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This paper considers a parallel system with a random number of units according to a Poisson distribution. The fracture of an aircraft fuselage with multiple site damage serves as a real world application for this problem. The mean time to failure is obtained. Using this result, an optimal number of units and replacement time for the system which minimize the expected cost rates are derived analytically, and numerically, when the failure time has a Weibull distribution. It is of interest that these results also give good approximations to those of the system with a constant number of units. Further, similar discussions for a scheduling problem of a job with random working times are made, when a parallel system is provided.
Date of Publication: June 2012