Simultaneous quality and reliability optimization for microengines subject to degradation

Hao Peng, Qianmei Feng, David W. Coit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations


Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) represent an exciting new technology, but to achieve more widespread usage and wider adoption within more industrial applications, they must be highly reliable, and manufactured to stringent quality standards. Many challenging manufacturing issues are of concern during the fabrication of MEMS, such as precise dimensional inspection, reliability modeling, burn-in scheduling, avoiding stiction, and maintenance strategies. However, only limited mathematical tools for improving MEMS reliability, quality, and productivity are currently available. This paper proposes a mathematical model to jointly determine inspection & preventive replacement policies for surface-micromachined microengines subject to wear degradation, which is a major failure mechanism for certain MEMS devices. The optimal specification limits for inspection, and the replacement interval are determined by simultaneously optimizing MEMS quality and reliability. The proposed model can be used as a tool for decision-makers in MEMS manufacturing to make sound economical and operational decisions on reliability, quality, and productivity. While illustrated considering one specific microengine design, the proposed model can be applied to a broader range of MEMS devices that experience wear degradation between rubbing surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-105
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Reliability
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 12 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Burn-in
  • MEMS reliability
  • Preventive replacement
  • Quality and reliability optimization
  • Specification limits
  • Wear degradation

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