Computer simulation for quality and reliability engineering


  • Stewart Robinson,

    1. Operations and Information Management Group, Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, B4 7ET, U.K.
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    • Stewart Robinson lectures in Operations and Information Management at the Aston Business School in Birmingham, United Kingdom. He was previously employed in simulation consultancy, offering simulation services to companies throughout Europe and the rest of the world. McGraw-Hill have recently published his book Successful Simulation, a practical guide to simulation projects. His research interests are in finding ways to improve the use of simulation within industry, and he has recently received an award from the Operational Research Society for his work.

  • Neil Higton

    1. Paragon Simulation, Paragon House, Milford Road, Harborne, Birmingham, B17 9RL, U.K.
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    • Neil Higton works for Paragon Simulation, supplying business-oriented simulation solutions and training to manufacturing and service sector companies. He first worked as a production engineer for a large UK automotive company. Since obtaining an MSc in Operational Research in 1985 from the University of Birmingham he has concentrated on simulation consultancy. Recently he has been involved in developing techniqeus to improve the quality of simulation projects and broaden the applicability of simulation in the business environment.


Computer simulation has been used widely in many industries for many applications. A simulation model mimics a real world system, enabling an investigation of its operation. More recently simulation models have incorporated a visual display and interactive features to aid understanding and enhance the investigation. Computer simulation has many potential uses in quality and reliability engineering, for instance, modelling equipment failures, quality control strategies, maintenance requirements and operational logistics. A case study shows how simulation has been used to study the throughput, flexibility and robustness of a manufacturing plant design. Alternative simulation software packages are briefly discussed.