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Prevalence of Reliability Engineering in Different Industries

Prevalence of Reliability Engineering in Different Industries

Prevalence of Reliability Engineering in Different Industries

(OP)
I am wondering how much reliability engineering (or RAMS) is employed in the different industries.

I work in the automotive industry and reliability engineers seem to be a rare breed.

However in other sectors such as transport, process and aerospace (non-manufacturing sectors) there seems to be much more credit given to the reliability engineering profession and it appears to me to be more wide spread.

What are your experiences of the uptake and use of this profession in the various industries?

RE: Prevalence of Reliability Engineering in Different Industries

I have been in reliability and mechanical for 20 years.

Reliability is most specialized in companies that have government contracts. Reliability by itself is expensive and hard to fund. Therefore it gets lumped into the general engineering pool. That is to say the reliability is done by any engineer that needs it done.

That being said, most engineers know next to nothing about Reliability engineering and how much it can improve the product.

At Lockheed Martin on a $4B contract there were 4 of us on the primary contract and one at each of the subcontractors, 20, and 3 for the customer. So that makes about 27. Or about 1% of the total employees.

RE: Prevalence of Reliability Engineering in Different Industries

I'm also in the aerospace arena, and yes, reliability engineers are rare, but that's actually a good thing. If there were lots of them and they were busy, it would be indicative a poor reliability or massive production quantities, neither of which are specific to aerospace. Semiconductor manufacturers used to have relatively sizable failure analysis groups, since production quantities are large, and reliability issues are more obvious because of that.

TTFN
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RE: Prevalence of Reliability Engineering in Different Industries

bobo, I'm surprised to read your comment that reliability engineers are rare in your automotive industry. As an outsider to that industry, I had an opinion that reliability was king, with many engineers good at statistics calculating the exact 100,000 mile failure point in order to save 25 cents. No?

Darrell Hambley P.E.
SENTEK Engineering, LLC

RE: Prevalence of Reliability Engineering in Different Industries

Components are often subbed out, so it's the contractors that have to meet certain levels of reliability. Overall, on a given program, there may be dozens of engineers responsible for reliability, but probably only one at any given company.

TTFN
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