Quality characteristics (QC’s) are often treated static in robust design optimization while many of them are time dependent in reality. It is therefore desirable to define new robustness metrics for time-dependent QC’s. This work shows that using the robustness metrics of static QC’s for those of time-dependent QC’s may lead to erroneous design results. To this end, we propose the criteria of establishing new robustness metrics for time-dependent QC’s and then define new robustness metrics. Instead of using a point expected quality loss over the time period of interest, we use the expectation of the maximal quality loss over the time period to quantify the robustness for time-dependent QC’s. Through a four-bar function generator mechanism analysis, we demonstrate that the new robustness metrics can capture the full information of robustness of a time-dependent QC over a time interval. The new robustness metrics can then be used as objective functions for time-dependent robust design optimization.

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