Modern engineering systems have become increasingly complex and at the same time are expected to be developed faster. To shorten the product development time, organizations commonly conduct accelerated testing on a small number of units to help identify failure modes and assess reliability. Many times design changes are made to mitigate or reduce the likelihood of such failure modes. Since failure-time data are often scarce in reliability growth programs, existing statistical approaches used for predicting the reliability of a system about to enter the field are faced with significant challenges. In this work, a statistical model is proposed to utilize degradation data for system reliability prediction in an accelerated reliability growth program. The model allows the components in the system to have multiple failure modes, each associated with a monotone stochastic degradation process. To take into account unit-to-unit variation, the random effects of degradation parameters are explicitly modeled. Moreover, a mean-degradation-stress relationship is introduced to quantify the effects of different accelerating variables on the degradation processes, and a copula function is utilized to model the dependency among different degradation processes. Both a maximum likelihood (ML) procedure and a Bayesian alternative are developed for parameter estimation in a two-stage process. A numerical study illustrates the use of the proposed model and identifies the cases where the Bayesian method is preferred and where it is better to use the ML alternative.
- accelerated testing
- multiple degradation processes
- random effects
- reliability growth
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Management Science and Operations Research