Burn-in test is a manufacturing process applied to
products to eliminate latent failures or weak components in the factory before the products reach customers. The traditional burn-in test over a short period of time to collect time-to-failure or go/no-go data is rather inefficient. This decision problem can be solved if there exists a suitable quality characteristic (QC) whose degradation over time can be related to the lifetime of the product. Recently, optimal burn-in policies have been discussed in the literature assuming that the underlying degradation path follows a Wiener process. However, the degradation model of many materials (especially in the case of fatigue data) may be more appropriately modeled by a gamma process that exhibits a monotone-increasing pattern. Here, motivated by laser data, we first -propose a mixed gamma process to describe the degradation path of the product. Next, we present a decision rule for classifying a unit as typical or weak. A cost model is used to determine the optimal termination time of a burn-in test, and a motivating example is then presented to illustrate the proposed procedure. Finally, a simulation study is carried out to examine the effect of wrongly treating a mixed gamma process as a mixed Wiener process, and the obtained results reveal that the effect on the probabilities of misclassification is not negligible.
IEEE Transactions on Reliability 60(1), pp.234-245