Reliability of Systems

Reliability testing is essential in providing detailed reliability data that is collected under conditions that are carefully controlled and closely monitored. The reliability tests can be designed to help unearth certain suspected failure modes or other arising problems. The types of reliability testing keep on changing depending on the lifecycle of the product. The goal of testing throughout the lifecycle of the product is to ensure that data from all or majority of these tests are gained under similar conditions to allow direct comparison of product’s reliability characteristics at different points in the product’s life. The life cycle test can take either the form of success-run or test-to-failure approach. The results from these tests help in pointing out the design weakness or evaluate performance at extreme operating conditions.  The two methods also assist in the determination of frequency and severity of different failure modes, formats and mechanism (Bialocerkowski & Bragge, 2008).

The following steps may be applied to test the product reliability:

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  1. Data collection from the inputs of Failure modes effects analysis (FMEA).
  2. Determination of critical failure mechanisms
  3. Coming up with test objectives
  4. Choosing the test acceleration models
  5. Come up with a test plan based on either success-run or test-to failure approach
  6. Develop test automation
  7. Carry out the test
  8. Perform the calculations
  9. Write the report

In an electronic production company, the analytical process using the FMEA requires the consideration of respective functional block and determining how it can fail or the failure modes. The effects of these failure modes are determined as well as their severity on system operation. The likelihood of occurrence is then determined and used also as the criterion of detecting the failure. Then the risk priority number (RPN) is calculated by multiplying the severity by occurrence and by detection. The corrective actions are then outlined. The RPN is then rebased after the correction action has been put into place. The overall aim is to reduce the risk priority number (Kleyner & Sandborn, 2008).

The above calculations are only helpful if action is taken. The aim of developing a product is to satisfy the customer needs. The benefits accrued from the feedback acquired from the calculation results include ensuring a longer predicted life, reducing the number of failures in the field, lowering warranty costs, and helping to maintain better customer relations.

One of the most common drawbacks of suing backups is the ignorance on the complexity of the restoration process. This is because the process is not frequently used. Another issue arises during the actual process of backing up. Data is created every day and thus this process has to be monitored and dealt with daily. This creates the urge to reduce the increasing speed of the backups thereby minimizing the amount of data being backed up (Shin & Milkman, 2016).


Bialocerkowski, A., & Bragge, P. (2008). Measurement Error and Reliability Testing. International Journal of Therapy and Rebabilitation, Vol 15, No 10.

Kleyner, A., & Sandborn, P. (2007). Minimizing Life Cycle Cost by Managing Product Reliability via Validation Plan and Warrany Return Cost. International Journal of Production Economics.

Shin, J., & Milkman, K. (2016). How Backup Plans can Harm Goal Pursuit. Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes, 1-9.

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