Title: A dynamic opportunistic preventive maintenance policy for multi-unit series systems with intermediate buffers

Authors: Xiaojun Zhou, Zhiqiang Lu, Lifeng Xi

Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering, School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, No. 800 Dong Chuan Road, Shanghai 200240, China. ' Department of Industrial Engineering, School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, No. 800 Dong Chuan Road, Shanghai 200240, China. ' Department of Industrial Engineering, School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, No. 800 Dong Chuan Road, Shanghai 200240, China

Abstract: Commonly, for a multi-unit series system, whenever one of the units stops to perform a preventive maintenance action, preventive maintenance opportunities arise for the other units because combining the preventive maintenance activities can save the system-dependent cost (i.e. downtime cost). This article proposes an opportunistic preventive maintenance policy for multi-unit series systems based on dynamic programming, with integrating the online information of the intermediate buffers. Whenever one of the units reaches its reliability threshold, a preventive maintenance action has to be performed on that unit. An optimal preventive maintenance practice is determined by maximising the short-term cumulative opportunistic maintenance cost savings for the whole system which is a combination of the maintenance cost saving, the downtime cost saving, the penalty cost for advancing the preventive maintenance action and the penalty cost for work in process. Finally, a numerical example is given throughout to show how this approach works.

Keywords: preventive maintenance; opportunistic maintenance; dynamic programming; multi-unit series systems; intermediate buffers; system-dependent costs; downtime costs; online information; reliability thresholds; short-term cost savings; penalty costs; work in process; optimisation; maintenance policy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISE.2010.035012

International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering, 2010 Vol.6 No.3, pp.276 - 288

Available online: 01 Sep 2010 *

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