Reality Check: Dispelling Myths Surrounding Reliability

In the realm of manufacturing, navigating the landscape of myths and realities is crucial for informed decision-making. As industries strive for enhanced performance and efficiency, misconceptions surrounding reliability principles can inadvertently influence strategic choices. This article aims to shed light on common myths that pervade the reliability domain and provide an understanding of the corresponding realities. By debunking these myths, organizations can foster a culture of continuous improvement in their pursuit of operational excellence.

Higher Component Reliability Equals System Reliability:

  • Myth: Assuming that using highly reliable components will automatically result in a highly reliable overall system.
  • Reality: System reliability depends on various factors, including the integration of components, system design, maintenance practices, and environmental conditions.

Scheduled Maintenance Guarantees Reliability:

New Equipment is Inherently Reliable:

  • Myth: Assuming newly installed equipment will be free of reliability issues.
  • Reality: New equipment can still experience early failures or design flaws. Thorough testing, commissioning, and monitoring are essential.

Reliability is Solely an Engineering Issue:

  • Myth: Treating reliability as solely an engineering concern and neglecting the importance of organizational culture, training, and communication.
  • Reality: Reliability is a multidisciplinary effort that involves collaboration across engineering, operations, maintenance, and management.

More Redundancy Always Improves Reliability:

  • Myth: Believing that adding redundancy to systems or components will always enhance reliability.
  • Reality: While redundancy can improve reliability in some cases, it may introduce complexity and potential failure points. The design should consider the specific needs and risks of the system.

Reliability is a One-Time Effort:

  • Myth: Treating reliability improvement as a one-time project rather than an ongoing process.
  • Reality: Reliability is a continuous journey that requires constant monitoring, assessment, and improvement efforts.

Reliability Improvement is Expensive:

  • Myth: Reliability improvement is expensive and out of reach.
  • Reality: Investing in reliability strategies often yields significant cost savings by minimizing downtime, reducing scrap, and extending equipment lifespan. The long-term return on investment can be substantial, even for smaller operations.

Equipment Failures Just Happen:

  • Myth: Breakdowns are inevitable and unpredictable.
  • Reality: Modern technologies like condition monitoring and advanced analytics allow us to anticipate failures before they occur. By analyzing sensor data and identifying early warning signs, we can prevent downtime and schedule maintenance precisely when needed.

Focusing Only on Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF):

  • Myth: Solely relying on MTBF as a measure of reliability without considering other factors like maintenance time, repair time, and system availability.
  • Reality: A holistic approach considers various reliability metrics to gain a comprehensive understanding of system performance.

Overlooking Human Factors:

  • Myth: Neglecting the impact of human factors on reliability, such as training, communication, and human error prevention.
  • Reality: Human factors play a crucial role in reliability and addressing them is essential for improving overall system performance.

Dispelling the myths surrounding manufacturing reliability is not just an exercise in correcting misconceptions; it is a strategic imperative for organizations aspiring to achieve peak operational performance.


Allied Reliability provides asset management consulting and predictive maintenance solutions across the lifecycle of your production assets to deliver required throughput at lowest operating cost while managing asset risk. We do this by partnering with our clients, applying our proven asset management methodology, and leveraging decades of practitioner experience across more verticals than any other provider. Our asset management solutions include Consulting & Training, Condition-based Maintenance, Industrial Staffing, Electrical Services, and Machine Reliability.

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