On Duty Cycle Concept In Reliability Engineering

Feng-Bin Sun
Dr. Feng-Bin (Frank) Sun is currently a Reliability Engineering Technologist at Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST). Prior to joining HGST, he had more than 23 years of working experience in both academia and industry. He published two books, both by Prentice Hall, and near 30 papers in various areas of reliability, maintainability and quality engineering. His expertise and interests includ...read more


The term “Duty Cycle” has been used widely on the daily basis in many industries for various purposes in both technical and marketing/sales communities. People also use this term to design reliability testing, quantify stress acceleration factor (AF), predict product reliability, and conduct field warranty projection. However, there have been tremendous confusion and misunderstanding about this term over the years. The purpose of this paper is to provide clarification and standardize the quantified definitions for various intended product duty cycles. The impact of various duty cycle definitions on product reliability, and their correlation with reliability calculations are also investigated.

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