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Development of a Mechanical Component Failure Database

In this paper, we present a methodology to derive component failure rate and failure mode data for mechanical components used in automation systems based on warranty and field failure data as well as expert opinion. We describe a process for incorporating new component information into the database as it becomes available. The method emphasizes random mechanical component failures of importance in the world of safety analysis as opposed to the wear-out and aging mechanical failures that have dominated mechanical reliability analysis. The method provides a level of accuracy significantly better than warranty failure data analysis alone. The derived database has the same form as that for electrical/electronics databases used in FMEDA analyses used to show compliance with international performance-based safety standards. Thus, the mechanical database can be used in conjunction with existing electrical/electronics databases to perform required probabilistic safety analysis on automation systems comprised of both electrical and mechanical components.

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