Predictive maintenance of systems subject to hard failure based on proportional hazards model

Jiawen Hu, Piao Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


The remaining useful lifetime (RUL) estimated from the in-situ degradation data has shown to be useful for online predictive maintenance. In the literature, the RUL is often estimated by assuming a soft-failure threshold for the degradation data. In practice, however, systems may not be subject to the degradation-induced soft failures. Instead, the systems are deemed to be fail when they cannot perform the intended function, and such failures are known as hard failures. Because there are no fixed thresholds for hard failures, the corresponding RUL estimation is not an easy task, which causes difficulties in finding the optimal maintenance schedule. In this study, a Weibull proportional hazards model is proposed to jointly model the degradation data and the failure time data. The degradation data are treated as the time-varying covariates so that the degradation does not directly lead to system failures, but increases the hazard rate of hard failures. A random-effects Wiener process is proposed to model the degradation data by considering the system heterogeneities. Based on the developed proportional hazards model, closed-form distribution of the RUL is derived upon each inspection and the optimal maintenance schedule is then obtained by minimizing the system maintenance cost. The proposed maintenance strategy is successfully applied to predictive maintenance of lead-acid batteries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106707
JournalReliability Engineering & System Safety
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Condition-based maintenance
  • Degradation data
  • Weibull distribution
  • Wiener process


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