RAMS Analysis for AW169 Elicopther


The AW169 is a new twin-engine helicopter in the 4.5-tonne class rotorcraft. Engineered to satisfy the operational and mission requirements of the most demanding public and commercial operators, the AW169 employs new technologies to achieve unique adaptability across multiple applications with very competitive economics.

FinalCustomer: Agusta

Project: RAMS Analysis

Description: Z Lab produced RAMS, as Reliability Prediction, Hazard Analysis, FMECA and CA, MaintainabilityAnalysis, FMES analysis and FTA Analysisfor Fuel system, Landing Gear system, Rotor Brake system, Engine Installation system, Fire Protection System, Hydraulic System, ECS system and Pylon Nacelle system

The RAMS is a long-term characteristic of a system and is obtained by the application of data, concepts, methods, techniques and tools of engineering during the system lifecycle (EN 50126). It is defined as a quality and quantity indicator of the system degree, regarding to the system function and to the availability.RAMS is the acronym of Reliability Availability Maintainability, Safety.

Reliability is the probability that an item can perform a required function under given conditions for a given time interval n(t1 –t2).

Availability is the ability of a product to be in state to perform a required function under given conditions at a given instant of time or over a given time interval assuming that the required external resources are provided.

Maintainability is the probability that a given active maintenance action for an item under given conditions of use can be carried out within a stated time interval when the maintenance is performed under stated conditions and using procedures and resources.

Safety is defined as freedom from unaccettable risk of harm.

Reliability prediction is a method to calculate the constant failure rate during the system life time. The reliability predictions is conducted at various system levels and detail’s degrees. It is based, on a system decomposition as tree that is called WBS (Work Breakdown Structure), in order to identify the major components and assign to each of them a failure rate, in accordance with the standard NPRD-2011 (mechanical parts) and MIL-HDBK-217F Notice 2 or Siemens 29500 (electriconic parts). The basic failure rate of the system is calculated by summing up the failure rates of each component in each category multiplied by their quantity (based on probability theory). This is applied under the assumption that a failure of any component is assumed could lead to a system failure. This model assumes that the component failure rate under reference or operating conditions is constant. The failure rate of the electonic items can be calculated:

  • at reference conditions (parts count method);
  • at operating conditions (parts stress method).

In the part-count method, the failure rate is calculated by appropriate databases that provide the basic failure rate value relative to the component operating environment. The Part-Stress method required detailed information such as: type of technology, year of manufacture, junction temperature, stress factors, thermal expansion characteristics, number of thermal cycles, thermal amplitude of variation, application of the device, etc.. It is also possible evaluate the mission reliability prediction. This analysis can be done after the FMECA analysis : through the FMECA is possible to analyze the failure modes and the percentage of occurrence of each failure mode. In this way it is possible to identify the critical components of the system.

Hazard analysis (HA) technique is a safety analysis of the RAMS analysis. This process uses design information to identify the hazard and causal factor, effects, level of risk, and mitigating measures. The Hazard analysis begins with hazards identified from the PHL. The next step is to once again employ the use of hazard checklists (as done in the PHL analysis) and undesired mishap checklists. The basic inputs for the HA include:

  • the system functional diagram,
  • the reliability block diagram,
  • system component list
  • all documents that allow to understand the system function.

In railway field, the Preliminary Hazard List (PHA) is into EN 50126-2:2007. The risk evaluation is the result of the matrix that connect frequency and severity according to the categories described in the standard EN 50126-1: 2006. The risk analysis is performed in relation to the severity of the possible dangers, probability of occurrence and the system's mission profile.

FMECA analysis is a tool used to examine all possible failures, their consequences and the critical components or functions in the system under analysis. The FMECA purpose is to improve and ensure the reliability of complex systems. It is composed of two separate analyzes: FMEA (Failure Modes and Effects Analysis) and CA (Criticality Analysis). The FMECA Analisys can have a functional approach or structural approach:

  • functional approach: It is performed on the functions. This approach focuses on the ways in which the functional objectives are not complied
  • structural approach: it is performed on the HW system components. This approach tends to provide more detail about the system failure modes and effects at component level

Furthermore, to provide a qualitative assessment of the potential consequences, the level of criticality of failure modes is assigned, according to their effect on the regularity and / or service "comfort" and safety; Evaluating these results, it is possible to suggest mitigation measures relating to the failure mode under analysis. FMECA analysis allows to identify components failures that could be critical in terms of reliability and / or safety, in relation to a particular mission profile. FMECA is the basis of design choices in order to eliminate critical fault, or at least, to reduce the criticality (through corrective actions).

Two Maintainability Analysis types exist: Preventive Maintenance Analysis and Corrective Maintenance Analysis. The main purpose of Preventive Maintenance Analysis is to evaluate the maintenance plan that allows to implement all necessary actions in order to prevent the occurrence of faults, through the planned replacement of components subject to wear, or maintenance tasks to ensure the correct system operation (periodic cleaning, functional test, periodic visual inspection…). Corrective Maintenance Analysis has the primary aim to define the corrective actions necessary to restore the nominal conditions of system operation, through the replacement of LRU (Line Reparable Unit) failed. The maintenance analysis provides information in terms of human resources, time and material (spare parts and equipment required for maintenance), through:

  • The evaluation of MTTR (Mean Time To Restore): it is the mean time for the maintenance operation considered;
  • Compilation of preventive and corrective maintenance schedules: these schedules support to writing of the technical manual for the maintainers, that describe in detail the maintenance operation;
  • Definition of the spare parts type and quantity: it is a spare parts list that have to be in depot, in order to minimize the maintenance downtimes.

The analysis of corrective and preventive maintenance times must be evaluated considering isolation time, localization, accessibility, component replacement, component assembly and functional check in accordance to MIL-HDBK-472.

A Failure Modes and Effects Summary (FMES) is a summary of the failure modes with the same effects from the Failure Modes and Effects Analyses (FMEAs). Identical failure effects from the FMEA are categorized as one mode in the FMES. The failure rate for each mode in the FMES is the sum of the failure rates coming from the failure modes of the individual FMEA(s). The FMES is used as an input and an aid to simplify to the Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) because reduce the number of OR-gates at the lowest level. 

Fault tree analysis (FTA) is a systems analysis technique used to determine the root causes and probability of occurrence of a specified undesired event. The FTA foresees the construction of a graphical model using logic gates and fault events to model the cause–effect relationships and identifies a series of events that cause, through an undesirable event (TOP event), a dangerous event. The Fault Tree Analysis is therefore a structured methodology that requires the application of some Boolean algebra rules, logic and theory of probability. It is a Bottom-up analysis that allows to evaluate the system items that involved on the occurrence of an hazard. The basic events are the same identified in the FMECA. All events that contribute to undesired hazardous situations, are considered as causes, alone or in combination with others. The analysis proceeds by determining how the TOP event can be caused by individual or combined lower level failures or events. The FTA is thus an important tool because provides the information needed to support risk management decisions. The validity of action taken to eliminate or control fault events can be enhanced in certain circumstances by quantifying the FT and performing a numerical evaluation.