachelor of science in engineering from the U.S. Military Academy in 1970. Wessels' research in failure mechanisms that form the basis for design-for-reliability and reliability-centered maintenance began in the mining industry in 1975 and continued with Space Station Freedom and U.S. Army missile and aviation programs. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and Society of Reliability Engineers. He is a registered professional engineer in mechanical engineering in Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Tudor, live on a small farm with seven dogs, ever changing numbers of horses, donkeys, goats, geese, turkeys, chickens, and who knows how many barn cats. The beasts ignore the findings of statistically rigorous algorithms, defy any statistical level of significance, behave in a random walk manner, and ridicule his expertise in analytical methods applied to them. 

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CRC Press

CRC Press is a premier global publisher of science, technology, and medical resources. It offers unique, trusted content by expert authors, spreading knowledge and promoting discovery worldwide. Its aim is to broaden thinking and advance understanding in the sciences, providing researchers, academics, professionals, and students with the tools they need to share ideas and realize their potential. CRC Press is a member of Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.