Research Papers: Design Automation

System Reliability Analysis With Dependent Component Failures During Early Design Stage—A Feasibility Study

[+] Author and Article Information
Yao Cheng

Department of Mechanical
and Aerospace Engineering,
Missouri University of Science and Technology,
258A Toomey Hall,
400 West 13th Street,
Rolla, MO 65409-0500
e-mail: ycbm7@mst.edu

Xiaoping Du

Department of Mechanical
and Aerospace Engineering,
Missouri University of Science and Technology,
272 Toomey Hall,
400 West 13th Street,
Rolla, MO 65409-0500
e-mail: dux@mst.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Design Automation Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received May 8, 2015; final manuscript received October 15, 2015; published online April 6, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Nam H. Kim.

J. Mech. Des 138(5), 051405 (Apr 06, 2016) (12 pages) Paper No: MD-15-1360; doi: 10.1115/1.4031906 History: Received May 08, 2015; Revised October 15, 2015

It is desirable to predict product reliability accurately in the early design stage, but the lack of information usually leads to the use of independent component failure assumption. This assumption makes the system reliability prediction much easier, but may produce large errors since component failures are usually dependent after the components are put into use within a mechanical system. The bounds of the system reliability can be estimated, but are usually wide. The wide reliability bounds make it difficult to make decisions in evaluating and selecting design concepts, during the early design stage. This work demonstrates the feasibility of considering dependent component failures during the early design stage with a new methodology that makes the system reliability bounds much narrower. The following situation is addressed: the reliability of each component and the distribution of its load are known, but the dependence between component failures is unknown. With a physics-based approach, an optimization model is established so that narrow bounds of the system reliability can be generated. Three examples demonstrate that it is possible to produce narrower system reliability bounds than the traditional reliability bounds, thereby better assisting decision making during the early design stage.

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Fig. 2

A speed reducer system

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Fig. 3

System reliability bounds of two designs

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Fig. 4

Simplified free-body diagram of component i

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Fig. 5

Three different components sharing same load

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Fig. 6

Simplified free-body diagram of component 1

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Fig. 7

Bounds of probabilities of system failure

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Fig. 8

Bounds of probabilities of system failure

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Fig. 9

Two components sharing different loads

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Fig. 10

Simplified free-body diagrams of design concept 1

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Fig. 11

Simplified free-body diagrams of design concept 2

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Fig. 12

Bounds of probabilities of system failure




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