Title: Simplifying the product maintenance process by building ease of maintenance into the design

Authors: Anoop Desai; Anil Mital

Addresses: Mechanical Engineering Technology and Industrial Management, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA 30458, USA ' Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221 0116, USA

Abstract: A systematic methodology that seeks to enhance ease of maintenance of industrial equipment and machinery has been presented in this paper. The methodology relies heavily on methods time measurement (MTM) systems as well as makes extensive use of design for X principles to accomplish design modifications. It is well known that maintenance is often a necessary evil because it is responsible equipment downtime, but needs to be done anyway. The reason is that lack of regular maintenance often results in serious equipment failure. This can lead to a variety of consequences including quality problems, safety problems and most important of all lower productivity and increased product costs. The methodology presented in this paper deals with product design for maintenance. The one salient feature of this methodology is that it takes into account the labour-intensive nature of the maintenance operation in general and incorporates appropriate ergonomic factors to reflect this consideration. MTM principles are used in order to impart a degree of objectivity to the methodology in terms of time evaluation. The relationship between maintenance time and product design characteristics is also established. This paper can be distinctly divided into two sections. The first part introduces the reader to some important maintenance-related concepts. The second part of this paper presents the aforementioned methodology. A real-life case study using an actual consumer product is also used towards the end of this paper to help corroborate the practical value of the methodology.

Keywords: human factors; maintainability; methods-time measurement; MTM; time studies; work methods; product maintenance; maintenance processes; ease of maintenance; industrial equipment; industrial machinery; design for X; DFX; excellence; design guidelines; design modifications; equipment downtime; regular maintenance; equipment failures; quality problems; safety problems; lower productivity; increased costs; product costs; product design; labour-intensiveness; ergonomic factors; ergonomics; time evaluation; design characteristics; maintenance time; consumer products; bicycle pedals; industrial engineering; systems engineering.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISE.2011.043485

International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering, 2011 Vol.9 No.4, pp.434 - 454

Published online: 07 Feb 2015 *

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