Questions from the Member Meeting 2023

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Q: Is their a formal Split between Reliability at Facilities and Manufacturing Sites  versus a more HW/SW Focus on Electronic Systems?

a. Usually not a split-usually the same tools and emphasis (and people) work on both- well, they all report to one Reliability middle manager.

b. HW/SW reliability testing for electronic systems is somewhat (some would say VERY) different. Hardware reliability is increased with accelerated Life testing while SW reliability is (usually) tested with different input scenarios to identify code errors. Given the complexity of a code, this is usually done “bottoms up” – i.e. lowest subroutines first, then combined slowly to see what errors arise in the software.

Some excellent references for Software Reliability testing are:

Handbook of software reliability engineering = free download 

The Art of Software Testing

Finally… Reliable Software!: A practical approach to design for reliability


Q: How do you de-risk SW? (curious…)

Software FMEA and LOTS of testing (see above).


Q:  What do u think is the most widely used reliability tool in the tech industry?

Oh, picking one is tough, depends on the product and industry…. Top 3 (in my opinion): FMEA, Fault Tree Analysis, Accelerated Life testing (no particular order)


Q: Are FMEAs run differently for software development vs mechanical systems?

Obviously, in both cases you are testing, but depending on the complexity of the code, the software FMEA could be VERY large., same as with a total module (e.g. SSME High pressure pump FMEA is hundreds of pages long). But in general terms Software FMEAs are huge (if done correctly). Above references can also help with this.


Q: In terms of risk mitigation – FMEA, reliability testing or HALT?

Accelerated Life Testing. Big pointer is think what you want to test, get the real life use cases. Accelerate on a proper way (do not overstress too much) 


Q: what do you suggest for reliability testing?

See above, ALT is usually the best and least expensive, OK, there are exceptions, but ALT is the most used. HALT is often used as we all know in electronics, but can fool you if you’re not careful. I recommend always staying within the parameters of the design when ALT testing.

An excellent resource to get a head start:

Handbook for Robustness Validation of Automotive Electrical/Electronic Modules


Q: Do we get an RU for this meeting?

Yes, If you attended, you should already received RU in email.


Q: It was mentioned in one of the seminars that there is a monthly ASQ meeting I think on Thursdays.

These are the segment calls – these are attended by the Chair and Chair-elect or an appointed member by the Chair or Chair-elect.

The ASQ RRD meetings are free to attend (at least one per quarter) just reach out to if interested. 



Big thanks to Jim Breneman for helping me answering these questions.

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