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Technical Paper

Introduction of Functional Periodicity to Prevent Long-Term Failure Mechanism

One of the goals of designing engineering systems is to maximize the system's reliability. A reliable system must satisfy its functional requirements without failure throughout its intended lifecycle. The typical means to achieve a desirable level of reliability is through preventive maintenance of a system; however, this involves cost. A more fundamental approach to the problem is to maximize the system's reliability by preventing failures from occurring. A key question is to find mechanisms (and the means to implement them into a system) that will prevent its system range from going out of the design range. Functional periodicity is a means to achieve this goal. Three examples are discussed to illustrate the concept. In the new electrical connector design, it is the geometric functional periodicity provided by the woven wire structure. In the case of integrated manufacturing systems, it is the periodicity in scheduling of the robot motion.