In our design we have many strings of series items. For example, each string has about 10 items in series. Because our items are in series, a failure of one of the first items will cause the rest of the items in that string to fail. However, we could lose one of the last items in the string and have minimal impact to our system operation.
I’m wondering if anyone has any suggestions on analytical ways to account for the severity based on the position in the string of an item. I have to calculate reliability and am currently setting this up in an RBD. But in a standard RBD, I know of no way to account for the fact that some failures would be more devastating than others.