We are developing a new product. It uses off the shelf components in ways that differ from typical usage, so it is hard to get accurate information about component life. Because the design is still being refined, we will not be building and testing multiples for a while. Is this too early in the game to estimate life and reliability, which we know we need to improve due to failures of earlier prototypes? Is there a recommended approach to reliability and life estimates when a design is immature?
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