Terms and Definitions

Many terms and definitions are used in the area of reliability engineering. Some of the commonly used terms and definitions are as follows [25-27]:

  • Reliability. This is the probability that an item will perform its assigned task satisfactorily for the stated time period when used under the specified conditions.
  • Mean time to failure (i.e., for the exponential distribution). This is the sum

of the operating time of given items divided by the total number of failures.

  • Mission time. This is the time during which an item is carrying out its specified mission.
  • Failure. This is the inability of an item to function within the specified guidelines.
  • Useful life. This is the length of time an item functions within an acceptable level of failure rate.
  • Downtime. This is the time period during which the item is not in a condition to conduct its stated function.
  • Redundancy. This is the existence of more than one means for accomplishing a stated function.
  • Human reliability. This is the probability of completing a task/job successfully by humans at any required stage in the system operation within a stated minimum time limit (if the time requirement is specified).
  • Active redundancy. This is a type of redundancy when all redundant items are functioning simultaneously.
  • Human error. This is the failure to perform a given task (or the performance of a forbidden action) that could lead to disruption of scheduled operations or result in damage to equipment/property.
  • Availability. This is the probability that an item/system is available for application or use when required.
  • Maintainability. This is the probability that a failed item will be repaired to its satisfactorily operating state.

Useful Sources for Obtaining Information on Reliability

There are many different sources to obtain reliability-related information. They may be classified under various different categories. Four such categories are as follows:

  • Category I: Agencies
  • • Reliability Analysis Center, Rome Air Development Center (RADC), Griffiss Air Force Base, New York, NY 13441-5700
  • • System Reliability Service, Safety and Reliability Directorate, UKAEA, Wigshaw Lane, Culcheth, Warrington, WA3 4NE, UK.
  • • Government Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP), GIDEP Operations Center, US Department of Navy, Naval Weapons Station, Seal Beach Corona, CA 91720
  • • National Technical Information Center (NTIS), 5285 Port Royal Road. Springfield, VA 22151
  • • American National Standards Institute (ANSI), 11 W. 42nd St., New York. NY 10036
  • • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Reliability Information Center, George C Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL 35812
  • • Defense Technical Information Center, DTIC-FDAC, 8725 John J. Kingman Road, Suite 0944, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6218
  • • Technical Services Department, American Society for Quality Control, 611 W. Wisconsin Ave.. PO Box 3005, Milwaukee, WI 53201-3005
  • • Space Documentation Service, European Space Agency, Via Galileo Galilei, Frascati 00044, Italy
  • Category II: Journals
  • IEEE Transactions on Reliability, jointly published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the American Society for Quality Control (ASQC) five times a year.
  • Reliability, Quality, and Safety Engineering, published by the World Scientific Publishing company four times a year.
  • Quality and Reliability Engineering, published by John Wiley and Sons four times a year.
  • Quality and Reliability Management, published by MCB University Press several times a year.
  • Microelectronics and Reliability, published by Pergamon Press 12 times a year.
  • Reliability Review, published by the Reliability Division of ASQC four times a year.
  • Reliability Engineering and System Safety, published by Elsevier Science Publishers several times a year.
  • Category III: Conference Proceedings
  • Proceedings of the Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium (US)
  • Proceedings of the ISSAT International Conference on Reliability and Quality in Design (US)
  • Proceedings of the Annual Reliability Engineering Conference for the Electric Power Industry’ (US)
  • Proceedings of the European Conference on Safety and Reliability (Europe)
  • Proceedings of the International Conference on Reliability, Maintainability, and Safety (China)
  • Proceedings of the International Conference on Reliability and Exploitation of Computer Systems (Poland)
  • Category IV: Books
  • • Shooman, M.L., Probabilistic Reliability: An Engineering Approach, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New' York, 1968.
  • • Pierce, W.H., Failure-Tolerant Computer Design, Academic Press, New York, 1965.
  • • Wilcox, R.H., Redundancy Techniques for Computing Systems, Spartan Books, New York, 1962.
  • • Billinton, R., Power System Reliability Evaluation, Gordon and Breach New York, 1970.
  • • Cox, R.F., Walter, M.H., editors, Offshore Safety and Reliability, Elsevier Applied Science, London, 1991.
  • • Dhillon, B.S., Computer System Reliability: Safety and Usability, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 2013.
  • • Dhillon, B.S., Mining Equipment Reliability, Maintainability, and Safety, Springer-Verlag, London, 2008.
  • • Dhillon, B.S., Safety and Reliability in the Oil and Gas Industry’: A Practical Approach, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 2016.
  • • Dhillon, B.S., Power System Reliability, Safety’, and Management, Ann Arbor Science Publishers, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1983.
  • • Guy, G.B., editor, Reliability on the Move: Safety and Reliability in Transportation, Elsevier Applied Science, London, 1989.
  • • Dhillon, B.S., Transportation Systems Reliability’ and Safety, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 2011.
  • • Dhillon, B.S., Robot System Reliability and Safety: A Modern Approach, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 2015.
  • • Dhilon, B.S., Medical Device Reliability and Associated Areas, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 2000.
  • • Dhillon, B.S., Design Reliability: Fundamentals and Applications, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 1999.
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