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“PhM Disturbia”

Posted May 17th, 2016 in

by admin

Technical and economic accountability and responsibility for PHM (Prognostic Health Management) at the Integrated Systems level has yet to be the primary concern for DoD funded PHM activities. Apparently, the appeal of exotic new technologies, specifically, PHM, has blurred the vision away from this Integrated System’s attachment to the real world. Instead, we are blissfully distracted with the hope and luster of escaping into the promise of brilliance at the lowest levels of design at any expense.

As such, the PHM activities continue to be of high risk at the integrated System level due to the lack of the appropriate level of accountability to produce a convincing argument that they are equally capable of integrating the entire diagnostic and prognostic concerns at the integrated system level. From our view, this is the “PhM Disturbia”.

For some time now, people have been altering the “label” of their expertise to be more closely synchronized with DoD’s apparent funding mood swings. This is just the typical re-posturing game that calls for another quick jump on the band-wagon of another DoD funding cycle caught spell-bound between exotic story-telling and a PhM paper-writing frenzy. Welcome to the PhM Disturbia, tattooed with an impressive line of jargon buzz embossed in hypnotically PhD vernacular. We’ve seen this too many times where these studies ignore many operation and support factors and result in high cost and risk concepts.

However, we are disturbed. We see too many inconsistencies and omissions in the story telling of prognostics – the good, the bad, and, well, let’s just say, the disturbing…..

• What does “prognostics” mean to you?
And, what does PHM mean and/or include?

• Where should Diagnostics get involved with PHM, if at all, and how?

• Do we really know if, when, and where prognostics are better than CBM(Condition Based Maintenance)?

• Where is the best mix of prognostics, diagnostics and/or CBM?

• Do we really know if prognostics are using economic wisdom, or does our customer really care?

• Are the customer’s PHM requirements understandable and accountable at all levels of the integrated design, or do we effectively confuse him and those around us with our use of exotic vernacular?

• How do we verify that we meet the prognostics objective in any variable (uncontrolled) environment – at the integrated system level and over time?

• How do we verify that our PHM investment maintains proper sensor and signal interpretation at the integrated system level?

• How do we protect our PHM investment(s) so it remains clear and unambiguous among nested subsystems that may interfere with our ability to discern among other interrelated systems and (dirty/damaged) sensors in our integrated systems design?

• Do we have a plan to validate any items replaced due to a prognostic event to determine if the replacement was within the required prior-to-failure window?

While there are many more questions similar to these that can be imagined, it may be disturbing to know that these 10 questions are not getting equal DoD attention and “hot air time”. When and after we work the answers to these questions, then, maybe, we can hope for promise in adopting some responsible, accountable, measurable, and ascertainable level of prognostics in our integrated system design process. But first, we have to shake the confusion and PhM Disturbia.

PinWheel ConfusionLG

As learned from witnessing this sort of “we-do-it-while-its-vogue revolution” so many times in the past, the specific name of the new technology will continue to evolve or change as some struggle with competency, terminology, approach and a story to tell.

While this may sound a bit disturbing to some of you not quite so familiar with the game, you can always find comfort in the 35-year track record at DSI – a cornerstone fixture in Industry through all these vogue funding cycles and mood swings. With the solid Diagnostic Engineering infrastructure using eXpress in the Integrated Systems Diagnostics Design (ISDD) Process©, PhM will be replaced with PHM and take on responsibility and accountability at the integrated systems level, setting the STAGE for any of these exotic high-Technology Risk Level methodologies to be just a bit less risky.

Ensure and leverage the investment into PHM. eXpress takes the “PhM Disturbia” out of the PHM by working all of the diagnostic and prognostic data and concerns through and across multiple subsystems within the Integrated System. PHM can then be fully supported by the Integrated Systems Diagnostic Design, which is better tooled to account for the possible effects of environmental variables, and the economics of responsible support practices (including CBM) and the handoff of Integrated Systems knowledge to a host of embedded systems, Reasoners and advanced field support IETMs.

Knowing the vernacular of a technology is great. However, being able to synchronize the PHM technology transparently within the ISDD Process in a collaborative design environment, regardless of who, what or when other designs are included or may surprisingly intervene, is the fundamental infrastructure property leveraged within the eXpress diagnostic engineering tool.

eXpress: A sort of “Get out of ‘PhM Disturbia’ NOW ticket”.

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