Repairable Medical System Reliability  
Author James McLinn




Abstract Repairable systems often have time dependent reliability measures that may be different from classical component models. Consider a repairable biomedical system such as instruments often found in medical laboratories or hospitals. These may range from centrifuges, dialysis systems, cytometry or a variety of blood analyzers. Software often controls the operation of these systems while it monitors the proper functions and delivers meaningful outputs. System failure is usually a relative measure, including “the output is not in the expected range” or there was no output. Failure to produce useful results may range from a shorted component to use of old chemicals or failure to calibrate. Systems age over time and are repaired at failure. Repairs can range from recalibration to the replacement of a component. Preventive maintenance (PM) programs may improve the reliability of the equipment and help avoid some failures, but these may be imperfect. Neither PM nor repair can assure that there will not be a recurrence of the same failure. The following provide some detailed examples of the problems with aging of biomedical systems and the PM policy combined with the recurrence of first or second failures of a complex system.


Keywords Warranty, Repairable Medical Systems, Preventive Maintenance Policy
    Article #:  1991
Proceedings of the 19th ISSAT International Conference on Reliability and Quality in Design
August 5-7, 2013 - Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A.