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Practical reliability engineering (5th ed.)
O’Connor P., Kleyner A., Wiley Publishing, Hoboken, NJ, 2012. 512 pp. Type: Book (978-0-470979-81-5)
Date Reviewed: Aug 20 2012

Reliability is a part of many technical university curricula due to the fact that we live in a world of demanding devices and applications upon which our businesses and lives frequently depend. Therefore, a good textbook related to this topic is always welcome, and this one is a classic. It is the fifth edition of O’Connor and Kleyner’s work. The number of editions is often taken as a positive sign of quality, and here that is justified.

The book is about 500 pages long and contains 17 chapters, six appendices, and an index. Each chapter has its own short section of questions and a related bibliography. Chapter 1 introduces the context and basic notions. Chapter 2 refreshes the fundamentals of probability theory, and most important definitions for the mathematical reliability theory are given. The topic is extended to life data analysis in the next chapter. Monte Carlo simulation of reliability parameters is covered in chapter 4, while the analysis of load impact on reliability is shown in chapter 5. Chapter 6 introduces a very important practical issue: reliability prediction and modeling. Additionally, formal modeling methods such as reliability block diagrams, fault trees, and Petri nets are discussed. The next chapter deals with the impact of design decisions on the output reliability of a product. The subsequent three chapters present reliability problems in three different fields: mechanics, electronics, and software design. Then, the book returns to mathematical problems. In chapter 11, the authors elaborate on analysis of variance as used in relation to reliability experiments. Then, three conceptually related chapters cover reliability testing, analysis of gathered data, and reliability demonstration. Chapter 15 presents the influence of the manufacturing process on the output reliability. Chapter 16 deals with types of repair processes, that is, with appropriate measures (availability) and notions of various types of maintenance. The core of the book ends with a chapter on structured reliability management. The appendices provide some typical mathematical data (distributions, for example) that can be useful.

Ten years have elapsed since the previous edition, so there are some updates (on Monte Carlo simulation, reliability prediction models, accelerated test data analysis, warranty data, and reliability demonstration methods). The questions and reference lists have been refreshed. The reference to software tools that can be used for calculating different reliability parameters is the most important new feature. Readers can also go to the book’s Web page to download some slides.

Readers will not be overwhelmed with mathematics, yet important theoretical data is given and well explained. The authors focus on the understanding of ideas. To some extent, the book can be compared to [1], or at least its section on reliability, but the latter is strictly aimed at computing or networking readers. Here, that is not the case, as a more general context is provided. Apart from presenting in a thorough way various basics of reliability theory and engineering, the book also provides information on electronic and software reliability.

Reviewer:  Piotr Cholda Review #: CR140521 (1301-0003)
1) Trivedi, K. Probability and statistics with reliability, queuing, and computer science applications (2nd ed.). John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, NY, 2004.
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