Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) systems are usually only considered and set up in the late stage of design or even during the system’s lifetime, after the major design decision have been made. However, considering the PHM system’s impact on the system failure probabilities can benefit the system design early on and subsequently reduce costs. The identification of failure paths in the early phases of engineering design can guide the designer toward a safer, more reliable and cost-efficient design. Several functional failure modeling methods have been developed recently. One of their advantages is to allow for risk assessment in the early stages of the design. Risk and reliability functional failure analysis methods currently developed do not explicitly model the PHM equipment used to identify and prevent potential system failures. This paper proposes a framework to optimize prognostic systems selection and positioning during the early stages of a complex system design. A Bayesian network, incorporating the PHM systems, is used to analyze the functional model and failure propagation. The algorithm developed within the proposed framework returns the optimized placement of PHM hardware in the complex system, allowing the designer to evaluate the need for system improvement. A design tool was developed to automatically apply the proposed method. A generic pressurized water nuclear reactor primary coolant loop system is used to present a case study illustrating the proposed framework. The results obtained for this particular case study demonstrate the promise of the method introduced in this paper. The case study notably exhibits how the proposed framework can be used to support engineering design teams in making better informed decisions early in the design phase.
PHM design, Bayesian network, Functional Modeling
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