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Sensory-Updated Residual Life Distributions for Components With Exponential Degradation Patterns

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1 Author(s)
Gebraeel, N. ; Dept. of Mech. & Ind. Eng., Univ. of Iowa

Research on interpreting data communicated by smart sensors and distributed sensor networks, and utilizing these data streams in making critical decisions stands to provide significant advancements across a wide range of application domains such as maintenance management. In this paper, a stochastic degradation modeling framework is developed for computing and continuously updating residual life distributions of partially degraded components. The proposed degradation methodology combines population-specific degradation characteristics with component-specific sensory data acquired through condition monitoring in order to compute and continuously update remaining life distributions of partially degraded components. Two sensory updating procedures are developed and validated using real-world vibration-based degradation information acquired from rolling element thrust bearings. The results are compared with two benchmark policies and illustrate the benefits of the sensory updated degradation models proposed in this paper. Note for Practitioners-The proposed degradation-based prognostic methodology provides a comprehensive assessment of the current and future degradation states of partially degraded components by combining population-specific degradation or reliability information with real-time sensory health monitoring data. It is specifically beneficial for cases where degradation occurs in a cumulative manner and the degradation signal can be approximated by an exponential functional form. To implement this methodology, it is necessary: 1) to identify the physical phenomena associated with the evolution of the degradation process (spalling and wear herein); 2) choose the appropriate condition monitoring technology to monitor this phenomena (accelerometers); 3) identify a characteristic pattern in the sensory information to help develop a degradation signal (exponential growth); and 4) identify a failure threshold associated with the degradation signal. The first step- - in implementing this prognostic methodology is to obtain prior information related to stochastic parameters f the exponential model. This may require fitting some sample degradation signals with an exponential functional form and noting the values of the exponential parameters, or using subjective prior distributions. The second step is to acquire sensory information and begin updating the prior distribution. The updating frequency will dictate which expressions are used to compute the posterior distributions. Once the posterior means, variances, and correlation are computed, the truncated CDF of the residual life can be evaluated using (10) and (11). Note that the truncation is necessary to preclude negative values of the remaining life. Practitioners can implement this methodology using a simple spreadsheet. Since the residual life distributions are skewed, it is reasonable to utilize the median as a measure of the central tendency and, hence, an alternative estimate for the expected value of the remaining life

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Automation Science and Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 4 )