Applying forgotten lessons in field reliability data analysis to performance-based support contracts

Assumptions used in field reliability data analysis may be seldom made explicit or questioned in practice, yet these assumptions affect how engineering managers develop metrics for use in long-term support contracts. To address this issue, this article describes a procedure to avoid the pitfalls in employing the results of field data analysis for repairable items. The procedure is then implemented with the aid of a simplified example based on a real case study in defense avionics, and is streamlined so that the computations can be replicated in other applications.