Reliability: its implications in production systems design

D.J. Bennett, B.W. Jenney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research on production systems design has in recent years tended to concentrate on ‘software’ factors such as organisational aspects, work design, and the planning of the production operations. In contrast, relatively little attention has been paid to maximising the contributions made by fixed assets, particularly machines and equipment. However, as the cost of unproductive machine time has increased, reliability, particularly of machine tools, has become ever more important. Reliability theory and research has traditionally been based in the main on electrical and electronic equipment whereas mechanical devices, especially machine tools, have not received sufficiently objective treatment. A recently completed research project has considered the reliability of machine tools by taking sample surveys of purchasers, maintainers and manufacturers. Breakdown data were also collected from a number of engineering companies and analysed using both manual and computer techniques. Results obtained have provided an indication of those factors most likely to influence reliability and which in turn could lead to improved design and selection of machine tool systems. Statistical analysis of long-term field data has revealed patterns of trends of failure which could help in the design of more meaningful maintenance schemes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-440
Number of pages8
JournalOmega (Elsevier)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1980


  • production systems design
  • organisational aspects
  • work design
  • planning
  • production operations
  • fixed assets
  • machines
  • equipment
  • unproductive machine time
  • cost


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