Reliability Growth Planning Its Concept, Applications, and Challenges

Tongdan Jin
Tongdan Jin is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering at Texas State University. Prior to the academia, he held a reliability engineer position for five years at Teradyne Inc. He obtained the Ph.D. in Industrial & Systems Engineering from Rutgers University. His research interests include system reliability modeling and optimization, design for reliability in Six Sigma, and system more


Reliability growth planning (RGP) is emerging as a promising technique to address the reliability challenges arising from the distributed manufacturing environment. Unlike RGT (reliability growth testing), RGP drives the reliability growth of new products by spanning the product's lifecycle from design, prototyping, manufacturing, to field use. It is a lifetime commitment to the product reliability via systematic failure analysis, rigorous corrective actions, and cost-effective financial investment. RGP has shown to be very effective, particularly in new product introductions under the fast time-to-market requirement.The RGP process will be introduced based on the three-phase product lifecycle: 1) design for reliability during early product development; 2) accelerated lifetime testing and corrective actions in pilot line stage; and 3) continuous reliability improvement following the volume shipment. Trade-offs among reliability investment, warranty cost reduction, and customer satisfactions will be investigated from the perspective of the manufacturer and the customer. Reliability growth tools such as Crow/AMSAA, Pareto graphs, failure mode run chart, FIT (failure-in-time), and FMECA will be reviewed and their roles in the GRP process will be discussed and demonstrated. Case studies drawn from electronics equipment industry will be used to demonstrate the RGP applications and justify its benefits as well.In parallel with the RGP, efforts have been devoted to developing optimal preventative maintenance programs, either time-based or usage-based strategies. Recently, CBM (condition based maintenance) is showing a great potential to achieve just-in-time maintenance or zero-downtime equipment. RGP and maintenance strategies share a common objective, i.e. achieving high system reliability and availability. In this presentation, optimal maintenance policies will be devised in the context of system reliability growth.

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