Originally Posted by Dennis mn
Byron, I believe Floyd is correct, in my career as a maintenance engineer, I learned of the "bath tub curve". New stuff suffers from infant mortality issues. As time passes, reliability increases until some unknown point of time, at that point reliability begins to go away. I have had more equipment failures due to infant mortality than at the other end of the curve! This is why I make it a habit of buying two year old cars.
The bath tub curve is a 40 year old concept. It hasn't been taught or written about in any technical journals or magazines that I know of for at 40 years. After the early rocket failures things changed. Quality standards changed a whole lot. Manufacturing practices have changed and a more consistent product is the result. More consistent product results in less early failures. More failed products are better analyzed than in the past which results in improved product. Heavy competition results in better product, manufacturers can't afford many failures for several reasons.
After 45 years in manufacturing I've witnessed and been part of the change. This concept applies across the board from Televisions to Alternators. In the 50s you could expect to get more 75,000 miles of use out an automobile, now we're upset if can't get 300,000 miles of use. Truck are expected to get 1,000,000 miles. Changes have happened.