Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS)

It is a myth that reliability is a totally mathematical concept which applies only to large military projects. A reliability study is worthwhile for most manufactured electronic and mechanical products, and is often a requirement in projects concerned with serious safety risks.

The implementation of a reliability assessment or modelling programme has clear advantages to both product developers and customers. Such a programme can assess a design early in the development cycle and identify areas that require special attention to meet reliability targets. Knowing your product's level of reliability will impact on the development process, production requirements, product testing and maintenance policy.

Reliability, maintainability and availability can be summarised by the term dependability. The goal is to manufacture a product that is dependable, available for use when required, rarely fails when in use, and when it does fail is easily repaired.

In some industry sectors, the catch-all term RAMS is used to describe this area. This emphasizes the important interrelation between Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety. The elements of RAMS are:

Reliability: are your company's goods and services dependable? Do they have a low rate of failure? Nothing damages an organisation more than a low level of reliability, no matter what industry you are in.

Availability: do your company's goods and services perform when called upon? This clearly has health and safety implications.

Maintainability: can your goods and services be easily maintained to correct defects and meet new requirements?

Safety: do your goods and services fit standards of safety when encountering both outside forces and internal breakdown?

Edworthy Business Management Consultants offer assistance to your organisation in assessing reliability in general and following the RAMS programme through our Reliability Analysis training.

For a free-of-charge fact-finding and advice meeting, please contact us on +44 (0)1435 830 195 or at