Consideration of diagnosability in product design promises to increase product quality by reducing maintenance time without increasing cost or decreasing reliability. Methods for investigating the diagnosability of mechanical and electro-mechanical systems are described and are applied to the Bleed Air Control System (BACS) on the Boeing 747-400. The BACS is described and a diagnostic model is developed using information from the system Failure Modes and Effects Analysis. Emphasis is placed on the relationships between the system’s functions and its components. Two metrics for the evaluation of system diagnosability and two metrics for the evaluation of component diagnosability are defined. These metrics emphasize diagnostic ambiguity and are combined with the probability of different system failures to weight the affects of each failure. Three modified systems are produced by reassigning functions from one component to another. The resulting affects on the system and component diagnosability are evaluated. We show that by changing these relationships system diagnosability can be improved without adding sensors or other components.

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