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RAM without S?

RAM without S?

RAM without S?

I'm about to start a new roll as Reliability Engineer in an Automotive/Defence company.
They told me that they don't think that Safety is needed but as far as I know, safety is part of the Reliability Engineer work.
Waht do you think?

RE: RAM without S?

Watch your spelling, and wait until your first paycheck clears before you start arguing with them.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: RAM without S?

Why is that? Can you please help me understand and convince them that they wrong?

RE: RAM without S?

So far you've convinced me that they are wrong for hiring you, so don't be surprised when they shuffle you out the door.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: RAM without S?

I’m really trying to understand what do you mean

RE: RAM without S?

Impossible to know without knowing your specific industry culture. Some examples:

Commercial industry here in Aus calls people who do RCA, RCM, FMECA, spares, LCC, reliability engineers.
Defence calls these people ILS/logistics engineers.

Commercial industry calls people who do condition monitoring, risk based maintenance, condition assessment asset integrity engineers.
Defence often calls these reliability engineers.

In Defence industry here in Aus, RAM, being RCA, RCM, FMECA, LCC, logistics, data analysis or anything of this nature is usually stand alone. They do not usually do safety engineering, this is conducted by specialist system
safety engineers, who then conduct safety cases, quantitative risk assessment, HAZOP, etc that a reliability engineer probably would not normally perform. They often specialise in a particular regulatory system and are familiar with the specific safety requirements of it.

It depends on whether you are working in product development and manufacture or asset management.

Yes, you are correct in saying that RAM is often inextricably linked with S, and you are correct saying that RAM can't often function without S. The point being what the title is and what the person does depends on the industry and company. Without you telling us what you are doing it is hard to judge.

As a final note: It should also be noted that reliability and safety are two distinct concepts and are not the same thing - see the work of Nancy Leveson for more on this.

RE: RAM without S?

Hi Ramseng,
thank you so much for this info, this is what I was looking for...
In my workplace we build light tactical Vehicles/Trucks for the defence (Army) industry and we integrate all kind of products in it., some of them are weapons and so.
I believe that, to my opinion, these types of products, must have "S" in it asa part of the role of Reliability engineer.
Do you agree?

RE: RAM without S?


you'd be wrong.

In such systems, reliability is subordinate to safety, as safety encompasses much more than reliability aspects, such as ballistic shock survival, crash shock, etc., as well as mundane things like sharp edges, door hinges, etc. Reliability impact on safety is a tiny portion of the safety/hazard analysis.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: RAM without S?

Pretty much agree with IRstuff - as a RAM engineer in this context I'd expect you to be more focussed on reliability modelling, prediction, maintainability analysis, perhaps logistic support development and so on with a safety engineer involved at a different stage; doing HAZOP, writing the safety case, PRA, or whatever other methodology is used (STAMP, Due Diligence Approach) etc. Like I said above, IME in the defence industry they are always separate functions.

Is your concern that the company has no safety engineering involvement at all? If not, and that it is just separate from RAM engineering, I'm not really sure what your concern is, safety and reliability are distinct for good reason: they often conflict with each other. Here is a pertinent example:

Quote (Safety Engineering)

Perhaps there is a need to design a Humvee with a rocket launcher attached. The reliability engineer could make a good case for installing launch switches all over the vehicle, making it very likely someone can reach one and launch the rocket. The safety engineer could make an equally compelling case for putting only two switches at opposite ends of the vehicle which must both be thrown to launch the rocket, thus ensuring the likelihood of an inadvertent launch was small. An additional irony is that it is unlikely that the two engineers can reconcile their differences, in which case a manager who does not understand the technology could choose one design over the other based on other criteria, like cost of manufacturing.

Likewise, the view of safety as a system property highlights this difference

Quote (Leveson)

Safety and reliability are different properties. One does not imply nor require the other—a system can be reliable and unsafe or safe and unreliable. In some cases, the two system properties are conflicting, i.e., making the system safer may decrease reliability and enhancing reliability may decrease safety.

If they have no safety engineering involved at all, then that is a concern, but it would be a better an argument to hire a specialist safety engineer that is familiar with the product field and any acceptance/regulatory requirements required.

RE: RAM without S?

Gack, I don't fault you, but New World Encyclopedia example is TERRIBLE.

A rocket launcher would need some sort of guidance/aiming controls, so only the person with the target acquisition system would ever be allowed to fire the rocket. A more germane use case would be that there be multiple interlocks to prevent accidental launching of the rocket, and how to insure that they're reliable would be a valid point. A rocket launcher is an extremely lethal device, and no engineer would ever propose that some random passenger in the vehicle could be allowed to launch the rocket to points unknown.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: RAM without S?


It sounds like you have been hired into a large organization, and you have been slotted into a pre-defined roll (role -- now you have me doing it!). Probably, there is someone else in there who is responsible for safety. The safety person will be interested in you making sure things to do not break.

Your original post is poorly formatted and it contains two spelling mistakes. You are not making a good first impression with us. We are not the ones who will fire you, but it pays to be in the habit of communicating correctly. Someone, somewhere is trying to decide if you are up to the job.


RE: RAM without S?

I’m Sorry for writing with mistakes, it happens...
I work in my company for more than 10 years and I was on this role 6 years ago but for a very few months, as a part of me learning the Reliability job.
Now, they want me back to this role and that’s why I am asking you this question.
Many thanks for all of your answers, it sure made me realized and understand that Safety must be part of my job.
Thank you all.

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