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This Is Not a Test
Keywords: Designing In Reliability, Cost Issues, Physics of Failure
For a program manager, resolving product acceptance or post-deployment problems is an unwelcome item on the daily to-do list. Potential issues include schedule delays, cost impacts, customer complaints, mission impacts, or even loss of life. How can program managers keep such unwelcome reliability issues off their to-do list? Today, Military, Aerospace, Space, and Homeland Defense/Security program managers, expect a high degree of due diligence from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that they are designing in reliability. OEMs may accomplish this task through their own proprietary engineering practices, contractual obligations, or industry standard requirements. Excessive testing of products after they are prototyped or built is not the answer. Reliability improvement and growth tests and the classic “test, analyze, and fix” concepts were commonplace in the eighties and early nineties. These methods did improve reliability; however, they also added cost and time. The ultimate process goal is to shift the focus during engineering and manufacturing development (E&MD) from ‘pass test' to ‘good design' prior to completion of the technology development phase (Figure 1). Recognizing that full operational testing or use in a field environment ultimately proves that products operate as specified, could working in a collaborative systems engineering environment verify that reliability has been designed into the product? Could this collaborative environment that focuses on Design for Reliability (DfR) also reduce life cycle cost and minimize schedule delays? This presentation will review the background associated with poor weapon system reliability , and summarize the importance and cost benefits of designing in reliability early in the life cycle. The briefing will re-introduce a collaborative systems engineering process that could be used to design in reliability. OEM's of electronic products today typically own their designs. They are responsible for the performance and reliability. They have to ensure that their products will perform as specified over a required period of time and when used under normal or expected operating conditions. Memorandum for Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics), June 30, 2010. Downloaded on March 8, 2011 from Defense Acquisition Portal – (Policy)
Walt Tomczykowski, VP Business Development
DfR Solutions
College Park, MD

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