Weibull and Reliability/Failure Time Analysis - Introductory Overview

A key aspect of product quality is product reliability. A number of specialized techniques have been developed to quantify reliability and to estimate the "life expectancy" of a product. The methods described below, and accessible via the Weibull analysis and reliability/failure time analysis facilities from the Process Analysis Procedures Startup Panel, provide the full set of relevant tools for this purpose. Standard references and textbooks describing these techniques include Lawless (1982), Nelson (1990), Lee (1980, 1992), and Dodson (1994); the relevant functions of the Weibull distribution (hazard, CDF, reliability) are also described in the Weibull CDF, reliability, and hazard functions section. Note that very similar statistical procedures are used in the analysis of survival data (see also the description of the Survival Analysis module), and, for example, the descriptions in Lee's book (Lee, 1992) are primarily addressed to biomedical research applications. An excellent overview with many examples of engineering applications is provided by Dodson (1994).

General Purpose