What Does a Reliability Manager Do?

Amy Rodriguez

A reliability manager ensures that a manufactured product retains its functionality through thorough tests during production. This managerial position also requires the worker to oversee and enhance manufacturing processes, as well as develop alternative plans in case of production machine failure, such as a failed electronic soldering machine. Defects that occur to the products in the field are also under the care of the reliability manager; he or she must examine the failure and secure a solution to prevent any further product issues.

Reliability managers should identify product issues before they reach the end of an assembly line.
Reliability managers should identify product issues before they reach the end of an assembly line.

One of the main duties of a reliability manager is devising production tests. A partially built product should be tested in a particular manner to find any defects before the item reaches the end of the assembly line. The manager implements and adjusts the tests as needed during a production run. He or she may work closely with the assembly line workers to ensure that all testing parameters are followed correctly.

The reliability manager must also keep the production machines working efficiently; any unexpected breakdowns can cause a large loss of profit for the company. He or she will construct a preventative maintenance plan for each machine, as well as train specific employees to implement the periodic service. Any unintended breakdowns must be examined and documented by the reliability manager to prevent any future issues.

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As technology expands, it is inevitable that a product will suffer from a defect in the field. The reliability manager must analyze and deduce reasons for the failure; he or she may even visit a customer and observe the failing product as it is used in the field. Typically, a failing device is replaced for the client while the manager keeps the defective unit. Defective products are normally disassembled and retested to detect the problem's cause. It is possible that the manager may have to implement a new production strategy for a portion of the line if a defect is found to be widespread.

Although the manager works mainly with colleagues and production machinery, interactions with customers are imperative to gain insight into their frustrations and needs. During a visit with a customer, the manager can ask strategic questions regarding typical use and limitations of the item. Many times, the customer will be pleased to give his or her input since many devices keep particular businesses profitable, such as measuring instruments in the surveying industry. A successful reliability manager will listen to the customer and try to implement any reasonable requests.

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