Dealing adequately with technical uncertainties

Statistics, RAMS & Quality Management
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MTBF calculation according to established standards
  What does MTBF mean
  How do MTBF calculations work
  MTBF calculations according to standards
  Cost of MTBF calculations

The working principle of MTBF calculations is described here.

The only publicly available mechanical MTBF calculation standard is NSWC-11 (National Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, 2011). Since this special standard addresses only dedicated military shipboard equipment, it has literally no importance for mechanical components in general.
For electronic equipment however, the analyst can chose between the following standards:
The list is ordered with respect to recognition in Europe. Mil-HDBK-217 is the most popular standard in Europe, followed by Telcordia.
These two standards however are the most common ones
even on global level.

Each of these standards have unique advantages and disadvantages. The failure rates on component level across standards can be terribly different even for the same component type.
Sometimes the analyst has a real choice and can therefore identify the best suitable standard from an engineering viewpoint.
In most cases however the analyst must use those standards mandated by customers, authorities, political interests and conventions of the particular industry.

The following statements generally apply:
Many more statements could be made depending on component types

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