Asset health prediction using the explicit hazard model

Gorjian, Nima (2012) Asset health prediction using the explicit hazard model. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The ability to estimate the asset reliability and the probability of failure is critical to reducing maintenance costs, operation downtime, and safety hazards. Predicting the survival time and the probability of failure in future time is an indispensable requirement in prognostics and asset health management. In traditional reliability models, the lifetime of an asset is estimated using failure event data, alone; however, statistically sufficient failure event data are often difficult to attain in real-life situations due to poor data management, effective preventive maintenance, and the small population of identical assets in use. Condition indicators and operating environment indicators are two types of covariate data that are normally obtained in addition to failure event and suspended data. These data contain significant information about the state and health of an asset. Condition indicators reflect the level of degradation of assets while operating environment indicators accelerate or decelerate the lifetime of assets. When these data are available, an alternative approach to the traditional reliability analysis is the modelling of condition indicators and operating environment indicators and their failure-generating mechanisms using a covariate-based hazard model.

The literature review indicates that a number of covariate-based hazard models have been developed. All of these existing covariate-based hazard models were developed based on the principle theory of the Proportional Hazard Model (PHM). However, most of these models have not attracted much attention in the field of machinery prognostics. Moreover, due to the prominence of PHM, attempts at developing alternative models, to some extent, have been stifled, although a number of alternative models to PHM have been suggested. The existing covariate-based hazard models neglect to fully utilise three types of asset health information (including failure event data (i.e. observed and/or suspended), condition data, and operating environment data) into a model to have more effective hazard and reliability predictions. In addition, current research shows that condition indicators and operating environment indicators have different characteristics and they are non-homogeneous covariate data. Condition indicators act as response variables (or dependent variables) whereas operating environment indicators act as explanatory variables (or independent variables). However, these non-homogenous covariate data were modelled in the same way for hazard prediction in the existing covariate-based hazard models. The related and yet more imperative question is how both of these indicators should be effectively modelled and integrated into the covariate-based hazard model.

This work presents a new approach for addressing the aforementioned challenges. The new covariate-based hazard model, which termed as Explicit Hazard Model (EHM), explicitly and effectively incorporates all three available asset health information into the modelling of hazard and reliability predictions and also drives the relationship between actual asset health and condition measurements as well as operating environment measurements. The theoretical development of the model and its parameter estimation method are demonstrated in this work. EHM assumes that the baseline hazard is a function of the both time and condition indicators. Condition indicators provide information about the health condition of an asset; therefore they update and reform the baseline hazard of EHM according to the health state of asset at given time t. Some examples of condition indicators are the vibration of rotating machinery, the level of metal particles in engine oil analysis, and wear in a component, to name but a few. Operating environment indicators in this model are failure accelerators and/or decelerators that are included in the covariate function of EHM and may increase or decrease the value of the hazard from the baseline hazard. These indicators caused by the environment in which an asset operates, and that have not been explicitly identified by the condition indicators (e.g. Loads, environmental stresses, and other dynamically changing environment factors). While the effects of operating environment indicators could be nought in EHM; condition indicators could emerge because these indicators are observed and measured as long as an asset is operational and survived.

EHM has several advantages over the existing covariate-based hazard models. One is this model utilises three different sources of asset health data (i.e. population characteristics, condition indicators, and operating environment indicators) to effectively predict hazard and reliability. Another is that EHM explicitly investigates the relationship between condition and operating environment indicators associated with the hazard of an asset. Furthermore, the proportionality assumption, which most of the covariate-based hazard models suffer from it, does not exist in EHM. According to the sample size of failure/suspension times, EHM is extended into two forms: semi-parametric and non-parametric. The semi-parametric EHM assumes a specified lifetime distribution (i.e. Weibull distribution) in the form of the baseline hazard. However, for more industry applications, due to sparse failure event data of assets, the analysis of such data often involves complex distributional shapes about which little is known. Therefore, to avoid the restrictive assumption of the semi-parametric EHM about assuming a specified lifetime distribution for failure event histories, the non-parametric EHM, which is a distribution free model, has been developed. The development of EHM into two forms is another merit of the model.

A case study was conducted using laboratory experiment data to validate the practicality of the both semi-parametric and non-parametric EHMs. The performance of the newly-developed models is appraised using the comparison amongst the estimated results of these models and the other existing covariate-based hazard models. The comparison results demonstrated that both the semi-parametric and non-parametric EHMs outperform the existing covariate-based hazard models. Future research directions regarding to the new parameter estimation method in the case of time-dependent effects of covariates and missing data, application of EHM in both repairable and non-repairable systems using field data, and a decision support model in which linked to the estimated reliability results, are also identified.

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ID Code: 57314
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Ma, Lin, Yarlagadda, Prasad K., & Mittinty, Murthy
Keywords: diagnostics, prognostics, covariate, condition indicator, operating environment indicator, hazard, survival analysis, reliability analysis, residual life, confidence interval, covariate-based hazard models, explicit hazard model
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 15 Feb 2013 02:16
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2015 01:04

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