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What are the uses of reliability prediction?
Reliability predictions provide a quantitative basis for evaluating product reliability. The information a reliability prediction gives can be used to guide your design decisions throughout the development cycle.

- Feasibility Study: When an initial design concept is proposed, a reliability prediction can give you an idea of the feasibility of the design as far as reliability is concerned. Even though these early stage predictions are based on limited design information, and thus are approximate at best, they can give direction to your design decisions; many of these early design decisions may be critical to the success of the product. In addition, it can really pay to discover potential problems early, on paper, before time and money is spent on detailed design and development.

- Compare Design Alternatives: As your design moves through the early stages into more detailed design, you will make many decisions on design alternatives. Reliability predictions, along with other factors such as performance and cost, can be used as a basis for your decisions.

- Find Likely Problem Spots: At the detailed design level, reliability predictions can help you identify likely problem areas. The predicted failure rates will point you to parts, or part groups, which are high contributors to the product failure rate; these problem areas can then be addressed and improved.

- Trade-Off System Design Factors: There are many factors that determine the overall value of a product; functional performance, cost, size, weight, reliability, and other parameters must all be integrated for a successful design. The design process will thus involve many trade-offs among these factors; reliability predictions can offer a quantitative measure of reliability to guide your trade-off decisions.

- Track Reliability Improvement: As you progress through the design, reliability predictions can offer evidence of improving reliability, allowing designers, management, and customers to track progress toward reliability goals.

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