ASQ – Analysis of Survival Data in Engineering, Business, and Medicine

April 8, 2021 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am

By Dr. Wayne Nelson

This talk is an introduction to survival data analysis in engineering, business, and medicine. It presents basic concepts including the Weibull distribution, its age dependent failure rate, and simple probability plots. The talk shows applications to engineering, business, and medicine, including: 

  • The reliability of products designed and manufactured by engineers (e.g., toaster life).• 
  • The distribution of time to a bank’s loss of bank accounts and TV service’s loss of subscribers. 
  • The life distribution of patients under treatment and life of medical devices (e.g., heart pacemakers).The life distribution of patients and products, e.g., median life, % surviving 5-years or warranty.  
  • Whether a product failure rate increases or decreases as the population ages. This information is used to determine whether preventive replacement of old units in service reduces in-service failures. 
  • A prediction of the number of population failures in a coming month, quarter, or year.During product development, a prediction of the improvement in product life that would result from eliminating one or more failure modes. 
  • Comparisons of 1) medical treatments, 2) business policies, and 3) product designs, vendors, materials, operating environments, manufacturing methods, etc.
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