Reliability Growth Modeling for Inservice Electronic Systems Considering Latent Failure Modes

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A latent failure mode is a type of failure that may not occur until the system has operated in the field for a certain period of time. Predicting latent failures is often difficult, but it has a great importance for reliability management in terms of system maintenance and warranty services. This paper proposes a stochastic model to predict the reliability growth for field or in-service electronic systems considering latent failures. The proposed model can be applied to electronics industries where extended in-house reliability testing cannot be implemented due to the tight design schedule. Based on the new method, the product management can proactively implement corrective actions against key failure modes using relevant engineering resources. A discussion between the effectiveness of corrective actions and the associated cost is also provided. Finally, field failure data collected from a fleet of automatic test equipment are used to demonstrate the applicability and performance of the model.

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