Failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) is a structured technique for identifying risks that may occur during a given stage of a system’s life cycle. However, the use of the risk priority number (RPN) in traditional FMEA results in difficulties with regard to quantification of the degree of risk in the hierarchical failure structure. This study proposes the use of a hierarchical time-dependent FMEA approach to overcome the limitations encountered during the implementation of traditional FMEA approaches. In place of the RPN, a probabilistic loss model is developed under a hierarchical structure considering the elapsed time from the failure-cause (FC) to the system failure. By assuming exponential and case functions for each occurrence and detection time instant, the expected loss corresponding to each FC can be evaluated. As a result of the practical application of the time-dependent probabilistic model through the numerical example, we could reasonably evaluate the risk from the cause of failure in the hierarchical structure in terms of economic loss.
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