“You'll notice we don't have a moderator.  We're not sure if it's because they decided we didn't need one or because it wouldn't do any good.”

~ Ed West

Tony Frisch and Ed West are running a workshop on reliability.  West opens up with explaining the concept of reliability.  It's an important aspect of the business because after installing a new component and system, it has to make a return on the investment.  Unfortunately, every system at some point experiences failure.  To prepare for that, the owner will prepare ahead of time.

Through a number of graphs and equations, Frisch and West examine the reliability of different components and what an owner should focus on to prepare for failures. Sometimes with surprising results.

“The more expensive a component is, the more likely it is to fail,” Frisch said.

West is presenting a few methods for prepping for failures:

“One Spare of Everything”:  This is the simplest approach.  It doesn't take into account the different failure rates

Confidence Level: West shows a calculation that makes a call on which components are more likely to need replacement.

Mean Time to Repair: A more complicated calculation suggesting components requiring replacement.



For a purchaser, failure cost money, but too many spares cost money too.  It's best to consider the whole network. They could improve things by monitoring supplier performance and test return units.

For the suppliers, failure also cost money because it effects return business.