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Accelerated testing and predicted useful lifetime of medical electronics
Keywords: design for reliability, predictive modeling, remaining lifetime
Understanding the physics-of-failure is critical to the assurance of the medical electronics (ME) reliability [1,2], and is imperative for the prediction of the remaining useful lifetime (RUL) [3] of a ME device. The recently suggested probability design for reliability (PDfR) concept [4,5], with its experimental basis in the highly-focused and highly-cost- effective failure oriented accelerated testing (FOAT) [6-8] and effective and flexible Boltzmann-Arrhenius-Zhurkov (BAZ) predictive model [9-14], can be effectively used for the prediction, on the probabilistic basis [15], the RUL of the electronic product of interest. It is shown also 1) how the physics-of-failure-based BAZ model can be sandwiched between two statistical models, when there is a need to diagnose a presumably faulty device (Bayes theorem can be used to do that), assess its RUL (using BAZ model) and update the product’s reliability (using beta-distribution) [16], and 2) how to assess, for a medical device composed by mass- produced components, the favorable effect of the statistics-of-failure related (SFR) process (that results in the decreasing failure rate with time) interacting with the physics-of- failure related (PFR) degradation (aging) process (that results in the increasing failure rate with time) [17]. The general concepts are illustrated by practical numerical examples.
Ephraim Suhir, Research Professor
Portland State University, Portland, OR, USA; Technical University, Vienna, Austria; and ERS Co., Los Altos, CA, 94024, USA,
Los Altos, CA
United States


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