Traditionally, the way to test a product's reliability was to build it--and then try to break it. As systems and technologies improved, TAAF (Test, Analyze and Fix) methodologies were developed and adopted. In today's global economy, with its short, technologically-intense product life cycles, TAAF cannot suffice. Reliability can no longer be a step or a series of steps in product development; it is something that needs to be acknowledged up front and built into the product from its very conception. Reliability, in other words, must be 'designed in.'
Product developers now have many tools--software and hardware--at their disposal for building reliability in from the get go. From the organizational point of view, what better way to design in reliability than to make designers themselves responsible for the reliability of their designs? As Mike Silverman explains in How Reliable is Your Product?, this is why the role of the reliability engineer is changing to one of mentor. Product developers are now responsible for going out and finding the best testing tools and then training the designers on their use, so that designers factor and build in reliability at every stage of product design.
Mike has focused on reliability throughout his 25-year career, and has observed the position of reliability in the organization evolve. In this book, he condenses his expertise and experience into a volume of immense practical worth to the engineering and engineering management communities including designers, manufacturing engineers and reliability/quality engineers.
Among other things, Mike discusses how reliability fits, or should fit, within the product design cycle. He provides a high-level overview of reliability techniques available to engineers today. He lucidly discusses the design of experiments and the role of failure management. With case studies and narratives from personal experience, Mike discusses optimal ways to utilize different reliability techniques. He highlights common errors of judgment, missteps and sub-optimal decisions that are often made within organizations on the path to total reliability.
With How Reliable is Your Product? Mike Silverman has delivered what few have done before--a comprehensive yet succinct overview of the field of reliability engineering and testing. Engineers and engineering managers will find much in this book of immediate, practical value.