Improving Vehicle Life-Cycle Reliability by Prognostic Maintenance Management Through Geriometry

by Richard G. Salter

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On-vehicle computing instrumentation technology now offers new capabilities for prognostic maintenance management (PMM). Prognosis enables the selection of the best time for automobile maintenance while reducing inspection requirements, vehicle breakdowns and secondary failures. A PMM program enables improved user confidence while maximizing scarce maintenance resources. On-vehicle microdata systems enable two prognostic techniques: (1) the automation of condition trend analysis, and (2) a new capability — geriometric accounting — the cumulative recording of stress energy and cyclic stress functions which contribute to wear and fatigue damage. Some homework is required, however — on-vehicle data acquisition sufficient to identify the service parameters to monitor and the necessary maintenance criteria expressed in terms of these parameters. In a practical sense, a bootstrap program is required in which an initial system design will provide for both an operational PMM program as well as the acquisition of data to improve both hardware and software of the evolving system.

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