This paper provides a framework for life cycle cost analysis of products at the design stage based on reliability and maintainability parameters. When dealing with reliability field data, proper selection of models for time-to-failure data is essential as it affects the expected number of failures. The conventional time-to-failure analysis techniques rely on the major assumption of independent and identically distributed time between failures which is, in fact, not appropriate for all systems. This can lead to erroneous model selection for time-to-failure of a system leading to erroneous estimates of life cycle costs. To overcome this, a framework directed towards proper selection of time-to-failure model and a procedure for life cycle cost analysis is presented. The application of the proposed methodology is illustrated with two case studies by comparing the costs predicted by the proposed model with the costs that are actually experienced. It is found that the model correctly predicts each product’s life cycle cost as actually experienced by these products.
Keywords: life cycle cost, product design, reliability, maintainability, trend analysis, sustainable design