Brief History of Engineering Reliability Analysis

Development of engineering reliability analysis started with the desire for prod­uct quality control in manufacturing engineering three-quarters of a century ago (Shewart, 1931). World War II considerably accelerated its advancement. During the war, over 60 percent of airborne equipment shipped to the Far East arrived damaged. About half the spares and equipment in storage became un­serviceable before use. Mean service time before requiring repair or replace­ment for bomber electronics was less than 20 hours. The cost of repair and maintenance exceeded 10 times the original cost of procurement. About two — thirds of radio vacuum tubes in communications devices failed. In response to the high failure rates and damage to military airborne and electronic equip­ment, the U. S. Joint Army-Navy Committees on Parts Standards and on Vac­uum Tube Development were established in June 1943 to improve military equipment reliability. However, when the Korean War began, about 70 percent of Navy electronic equipment did not function properly. In 1950, the U. S. Department of Defense (DOD) established an Ad Hoc Group on Reliability that was upgraded in November 1952 as the Advisory Group on the Reliability of Electronic Equipment (AGREE) to monitor and promote military-related reli­ability evaluation and analysis.

Meanwhile, the civilian-side activities on reliability engineering also became active in aeronautical engineering (Tye, 1944) and in communications. In 1949-1953, Bell Laboratories and Vitro Laboratories investigated the relia­bility of communications electronic parts. Carhart (1953) conducted an early state-of-the-art study of reliability engineering. He divided the reliability prob­lems into five groups, namely, electronics, vacuum tubes, other components, system personnel, and organization. He listed seven factors that determined the worth of manufactured systems: (1) performance capacity, (2) reliability, (3) accuracy, (4) vulnerability, (5) operability, (6) maintainability, and (7) procur­ability. In 1953, RCA established the first civilian-organized industrial reliabil­ity program.

Contributions to reliability engineering through development of missiles be­gan with a DOD project to General Dynamics in 1954. Bell Aircraft Corporation issued the first industrial reliability handbook (LeVan, 1957). In the following decades, reliability engineering played important roles in aerospace and air­craft engineering.

Henney (1956) edited the first commercial reliability book. Chorafas (1960) published a textbook combining statistics with reliability engineering. More comprehensive textbooks on reliability related to manufacturing engineering started to appear in the early 1960s (Bazovsky, 1961; Calabro, 1962). The first reliability engineering course was offered in 1963 by Kececioglu at the Uni­versity of Arizona. In 1955, the Institute of Radio Engineers [IRE, now the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)] initiated the Reliabil­ity and Quality Control Society, and in 1978, IEEE established its Reliability Society.

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the Soci­ety of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) initiated the Annual Reliability and Maintainability Con­ferences in 1962. It became the Annual Symposium on Reliability in 1966 and Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium in 1972, the year that the Society of Reliability Engineers was founded at Buffalo, New York.

Beyond manufacture-related reliability engineering, on the infrastructural side, Freudenthal (1947, 1956) was among the first to develop reliability anal­ysis for structural engineering. Public attention on the safety of nuclear power plants and earthquake hazards has provoked significant development on re­liability engineering for infrastructures, leading to publication of a series of comprehensive textbooks on the subject (Benjamin and Cornell, 1970; Ang and Tang, 1975, 1984; Yao, 1985; Madsen et al., 1986; Marek et al., 1995; Harr, 1996; Ayyub and McCuen, 1997; Kottagoda and Rosso, 1997; Melchers, 1999; Haldar and Mahadevan, 2000).

Updated: 11 ноября, 2015 — 12:17 пп