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What is a Reliability Engineer & the Role They Play

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A Reliability Engineer is one of the most sought-after professions in the pharmaceutical/biologics sector and is essential for the successful operation of manufacturing facilities. With the help of a Reliability Engineer, our clients can make sure that their equipment is efficient and durable to ensure patient safety. In the pharmaceutical/biologics sectors, reliability and efficiency are key factors determining a company’s success. Production is halted when machinery and processes fail and costly repairs become necessary. 

In this context, the role of a Reliability Engineer is crucial in ensuring that manufacturing facilities operate as intended and that equipment is maintained to minimise the risk of downtime. Becoming a Reliability Engineer could be your career choice if you want to make a difference in engineering and product development. In this article, we will explore the role of a LotusWorks Reliability Engineer and the positive impact they make across LotusWorks client sites.

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What is a Reliability Engineer?

The primary role of a Reliability Engineer is to identify and manage asset reliability risks that could adversely affect facility manufacturing processes. A Reliability Engineer is an expert who specialises in ensuring that machinery and methods are reliable and efficient. Reliability Engineers are responsible for developing strategies to prevent failures and minimise facility downtime. 

Reliability Engineers work closely with maintenance teams to design and implement maintenance plans, monitor equipment performance, and identify potential issues before they become significant problems. A Reliability Engineer is also involved in developing new equipment and processes to improve reliability and efficiency in manufacturing facilities.

In recent years, there has been a significant shift in how the commissioning of new facilities is approached. The following are the main reasons:

Key Responsibilities of a Reliability Engineer

  • Developing and implementing maintenance strategies to prevent equipment failures.
  • A Reliability Engineer provides leadership, direction and guidance in developing, communicating and managing Reliability Improvement Programs.
  • Managing and supporting asset improvement and reliability initiatives from concept to implementation and reporting on achieved outcomes.
  • Monitoring equipment performance and analysing data to identify potential issues.
  • Collaborating with maintenance teams to design and implement maintenance plans.
  • Conducting failure analysis: When a product or system fails, the reliability engineer is responsible for investigating the cause and determining how to prevent it from happening again. This can involve analyzing data, conducting experiments, and consulting other experts to develop solutions.
  • Performing and supporting Root Cause Failure Analysis and troubleshooting for recurring technical failures. Conducting risk assessments to identify potential failure modes.
  • Administering predictive maintenance program through non-destructive testing methods Performing life cycle asset management, including new asset integration, asset preservation, and retirement of assets.
  • Developing and implementing reliability-centered maintenance (RCM) programs.
  • Developing and implementing condition-based maintenance (CBM) programs.
  • Participating in developing new equipment and processes to improve reliability and efficiency.

The Importance of a Reliability Engineer in the Pharmaceutical / Biologics

The role of a Reliability Engineer is crucial in ensuring that manufacturing facilities operate smoothly, and that equipment is maintained to minimise the risk of facility downtime. A Reliability Engineer can help to:

  • Improve equipment reliability and efficiency
  • Reduce maintenance costs
  • Minimise downtime and production losses
  • Increase equipment lifespan
  • Improve safety and environmental performance
  • Ensure compliance with regulations and standards

Benefits of Working with a Reliable Reliability Engineering Partner

One of the key factors in ensuring reliability and efficiency is having a reliable and strategic partner of choice to provide engineering services. LotusWorks is a leading provider of expert engineering and technical solutions in this field, with extensive experience and expertise in a wide range of sectors. Working with LotusWorks’ expert reliability teams can provide numerous benefits, including:

  • Access to expert engineers with extensive experience in reliability engineering
  • Improved Equipment Reliability: A reliable reliability engineering partner can help improve equipment reliability by implementing robust maintenance programs and using data analytics to identify potential issues before they become critical problems.
  • Reduced Downtime: By improving equipment reliability, businesses can reduce downtime caused by unexpected equipment failures, which can result in lost production time and revenue.
  • Cost Savings: A reliable reliability engineering partner can help identify cost-saving opportunities by optimizing maintenance programs and implementing solutions that improve production efficiency and reduce energy consumption.
  • Compliance: In regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals, working with a reliable reliability engineering partner can help ensure compliance with industry regulations and standards, reducing the risk of fines or other penalties.
  • Expertise: A reliable reliability engineering partner brings specialised expertise and experience to businesses, providing access to the latest technologies and best practices to improve equipment reliability and optimize production efficiency.
  • Improved Safety: By reducing the risk of equipment failures, businesses can improve safety in the workplace, reducing the risk of injuries or accidents.
  • Focus on Core Business: By outsourcing reliability engineering services, businesses can focus on their core business operations while leaving the maintenance and reliability of the equipment to experts.
Reliability-engineers

How to become a Reliability Engineer

  • Obtain a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, or industrial engineering. LotusWorks may also accept degrees in related fields, such as physics or computer science.
  • Gain experience in the industry. Look for internships or entry-level positions in the field of reliability engineering. Working with experienced reliability engineers can provide valuable mentorship and training.
  • Consider obtaining additional certifications or training. Some certifications that are relevant to reliability engineering include Certified Reliability Engineer (CRE) and Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP).
  • Develop a strong understanding of reliability engineering concepts, such as failure analysis, risk assessment, and reliability modelling. Stay up-to-date with the latest industry developments and emerging technologies.
  • Apply for reliability engineer positions at LotusWorks and be prepared to demonstrate your expertise and experience during interviews. Highlight your education, certifications, and relevant work experience, and be sure to familiarize yourself with LotusWorks’ specific needs and requirements for reliability engineers.

Conclusion

The role of Reliability Engineering is vital in ensuring the smooth operation of manufacturing facilities and the optimisation of equipment performance. LotusWorks can provide extensive expertise and customised solutions through a partnership approach to help manufacturing and mission-critical facilities in the pharmaceutical / biologics sector maximise reliability, efficiency, and safety.
Reliability engineers can minimize downtime and reduce maintenance costs by working closlely with maintenance teams and utilising state-of-the-art technology. Overall, the importance of reliability engineering in industrial processes cannot be overstated, and with the right partner, companies can achieve sustainable success and stay competitive in their respective industries.

If you would like to learn more about joining the LotusWorks team, you can click here.

Frequently Asked Questions about Reliability Engineering

A: The main objective of reliability engineering is to ensure that a system or product operates consistently and dependably over time. Reliability engineering is a multidisciplinary field that combines principles of engineering, mathematics, and statistics to design, develop, and maintain systems that meet or exceed performance and safety requirements.

Reliability engineering seeks to minimize the likelihood of failure and downtime in a system or product, while maximizing its availability, maintainability, and safety. This involves identifying potential failure modes and their root causes, evaluating the impact of failures on the system or product, and implementing measures to prevent or mitigate failures.

The ultimate goal of reliability engineering is to improve the overall quality and performance of systems and products, while reducing costs and increasing efficiency.

A: A bachelor’s degree in engineering or equivalent qualification is usually required, with a focus on reliability, maintenance, or a related field. Additional certifications, such as Certified Reliability Engineer (CRE), can also be helpful.

RCM is a method of developing maintenance strategies based on the reliability characteristics of equipment. It involves identifying potential failure modes, developing strategies to prevent or mitigate them, and determining the most effective maintenance approach.

CBM is a maintenance approach that uses real-time monitoring data to determine when maintenance is required.

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