Reliability is an important performance parameter often referred to subjectively in terms such as “high reliability” but seldom measured or verified. This results from one or both of the following reasons:
○ Measurement of reliability occurs over a long time span. Measuring reliability in the user environment can require months or years of operating history; whereas, acceleration, turning radius, and other performance parameters can be measured with a short term controlled experiment. Without immediate results, diligence in data monitoring often deteriorates until data value is questionable.
○ There is a false notion that complex statistical techniques are necessary to make useable estimates of reliability levels and patterns.
A process is proposed in this paper whereby users, distributors, or manufacturers can quantitatively measure reliability in the user environment. This would form a basis for the communication of factual information about reliability between the user and manufacturer. Key elements of this process are: control of information, simplicity of calculations, and action based on results of the reliability measurement.