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Publication Date: 2003
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
WHY THIS BOOK? Actually, the question stated above is best answered by another question: Why isn't the subject of reliability taught more often as a regular subject in more universities? Reliability is perhaps one of the better fields for engineering and applied math students to apply their academic background in practical ways. But as a number of writers have pointed out in some of the industry reliability newsletters over the years, many newly graduated engineers from U.S. universities seem to have had little exposure to the measure of reliability nor are they equipped to design components with reliability in mind. One of the reasons for this has been brought out by Professor Marvin Roush in his article "Reliability: Where Are the Universities?" (RAC Newsletter,September 1988). He states, "It is my premise that there are few university engineering faculty who would be comfortable teaching reliability considerations within their particular special discipline. With their limited knowledge about reliability, they would find it difficult to select homework problems and design problems which incorporate reliability, let alone grade the solutions." Reliability is occasionally offered as a basic course in either the applied mathematics or engineering curriculum in a number of U.S. universities. Sometimes it is listed as an elective, but it is rarely offered on a regular basis when listed in this manner in the college catalog. It appears that the ideal way to bridge this problem is to bring engineers from the reliability field to teach and develop textbooks that suitably discuss this subject. With this basic goal in mind, I undertook this book project--a reliability textbook that is suitable for teaching at the university level, as well as being a useful guide to engineers who confront reliability problems in their field of work. Hence, this is my answer to "Why this book?" Reliability engineering received a major boost as a distinct field in engineering when the U.S. space program took off during the 1960s. The government needed a program to ensure high reliability for components that are used in the space environment and this resulted in the birth of the reliability engineering field. Military programs followed suit shortly thereafter, and many reliability tasks were required to be performed and submitted formally as a data item to the customer on new aircraft programs. It is incredible to think that on some programs, such as the Grumman LEM program, there were over 100 engineers dedicated to performing many reliability-type tasks! In recent years, the number of military programs has declined significantly and reliability requirements have been relaxed, yet reliability remains a very important aspect of engineering. It still must be addressed in various ways for both military and commercial products. Poor reliability can still undermine a new product as well as adversely impact a company's reputation. In 1961, the classic bookReliability Theory and Practice(Prentice Hall) by Igor Bazovsky was published. This book provided the mathematical background for the basic aspect of reliability theory and has been used as an important reference by many reliability engineers during their careers. Since this classic book came out, a number of similar books have dealt with the numerical aspect of reliability theory. Unfortunately, several of the newer reliability books tend to get caught up with the bookkeeping tasks of describing methods to generate failure rate prediction values rather than exploring the thinking behind it. At the time of this writing, PRISM is one of the current prediction methods used for calculating individual component failure rate. The danger of tailoring a reliability book around a current prediction method is that methods are revised constantly and the book can be quickly outdated. Thus, the book in your hands will not spend an inordinate amouNeubeck, Ken is the author of 'Practical Reliability Analysis', published 2003 under ISBN 9780130420206 and ISBN 0130420204.