Transfer Learning for Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) of Marine Air Compressors
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Prognostics is an engineering discipline focused on predicting the time at which a system or a component will no longer perform its intended function. Due to the requirements of system safety and reliability, the correct diagnosis or prognosis of abnormal condition plays a vital role in the maintenance of industrial systems. It is expected that new requirements in regard to autonomous ships will push suppliers of maritime equipment to provide more insight into the conditions of their systems. One of the stated challenges with these systems is having enough run-to-failure examples to build accurate-enough prognostic models. Due to the scarcity of enough reliable data, transfer learning is established as a successful approach to improve and reduce the need to labelled examples. Transfer learning has shown excellent capabilities in image classification problems. Little work has been done to explore and exploit the use of transfer learning in prognostics. In this paper, various deep learning models are used to predict the remaining useful life (RUL) of air compressors. Here, transfer learning is applied by building a separate prognostics model trained on turbofan engines. It has been found that several of the explored transfer learning architectures were able to improve the predictions on air compressors. The research results suggest transfer learning as a promising research field towards more accurate and reliable prognostics.