Download Accelerated Testing: Statistical Models, Test Plans, and by Wayne B. Nelson PDF

By Wayne B. Nelson

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Additional info for Accelerated Testing: Statistical Models, Test Plans, and Data Analysis (Wiley Series in Probability and Statistics)

Sample text

The test could not be used on a new design whose metal parts could not withstand the test pressure. Elephant tests are also used to qualitatively compare different designs, vendors, methods of manufacture, etc. Elephant tests for any purpose may mislead due to their limitations explained below. Good elephant. Everyone asks: what is a good elephant test? The answer is easy: one that produces the same failures and in the same proportions that will occur in service. The hard question is: how does one devise such a test, especially for a new design, possibly with new failure modes?

A meaner elephant is not necessarily a better elephant, as the following example shows. TV transformer. Hundreds of thousands of a type of transformer had recently been manufactured and had gone into service. An engineer devised a new elephant test, and it revealed a new failure mode. A new design overcame that failure mode, and production was changed over to the new design. Years later no transformer of the old design had failed from that mode. The redesign was unnecessary. Most companies have had such experiences with COMMON ACCELERATED TESTS 39 some products.

Defined failure. For other products, performance degrades slowly over time, and there is no clear end of life. Then one can use a defined failure which occurs when performance first degrades below a specified value. For example, jet engine parts have four definitions of failure. (1) Critical parts “fail” when a crack initiates. In practice, this means when the crack is first detectable. (2) Less critical parts “fail” when the crack first reaches a specified size. (3) Any part “fails” when removed from service, usually the result of an inspection that shows that the part exceeds definition (1) or (2).

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