Reliability Assessment By Use-Rate Acceleration
Statistical evidence is often needed to show that a proposed product meets or exceeds its reliability goals. Many times, such evidence must be obtained in a compressed time period. Accelerated use-rate testing might be appropriate in testing other products such as photocopiers, printers, bicycles and laptop computers. A new model motor had been built for use in washing machines. Skilled design engineers used top quality materials and state-of-the-art methods to correct reliability problems on previous designs. They also performed short highly accelerated life tests, subjecting components and a few prototype motors to intensive temperature cycling, vibration and overvoltage conditions to discover, understand and remove potential failure modes. Physical evaluation indicated that a manufacturing defect was the root cause of its four failures. All failed motors, plus a sample of the unfailed ones, were taken apart and evaluated to obtain information to improve future product reliability.
This article is published as Doganaksoy, N., Hahn, G.J., and, Meeker, W.Q., (2007), Reliability Assessment by Use-Rate Acceleration. Quality Progress 40, June, 74–76. Posted with permission.