Objectives of the Book
Reliability, maintenance, and maintainability (henceforth denoted R&M) are important
in nearly every endeavor that deals with engineered and manufactured
goods. Thus the number of areas of application is very large, and the number of specific
applications is virtually endless. The cases presented in this book illustrate the
range of applications. Reliability applications include consumer goods (a motorcycle,
an automobile, a DVD player), commercial goods (a photocopier), software, infrastructure
(an underground gas pipeline, a system of dikes), aerospace (a space interferometer,
a missile system), construction (cladding for buildings), and so forth.
Maintenance applications include plant maintenance, aircraft engines, and mining
equipment, to name a few.
In addition, reliability overlaps many disciplines, and both researchers and practitioners
come from many backgrounds. As a result, reliability and maintenance are
considered from different perspectives, some relatively narrow and some quite
broad and inclusive. Disciplines involved in the study of R&M issues include all
fields of engineering (aerospace, automotive, civil, electrical, mechanical, etc.), materials
science, probability, statistics, operations analysis, marketing, management,
and so forth, as well as application specific disciplines.
There is a vast literature on reliability, maintainability, and maintenance, including
many thousands of articles and a large number of books. Most early books on
reliability dealt mainly with the theoretical aspects, focusing on concepts, tools, and
techniques. With few exceptions, the examples given in these and many later books
are often contrived or based on simulated data, or both. Furthermore, when real data
are used, there is typically very little discussion of its origin, on the one hand, or of
the broader implications of the results (e.g., engineering design, business management,
economic), on the other. As is often the case, therefore, there exists a considerable
gap between theory and applications.
One of the key objectives of this book is to attempt