Robust Design for Reliability

24 September 2009

An ENBIS/GMMC workshop This workshop will focus on design principles and systematic methods to reduce failures and thereby improve reliability as experienced by the users. Unreliability is not only a problem for the users – also the producers suffer. Failures reduce company profitability through call-backs, warranty costs and bad image. The workshop will be composed of six presentations given by experts in the field. The target audience will primarily be industry practitioners.

Robust Design for Reliability

Summary


No product, production process, or service exists, which always performs as intended. This is obvious in daily life when experiencing failures of automobiles, mobile phones, computers, and public services.
This workshop will focus on design principles and systematic methods to reduce failures and thereby improve reliability as experienced by the users. Unreliability is not only a problem for the users – also the producers suffer. Failures reduce company profitability through call-backs, warranty costs and bad image.
Differently from most reliability work, in this workshop we wish to highlight the study of variation and uncertainty as a basis for reliability. Here Robust Design Methodology plays a central role.
The conventional strategy for reliability improvement work has been to utilise feedback from testing and from field usage to understand important failure mechanisms and then, in the future, try to find engineering solutions avoiding or reducing the impact from these mechanisms. Based on past experiences it has also been the practice to perform predictions of future reliability performance in order to spot weak points and subsequently make improvements with respect to these weaknesses already in early stages of the design. However, the conventional reliability improvement strategy has some limitations, as it requires feedback from usage or from expensive reliability testing.
Furthermore, it is fully applicable only in later stages of product development, when already much of the design is frozen and changes determine high costs.
Thus, as a complement, there is a need for a more proactive approach.
The aim of this workshop is to indicate some paths towards such an approach based on relations between failure occurrence, variation and uncertainty.
The workshop will be composed of six presentations given by experts in the field. The target audience will primarily be industry practitioners.
Secondarily, we aim at having PhD students and researchers in the field who are interested to network and share their insights. However the talks will be kept at a moderate level of complexity and for and a full demonstration of how the methods are applied in the real field will always be provided.