Optimal Design of Accelerated Life Testing Plans for Periodical Replacement with Penalty

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Accelerated life testing (ALT), enhanced by optimal test plans, has been widely accepted in practice as a quick approach for estimating the reliability of a product. From the estimation result, preventive maintenance schedules can be determined to ensure the performance of the product under its normal operating conditions. By default, maintenance decision-making is regarded as the last and least rewarding step. However, sometimes the maintenance schedules, such as preventive maintenance intervals, are predetermined due to customer concerns and/or by various mandatory regulations and rules. Under such circumstances, how to accurately estimate the expenditure (e.g., on maintenance or spare parts management) associated with these maintenance requirements becomes an important issue. A viable solution is to incorporate the maintenance requirements into ALT plans. This paper provides an approach for the optimal design of ALT plans oriented by a mandatory periodical replacement schedule subject to a discounted penalty. The objective is to improve the estimation accuracy of the economic impact of this maintenance requirement. A numerical experiment is provided to demonstrate the approach in practical use.

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