Meeker, William Q.; Hahn, Gerald J. (1986, ASQC) Iowa State University, Ames, IA; General Electric Company, Schenectady, NY
Accelerated life tests provide timely information about the life distribution of materials and products. Information from tests at high levels of stress is extrapolated, through a physically reasonable statistical model, to obtain estimates of life at lower, normal levels of stress. This paper is a synopsis of How to Plan an Accelerated Life Test - Some Practical Guidelines, Volume 10 in the "ASQC Basic References in Quality Control: Statistical Techniques." We outline some practical guidelines for planning an accelerated life test. After a brief introduction to accelerated life testing, we present an example to estimate a percentile of the time to failure distribution at the design stress using a "standard" test plan that was proposed initially. We discuss the deficiencies of this initially proposed plan and then give some general guidelines for planning accelerated life tests that are both robust to moderate departures from the model assumptions and reasonably efficient when compared with theoretically optimum plans. The guidelines are used to develop the alternative accelerated life test plan for the example.