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Forum: Reliability & Maintainability Questions and Answers

Topic: Reliability & Maintainability Questions and Answers

Topic Posted by: Reliability & Maintainability Forum ( )
Organization: System Reliability Center
Date Posted: Mon Aug 31 12:47:36 US/Eastern 1998

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Posted by: Ben Dangerfield ( )
Organization:Site Inspection Systems
Date posted: Thu Jun 14 20:20:25 US/Eastern 2001
Subject: Codes and Standards
Would someone please bring me up to date on the status of the Reliability and Maintainability Standards. I need to know what is being used in specifications in lieu of Mil-Std 785, 781 and 470 and 471. Thanks if anybody can steer me to the latest update on that I would appreciate it.


Subject: Codes and Standards
Reply Posted by: Ned Criscimagna ( )
Organization: RAC
Date Posted: Fri Jun 15 10:14:12 US/Eastern 2001
Although a military standard might have been canceled by the DoD, that does mean it is no longer useful. Much of the information is not time sensitive. Many organizations are still using canceled military standards or internal documents based on the canceled DoD standards. Some of the standards have been converted to handbooks are still current DoD documents. At the same time, many organizations have become aware of the various national (US, foreign government, and professional groups) and international organizations that develop and publish standards on reliability and maintainability. The IEC has by far the greatest number of R&M (actually R&M are considered subsets of dependability within the IEC TC56) standards and guides. You must purchase all commercial standards (i.e., IEC, IEEE, SAE, etc.). The IEC standards are relatively expensive, ranging from $50 to over $200. Foreign government standards might be obtainable free of charge or nominal fee on a case-by-case basis. As for specifications, DoD organizations cannot and do not mandate the use of any R&M standardization documents in Requests for Proposal. They may be referenced but are for information purposes only. When they are referenced, those most frequently cited are the active military handbooks. Commercial organizations vary greatly in this respect. Some have no reliability requirements. Others do but do not mandate specific standards. Still others do cite standards. In those cases, I think itís fair to say that no one source of R&M standards (i.e., IEC, SAE, etc.) dominates. My recommendation for a developing/buying organization is to establish well-defined quantitative and measurable requirements as part of the specification and allow the prospective suppliers to explain how they plan to meet the requirements (i.e., what testing will they conduct, what analysis will they perform, what standards they will use, etc.). The RAC published a document titled Reliability & Maintainability Standards, PRIM-97. Although some of the information is now dated, it is still a useful document for understanding who is involved in R&M standardization and the types of documents available. You can get more information on this publication from the RAC web site at I am sending you more detailed information on R&M standardization by E-mail.

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