Publication Date


Series Number

Preprint #95-7


- Today’s manufacturers face increasingly intense global competition. To remain profitable, they are challenged to design, develop, test, and manufacture high reliability products in ever-shorter product-cycle times and, at the same time, remain within stringent cost constraints. Design, manufacturing, and reliability engineers have developed an impressive array of tools for producing reliable products. These tools will continue to be important. However, due to changes in way that new productconcepts are being developed and brought to market, there is need for changes in the usual methods used for design-for-reliability and reliability testing, assessment, and improvement programs. This tutorial uses a conceptual degradation-based reliability model to describe the role of, and need for, integration of reliability data sources. These sources include accelerated degradation testing, accelerated life testing (for materials and components), accelerated multifactor robust-design experiments and over-stress prototype testing (for subsystems and systems), and the use of field data (especially early-production) to produce a robust, high-reliability product and to provide a process for continuing improvement of reliability of existing & future products. Manufacturers need to develop economical & timely methods of obtaining, at each step of the product design & development process, the information needed to meet overall reliability goals. We emphasize the need for intensive, effective upstream testing of product materials, components, and design concepts.


This preprint was published as William Q. Meeker and Michael Hamada, "Statistical Tools for the Rapid Development & Evaluation of High-Reliability Products", IEEE Transactions on Reliability (1995): 187-198, doi: 10.1109/24.387370.