Blueprints for Product Reliability - Part 1 - Defining Reliability Programs
The RIAC "Blueprints for Product Reliability" are a series of documents published by the Reliability Information Analysis Center (RIAC) to provide insight into, and guidance in applying, sound reliability practices. The RIAC is the Information Analysis Center chartered to be a centralized source of data, information and expertise in the subjects of reliability, maintainability and quality. While sponsored by the US Department of Defense (DoD), RIAC's charter addresses both military and commercial communities with the requirement to disseminate guidance information in these subjects. The Blueprints serve to provide information on those approaches to planning and implementing effective reliability programs based on experience, lessons learned, and state-of-the-art techniques. To make the Blueprints as useful as possible, the approaches and procedures are based on the best practices used by commercial industry and on the concepts documented in many of the now-rescinded military standards. The tree shown in Figure 1 depicts the Blueprints that make up the series (the shaded second tier box indicates this Blueprint).
In the government sector, and in particular the DoD, significant changes have been made regarding the acquisition of new products. Previously, by imposing standards and specifications, a DoD customer would require contractors to use certain analytical tools and methods, perform specific tests in a prescribed manner, use components from an approved list, and so forth. Current policy emphasizes the use of commercial technology as well as specifying "performance-based" requirements only, with suppliers left to determine how to best achieve them.
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