MTBF evaluation for 2-out-of-3 redundant repairable systems with common cause and cascade failures considering fuzzy rates for failures and repair: a case study of a centrifugal water pumping system


1 Department of Industrial Engineering, Najafabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran

2 Department of Industrial Engineering, Golpayegan University of Technology, Golpayegan, Iran


In many cases, redundant systems are beset by both independent and dependent failures. Ignoring dependent variables in MTBF evaluation of redundant systems hastens the occurrence of failure, causing it to take place before the expected time, hence decreasing safety and creating irreversible damages. Common cause failure (CCF) and cascading failure are two varieties of dependent failures, both leading to a considerable decrease in the MTBF of redundant systems. In this paper, the alpha-factor model and the capacity flow model are combined so as to incorporate CCF and cascading failure in the evaluation of MTBF of a 2-out-of-3 repairable redundant system. Then, using a transposed matrix, the MTBF function of the system is determined. Due to the fact that it is difficult to estimate the independent and dependent failure rates, industries are interested in considering uncertain failure rates. Therefore, fuzzy theory is used to incorporate uncertainty into the model presented in this study, and a nonlinear programming model is used to determine system’s MTBF. Finally, in order to validate the proposed model, evaluation of MTBF of the redundant system of a centrifugal water pumping system is presented as a practical example.