In engineering, there is a non-stop process that begins at the conceptual phase of the facility design and proceeds through every stage of the facility lifecycle. It involves several distinct tools and technologies throughout the process.
Despite the popularity of this discipline known as reliability engineering that has been steadily increasing over the years, with over 250 million search results on Google alone, not many companies realize its role and impact on their businesses.
As stated in Dr. Kiran’s book “Total Quality Management,” reliability engineering is a discipline that applies scientific knowledge to plants, products, components, or processes to make sure that they execute their functions properly without fail within a certain amount of time and environment.
Meanwhile, according to Michael Deighton, this engineering discipline pays particular attention to the expenses of failure that is caused by system downtime. These expenses include the fees for spare components, repair, and overhaul of equipment, as well as warranty for both products and staff.
Fundamentally, reliability engineering focuses on removing the requirements for maintenance. It makes use of technical analysis to obtain a reliable and improved maintenance task. Additionally, by utilizing a formalized problem-solving method, it enhances system uptime and productive capability of the equipment.
What are the critical aspects of reliability engineering?
There are several essential areas covered by this discipline, which include:
- The implementation of concepts, such as reliability-centered maintenance and total productive maintenance
- The capacity to head multi-disciplinary groups
- The development and application of proactive maintenance and repair plans to remove the maintenance requirements, reduce usage and expenses of predictive maintenance and preventive maintenance, as well as accomplish a higher level of integrated asset management
- The application of current knowledge involving methods for compliance, predictive, and analytical technologies, all of which can introduce new merits to the company
- Continuously optimizes predictions of reliability and creates reliability test strategy throughout the development stage
What are the roles of reliability engineers?
Aside from getting involved in the maintenance and repair economic assessment investments, the primary role of reliability engineers is maintenance prevention or MP. The main objective of MP is to minimize the maintenance fees and degradation losses of new supplies while obtaining efficient transitions with the least amount of labor and a steady workload.
Besides, they need to devise and apply proactive methods to prolong the machinery’s lifespan with the use of analysis, such as failed-part analysis or root-cause failure analysis. They also need to adapt concepts such as total productive maintenance and reliability-centered maintenance to the working condition.
When it comes to pieces of equipment, these professionals need to give specifications for brand new or remade equipment. Moreover, they need to adjust and optimize the lifecycle expenses of the equipment by utilizing the life cycle costing analysis. They also have to devise analysis and strategy for the replacement of essential hardware and some other assets.
Reliability engineering helps companies to identify and handle risks that may significantly affect the entire operation of the plants or businesses. With the essential know-how on asset lifecycle management, preventive and predictive maintenance, elimination of loss, and adaptation of reliability concept, reliability engineering adds excellent value to the companies.