In a follow up to a previous article, CUI’s VP of Application Engineering and Motion Control, Jeff Smoot, takes a second look at MTBF (mean time between failures) and what it means for products composed of multiple components in this blog post published on EDN Europe.
The article begins, “In considering reliability in an earlier blog we focused on the term MTBF (mean time between failures) to understand what it attempts to measure. Hopefully what readers took away from this discussion was an appreciation that the life expectancy of a component is not directly tied to its MTBF value, but rather the MTBF parameter provides us with a probability for how long that component might continue to operate and can really only be used to assess the comparative reliability of products.”
He continues the blog by demonstrating that at the system level, reliability is very much determined by the weakest component in a particular application. However, he notes that determining reliability is not always an easy proposition and must be analyzed with a consistent approach and the ability to correctly interpret the reliability data available.