Tag Archives: life

Life Data Analysis with only 2 Failures

Life Data Analysis with only 2 Failures

Here’s a common problem. You have been tasked to peer into the future to predict when the next failure will occur.

Predictions are tough.

One way to approach this problem is to do a little analysis of the history of failures of the commonest or system. The problem looms larger when you have only two observed failures from the population of systems in questions.

While you can fit a straight line to two failures and account for all the systems that operated without failure, it is not very satisfactory. It is at best a crude estimate.

Let’s not consider calculating MTBF. That would not provide useful information as regular reader already know. So what can you do given just two failures to create a meaningful estimate of future failures? Let’s explore a couple of options. Continue reading Life Data Analysis with only 2 Failures

What should we use instead of MTBF?

Giving a presentation last week and asked if anyone uses an 85/85 type test, and a couple indicated they did. I then asked why?

The response was – just because. We have always done it, or it’s a standard, or customers expected it. The most honest response was ‘I don’t know’.

They why is the test being done? Who is using the information for a decision? What is the Continue reading What should we use instead of MTBF?

The language we use matters

During RAMS this year, Wayne Nelson made the point that language matters. One specific example was the substitution of ‘convincing’ for ‘statistically significant’ in an effort to clearly convey the ability of a test result to sway the reader. As in, ‘the test data clearly demonstrates…’

As reliability professionals let’s say what we mean in a clear and unambiguous manner.

As you may suspect, this topic is related to MTBF. Simply saying Continue reading The language we use matters

Do not want equipment failures

I am a rock climber. Climbing relies on skill, strength, knowledge, a bit of luck, and good gear. Falling is a part of the sport and with the right gear the sport is safe.

I do not know, nor want to know, the MTBF (or MTTF) of any of my climbing gear. Not even sure this information would be available. And, all of the gear I use does have a finite chance of failing every time the equipment is in use. Part of my confidence is the that probability of failure is really low. Continue reading Do not want equipment failures