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A study of availability-centered preventive maintenance

for multi-component systems


Yuo-Tern Tsai
a,
*
, Kuo-Shong Wang
b
, Lin-Chang Tsai
b
a
Department of Mechanical Engineering, De-Lin Institute of Technology, No. 1, Lane 380, Ching Yun Road, Tucheng, Taipei 236, Taiwan, ROC
b
Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Central University, No. 300, Jungda Road, Jhongli City, Taoyuan 320, Taiwan, ROC
Received 2 September 2003; accepted 17 November 2003
Abstract
This paper studies preventive maintenance (PM) in simultaneously considering three actions, mechanical service, repair and replacement
for a multi-components system based on availability. Mechanical service denotes the activities including lubricating, cleaning, checking and
adjusting, etc. which is set to alleviate strength degradation. Repair is dened on that not only slow down the degraded velocity but also
restore the degraded strength partly. Replacement is settled to recover a component to its original condition. According to the denitions, the
degradation of components is analyzed from its failure mechanisms and the improvements of various actions to it in reliability were
measured by using two improved factors. Following the proposed model of reliability, the mean-up and mean-down times of each component
are also investigated and the replacement intervals of components are determined based on availability maximization. Here, the minimum
one among the intervals is chosen as the PM interval of system for programming the periodical PM policy. The selection of action for the
components on every PM stage is decided by maximizing system benet in maintenance. Repeatedly, the scheduling is progressed step by
step and is terminated until the system extended life reaching to its expected life. The complete schedule provides the information, the actions
adopted for the components, the availability and the total cost of system on each stage. Validly, a multi-components system is used as an
example to describe the proposed algorithm.
q 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Preventive maintenance; Reliability and availability
1. Introduction
To keep a system in normal condition, taking proper
maintenance becomes even more important during its
serviced life. According to the studies reported in past,
maintenance was classied into two categories, corrective
maintenance (CM) and preventive maintenance (PM) [1].
Normally, PM is more effective than CM because it is
always to keep a system in an available condition so that the
large loss caused by unpredictable fails can be avoided.
Aiming to PM policy, preventive replacement is a topic
frequently discussed. For example, Jayabalan and Chaud-
huri [2] developed a branching algorithm with effective
dominance rules to determine the number of maintenance
interventions before each replacement. Aven and Dekker [3]
presented a general framework including various age
and block replacement models for the optimization of
replacement times. Zheng [4] proposed an opportunity-
triggered replacement model to allow joint replacements for
multiple-unit systems. Legat et al. [5] determined the
optimal interval for PM/replacement using either an age-
based or diagnostic-based renewal strategy. Wang et al. [6]
proposed a scheduled method of preventive replacement for
the key components of mechanical systems. Moreover,
Vaurio [7] investigated the time-dependent unavailability of
periodically tested aging components under different testing
and repair policies, and then decided the time intervals in
periodic testing and scheduled maintenance. In particular,
combining the expert judgments with available operating
feedback (Bayesian approach) have been reported by
Procaccia et al. [8] for taking into account the combination
of failure risk and economic consequence (statistical
decision theory) to achieve a true optimization of mainten-
ance policy choices.
Reviewing the above papers, most of them always
concentrated on the development of mathematical models in
0951-8320/$ - see front matter q 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.ress.2003.11.011
Reliability Engineering and System Safety 84 (2004) 261270
www.elsevier.com/locate/ress
* Corresponding author. Fax: 886-2-2273-4470.
E-mail address: yttsai@dlit.edu.tw (Y.-T. Tsai).
achieving the optimization of PM policy based on some
specic supporting, such as uniform improvement, main-
tenance activity and cost, etc. For a system which is
consisted of many subsystems and/or components (SCs), the
effectiveness of maintenance mainly depends on both the
improved levels and the maintenance-costs of the SCs. It is
similar to imperfect maintenance. Aiming to imperfect
maintenance, Whitaker and Samaniego [9] proposed a
method of reliability evaluation. Refs. [10,11] below cover
different approaches proposed to model imperfect mainten-
ance based on an improvement factor. Considering multi-
activities in maintenance, Martorell et al. [12] assumed that
the PM activities would affect component age as a function
of the maintenance effectiveness, and suggested some age-
dependent models to determine the risk and associated
economic cost problems. Further, a new reliability model
was presented by Martorel et al. [13] in which includes
parameters related to surveillance and maintenance effec-
tiveness and working conditions of the equipment, both
environmental and operational.
For suitably modeling the effects of maintenance to a
multi-component system, this paper combines three typical
PM actions as follows.
(1a)-maintenance (mechanical service). This type-action
emphasizes on maintaining a system on normal operating
condition. It usually involves less techniques and tools, i.e.
the improvement is limitary. It just only improves the
extrinsic state (the deteriorated environment) so that it can
tune the SCs to a more good condition. Several typical
activities for this type are, for example, (a) lubricating, (b)
adjusting/calibratingthe positionor loadcarriedtothe mating
parts, (c) tightening the loose parts, (d) cleaning the dust, jam
andrust, etc. tomaintain the inherent function of parts, and(e)
consuming materials supplement such as oil, waters, etc.
(1b)-maintenance (repair). This type-action is mainly
adopted for some SCs which are expensive and/or uneasily
to be acquired. It generally includes the activities of (1a) and
repairing/replacing for some simple parts such as springs,
seals, belts and bearings, etc. It can rightly recover the
intrinsic damage except the extrinsic condition improved.
Examples for this type are engine overhaul, engineering
structure reinforcement and surface treatments to the
moving parts, etc. Normally, it usually contains
the following activities: (a) disassembly, (b) reassemble of
the repaired SCs and/or (c) the whole function calibration.
(2P)-maintenance (replacement). This type-action is to
replace the subsystem/component (SC) with a new one. It is
frequently adopted for the key SCs to avoid serious damage
occurred. In addition, the SCs which undergone several
times (1a) and (1b) and were not worthy to go on using, may
also take this type-action.
While planning the PM schedule according to the dened
activities, the maintenance time and the optimization goal of
system would affect the contents of actions adopted.
Considering the time of PM taken, PM policies can be
classied into two kinds, periodical PM and non-periodical
PM. The former is more regular so that it is often executed
in a general system. The latter usually is more complex and
is mostly adopted for some specic parts, e.g. key
components, because its maintenance interval is not
constant. Moreover, the commonly used goals on mainten-
ance optimization are based on either costs minimization or
prots maximization [14]. A frequent adopted index in
representing system performance is the availability, which
describes the ratio of up and down times of systems. It is so
important as well as costs/prots in many real situations.
Therefore, there were many authors to have considered the
both criteria in developing approaches for searching the
optimized maintenance [1517]. Typically, Borgonovo
et al. [18] presented an approach for the evaluation of
plant maintenance strategies and operating procedures
under economic constraints.
For a complex system, the shut-down loss could be
obviously reduced as well as its effectiveness can be
promoted if its availability can be set or maintained at
someone level. In this paper, availability maximization is
adopted as a criterion for scheduling periodical PM. It is
used to determine the PM intervals of SCs for a multi-
component system. Three kinds of action mentioned above
are concurrently taken on each PM stage. The purpose of
PM strategy is not only on maintaining the system life to its
expected life but also in obtaining the maximum system
benet by availability optimization. By the example
analysis, the results demonstrate that the PM policy which
considers more than one action is more advantage than that
only single action (replacement) adopted.
2. Reliability under PM
Before scheduling the PM program, the improvements
of various PM actions to reliability must be identied at
rst. From the viewpoint of strengthstress interference
theory (SSI), reliability degrading denotes that the strength
distribution is moving toward left depending on time. The
(1a)-maintenance could slow down the moving velocity of
the strength distribution due to the deteriorated environ-
ment improved so as to it could delay the degraded time.
On the other hand, the (1b)- and (2P)-maintenances could
shift the distribution toward right except holding the
function of (1a), i.e. uplifting the reliability, because the
cumulative damages of system could be solved by the two
actions. The effects of various actions to the strength
distribution were shown in Fig. 1.
According to the improved mechanisms, the improve-
ments of maintenance to the systemcan be classied into two
parts. The former is the recovery to the failed parts of system
which are restored either by repairing or by replacing. The
latter is the improvement to the survival parts which are
restored by anyone of the three actions. Ideally, the reliability
of surviving parts can be modeled by using the age reduction
model [1,2]. This model proposed the system reliability
Y.-T. Tsai et al. / Reliability Engineering and System Safety 84 (2004) 261270 262
as a function of its age and every maintenance only makes the
aged system younger. Depending on the percent of the
survival parts of system when it maintained, the reliability
model of system following PM can be constructed. The
reliability of system on the jth PM stage is dened as
R
j
t R
0;j
R
v;j
t 1
where R
0;j
is the initial reliability of the jth stage, i.e. the
probability of system surviving undergoing j 21 times of
maintenance, and R
v;j
t the reliability degradation of
surviving parts on this stage. Considering periodical PM
whose interval is t
p
; the reliability of surviving parts is
dened as
R
v;j
t R
1
m
1
t 2j 21t
p


; j 21t
p
#t #jt
p
2
where m
1
0 ,m
1
#1 is the improvement factor of (1a). It
can be regarded as the ratio of the life of the surviving parts to
their original life. For example, the remaining life of a
component is t
1
after (1a)-maintenance which its original life
is t
0
t
0
.t
1
; the factor would be m
1
t
1
=t
0
: In particular, m
1
is equal to 1 if the survival parts are restored to as good as its
original condition. This is the commonly assumed condition
of reliability model following PM reported in general
reliability books [19,20].
To model the reliability of systems following PM, the
effects of various actions to R
0;j
and R
v;j
must be evaluated.
They are introduced as follows.
(1a)-maintenance. Reviewing the physical properties of
(1a)-maintenance, the degraded velocity of systems usually
can be declined because it can improve the deteriorated
environment. However, the failed parts cannot be solved by
this action. Thus, the reliability of surviving parts is
modeled with Eq. (2) and the initial reliability R
0;j
is set
to the reliability before maintenance. It is dened as
R
0;j
R
f ;j21
R
0;j21
Rt
p
3
where R
0;j21
; R
f ;j21
indicate the initial and nal reliabilities
of systems on the j 21th stage.
(1b)-maintenance. action not only can improve the
surviving parts of systems but also can recover the failed
parts. Generally, the improvement of (1b) to the failed parts
can be measured by an improvement factor, m
2
; which is
also set between 0 and 1 representing the restored level
except the surviving parts. According to the denition, the
initial reliability on (1b)-maintenance can be expressed as
R
0;j
R
f ;j21
m
2
R
0
2R
f ;j21
4
where R
0
denotes the initial reliability of the new system.
(2P)-maintenance. Normally, 2P would restore the
system to its original condition, i.e. setting the two factors,
m1; m
2
all are equal to 1. In this condition, the initial
reliability would be R
0;j
R
0
and the surviving-part
reliability is R
v;j
t Rt 2j 21t
p
:
To illustrate the effects of various actions to reliability
and failure rate, a system whose failure belong to Weibull
distribution was used as an example. The system reliability
was expressed as
R
j
t R
0;j
e
21=m
1
t2j21t
p
=u
b
5
where u; b denote the scale and the shape parameters of
reliability, respectively. Here, we set the related parameters
Fig. 1. The effects of various actions to the strength distribution.
Fig. 2. The changing of reliability and failure rate on different PM actions.
(a) The reliability changing, (b) the failure rate changing.
Y.-T. Tsai et al. / Reliability Engineering and System Safety 84 (2004) 261270 263
as u 4000; b 2:5; t
p
2000; m
1
0:8 and m
2
0:5:
Under the given parameters, the reliability changing of
various PM actions was shown in Fig. 2(a). Furthermore,
according to the relationship between reliability and hazard,
the hazard function was expressed as [19]
h
j
t 2
1
R
j
t
dR
j
t
dt
; j 21t
p
# t # jt
p
6
Then, the failure rate of system on the jth stage can be
expressed as
h
j
t h
0;j

1
m
1
b
u
1=m
1
t 2j 21t
p

u

b21
7
where h
0;j
is the initial failure rate of system on the jth
stage. Here, the improvement of maintenance to h
0;j
can
be taken with the same behavior as well as maintenance
to R
0;j
: Then, the failure rate changing in this example was
shown in Fig. 2(b).
3. Maintenance parameters estimation
To scheduling PM program based on availability, several
maintenance-related parameters must be determined in
advance. The parameters include (1) the improvement
factors m
1
and m
2
; (2) the needed times in maintenance.
3.1. Improvement factors assessment
The improvement factors are associated with both the
maintainability of the failure, i.e. repairable or non-repair-
able, and the sufciency of maintenance to the individual
failure. For accurately modeling the improvement, a detailed
analysis on the reliability characteristics of systems (failure
rate contributors) and the extrinsic effects of individual
maintenance task is necessary. Typically, a complex
approach in analyzing the dominant failure causes and the
corresponding maintenance tasks were introduced by Mar-
torell et al. [21] for identifying the most suitable set of tasks
which integrates the maintenance tasks with the surveillance
requirement. A further discussion to evaluate the factor
(named maintenance effectiveness) for mechanical com-
ponents was reported in Ref. [22] which a statistical method
presented. Recently, a simple numerical calculation based on
the maintenance contents had been proposed by Tsai et al.
[14] to estimate the improvement of simple maintenance.
For a mechanical system, the common failure modes may
be, for example, shorts, opens, ruptures, power losses, being
out of tolerance and loss of out, etc. The failure modes come
mainly from two mechanisms. The rst one is the extrinsic
problems of systems such as poor lubricating/heat-vanish-
ing, choking and jamming caused by contamination (dust
and dirt), and bad connection or pressure over due to parts
loosing, etc. The other one is the problems of intrinsic
damages, for example, repeated cycles of lead vibration will
result in mechanical fatigue, contact stress will lead to
excessive wear of kinetic parts, the chemical change on
surfaces will weaken materials (corrosion), and the original
performance decay after a long time use (aging), etc.
According to the intrinsicextrinsic problems of system
failures, (1a) contains ve kinds of activity (Section 1)
which can only improve the extrinsic conditions of failures.
Here, four frequently occurred failures are considered for
assessing the improved factors. They are (1) fatigue, (2)
wear-out, (3) aging and (4) others (such as corrosion, creep,
rupture, and deformation, etc.). The relative probabilities of
the failures occurred, p
f;i
; are rst estimated. Next, the
possible environment deteriorations subjected to these
failures, which may be the problems of loads, temperature,
humidity and dust, etc. are roughly analyzed. After that, the
improved levels of (1a) to the extrinsic factors are evaluated
according to the enclosed activities. Here, m
1
is dened as
m
1

X
4
i1
p
f;i
I
i
8
and
X
4
i
p
f;i
1 9
where I
i
denotes the degree of the operating environments
restored to the original conditions subjected to failure i
which is set between 0 and 1. A further discussion in
determining I
i
can refer to Ref. [14]. On the other hand, the
improvement of maintenance to the failed parts can be
measured according to the recovery of (1b) action to the
individual failure under someone given tools and equip-
ments. It is dened as
m
2

X
4
i1
p
f;i
d
i
10
where d
i
indicates the percents of the failures recovered by
repairing.
For example, the possible failures of a mechanical
component are fatigue and wear-out. The supposed failure
probabilities are p
f;i
0:6; 0:4; 0; 0: Assuming fatigue is
caused by heat stress (dust heap), vibration (joint loosing)
and wear-out by poor lubrication. The restored levels of (1a)
to the extrinsic deteriorations of these failures be assessed as
I
i
0:8; 1; *; *: Moreover, the (1b) may be packing
replacing or internal defects processing and the improve-
ments are supposed as d
i
0:9; 0:8; *; *: Then, m
1
; m
2

would be 0:88; 0:86:


3.2. Maintenance times evaluation
The size of maintenance time would affect the effective-
ness of systems. It is also a concrete index to describe the
maintainability of systems. To plan PM policy based on
availability, evaluating the needed times in maintenance for
Y.-T. Tsai et al. / Reliability Engineering and System Safety 84 (2004) 261270 264
the PM actions are necessary. In general, the maintenance
time can be dened as the sum of the durations of the
following subtasks:
(1) The access time t
1
: It is the amount of time required
to gain access to the maintained components, i.e. the
ready time of preliminary jobs in maintenance. For
example, the removal of maintenance obstacles, such
as panels or covers disassembly is this item.
(2) The inspection or diagnosis time t
2
: It is the amount
of time required to trouble shoot and to determine the
cause of degradation or failure. It includes the time of
diagnostic instruments setting and is also referred to as
fault isolation time.
(3) The repair and/or replacement time t
3
: This item is
only the actual hands-on time to complete the
restoration process once the problem has been
identied and access to the degraded/failed com-
ponents obtained. Its size is decided according to the
actual job contents in maintenance.
(4) The verication and alignment time t
4
: It includes the
time in assembling the all dismantled parts for
validating the restoration and the time of alignment
check to ensure that the unit has been returned to an
operational condition.
According to the four time items, the PM time can be
reasonably estimated if the possible maintenance jobs are
preset accurately in advance. For any SC, it is expressed as
t
a

X
4
i
t
i
11
On the other hand, the CM time must enclosed additionally
the times in supply delay and maintenance delay except the
items considered in PM since the fails are occurred
unexpectedly. Supply delay consists of the total delay time
in obtaining necessary spare parts or components in order to
complete the restoration process. Maintenance delay is the
time spent waiting for maintenance resources or facilities.
Any delay in waiting for spares, additional personnel test
equipment, and so on, is either supply delay or maintenance
delay. Thus, the CM time of SCs can be expressed as
t
b

X
6
i
t
i
12
where the two denotations t
5
; t
6
stand for the supply delay and
the maintenance delay, respectively. Once the times
evaluated, the PM scheduling is then progressed following
the constructed reliability model.
4. Maintenance planning
The reliability increase of system often can be achieved
through a PM program. Such program not only can reduce
the unexpected failures of systems but also have a
signicant impact on the system life. To schedule PM
program by availability, the mathematical expression of
availability must be depicted at rst.
Normally, availability depends on both reliability and
maintainability. A concrete expression to describe the
operational availability is by the mean up-time (MUT) and
the down-time (MDT) of each cycle. It was dened as [20]
A
MUT
MUT MDT
13
Considering periodical replacement problem, the MUT
can be expressed as
MUT t
p
2t
b
t
p
0
htdt 14
where t
p
; t
a
and t
b
are the PM interval, the PM and the CM
times on replacement, respectively, and ht the hazard
function. The MDT is dened as
MDT t
a
t
b
t
p
0
htdt 15
Substituting Eqs. (14) and (15) into Eq. (13), it can be
rewritten as
A
t
p
2t
b
t
p
0
htdt
t
p
t
a
16
Subsequently, the PM interval for maximizing the
availability can be derived by differentiating Eq. (16) to
time t
p
: It is
dA
dt
p
0 17
The differential result is
t
p
t
a
ht
p
2
t
p
0
htdt
t
a
t
b
18
Naturally, the optimal t
p
would satisfy the above equation.
Considering a multi-components system, the t
p
(optimal
replacement time) of the SCs each can be derived by Eq.
(18) once the related parameters t
a
; t
b
and ht given. For a
system, if the SCs are replaced depending on their t
p
individually, the systems availability would be largely
reduced due to system shut-down over frequent. To avoid
the problem, we choose the minimum one among the t
p
of
the SCs as the PM interval of system, i.e. system PM
interval, T Min (the SCs t
p
). On the other hand, the SCs
which t
p
. T are taken with (1a) and (1b) in this time.
While scheduling the PM program, there are two
problems arisen. The rst one is that whether the other
SCs (which t
p
. T) need to be maintained at this time. The
other one is that what actions should be adopted for these
SCs. Here, the former is decided according to the status of
reliability degradation. If the SCs reliability at the next PM
stage is less than the set minimum reliability requirement,
Y.-T. Tsai et al. / Reliability Engineering and System Safety 84 (2004) 261270 265
i.e. R2T , R
min
; the SC need to be maintained on this
stage. The latter is decided depending on the results of
maintenance-benet analyzing. The maintenance benet of
any SC on the jth stage is dened as
B
i;k

1
t
j
R
i;j1
tdt 2
1
t
j
R
i;j
tdt
C
i;k
19
where the subscript i; k denote the ith SC and the three
actions, respectively. The numerator indicates the extended
life of SCi by action k. The denominator is the correspond-
ing maintenance cost. The action which leads to the
maximum maintenance benet, i.e. B
p
i
MaxB
i;k
; would
be selected for the SC.
No sooner than the SCs actions established, the system
availability on any stage can be calculated. It is
A
s;j

MUT
s;j
MUT
s;j
MDT
s;j

T 2t
b;m
X
n
i1
t
j
t
j21
h
i;j
tdt
T
X
n
i
t
i;k;a
20
where n is the number of the SCs, t
i;k;a
representing the
PM time of (1a), (1b) and (2P) of SCi which can take the
same scale as well as the cost C
i;k
: t
b;m
is the mean CM
time of system each fail which is set to t
b;m
ft
a;m
(here,
t
a;m
t
a;1a
t
a;1b
t
a;2p
=3 and f the scale factor of time).
Further, the maintenance cost of system at any stage is
dened as
C
s;j

X
n
i1
C
i;k
C
0
t
b;m
X
n
i1
t
j
t
j21
h
i;j
tdt 21
where the two items indicate the PM and the CM costs of
system. C
0
denote the CM cost of system per unit down-
time which is set as C
0
C
1a
C
1b
C
2b
=3:
Normally, the system availability will gradually decline
following the PM times. The PM scheduling would be
terminated if the system life reaches to the expected life.
Fig. 3 shows the owchart of PM scheduling based on
availability.
5. Example
In order to progress example analysis, several assump-
tions are drawn as follows:
1. The time-dependent failure distributions and the
degraded behaviors of the SCs can be acquired.
2. The unpredictable failures can be restored by (1C)-
maintenance as well as by minimal repair and the CM
time is larger than the PM time.
3. The improvement factors, the maintenance times and the
related costs of the SCs in maintenance can be identied.
5.1. Problem formulation
A mechatronic system which consists of ve SCs [(1)
control, (2) power, (3) transmission, (4) sensing, and (5)
tool] is used as an example to explain the procedure of
PM scheduling. The reliabilities of the SCs are formulated
by using Weibull function because the most useful
probability distributions in reliability are Weibull. The
system reliability is model by the agree method [19],
because it is applicable to the general system that can
be decomposed into a series of independent SCs. It is
dened as
R
s
t R
C
t
X
5
i1
{1 2a
i
1 2R
i
t} 22
where a
i
is the failure probability of system due to the ith
SC failure. In particular, the system combination would
become to series if a
i
1: The R
C
t denotes the
reliability of the surplus part excluding the ve SCs and
is modeled by an exponential function which possesses a
constant failure rate, i.e. R
C
t exp2lt: It could be
Fig. 3. The PM scheduling based on system availability.
Y.-T. Tsai et al. / Reliability Engineering and System Safety 84 (2004) 261270 266
regarded as the inherent failure rate of system and only be
resolved by (1C). Here, it is set to l 0:0002:
The reliability parameters of the subsystem, u
i
; h
i
can
usually be acquired by numerical analysis for the exper-
imental data of reliability testing. A rapid manner in
evaluating these parameters is by their key components. The
determining of key components can refer to Ref. [6].
Moreover, the maintenance-related factors m
1
; m
2
; t
a
and t
b
can be estimated following the previously introduced
methods. For example the control subsystem, the possible
failures may be parts aging or local functions disabled. The
possible failure probabilities, the restored levels of (1a) and
(1b) are assumed as p
f;i
0; 0; 0:5; 0:5; I
i

p
;
p
; 0:7; 0:9
and d
i

p
;
p
; 0:8; 0:8; respectively, so m
1
m
2
0:8
(Eqs. (8) (10)). In addition, the needed times
in maintenance can also be obtained which are
assumed as t
a
30 h and t
b
90 h (Eqs. (11) and (12)).
Similarly, the related factors of the other
subsystems can be derived, too. The supposed related
parameters (a
i
; u
i
; h
i
; t
a
; t
b
; m
1
; m
2
; C
1a
; C
1b
and C
2p
) and
the maintenance costs in the example are listed in
Table 1. Here, t
a
; C
2p
indicate the times and costs of
preventive replacement for the SCs. The scale factor in time
is set to f 3 (i.e. t
b
3t
a
). The expected life of system is
set to T
L
5000 h: The initial reliability of the SCs are all
set to R
0
0:999: The minimum reliability for judging
whether maintained or not are set to and R
min
0:8:
According to the given parameters, the optimal PM
interval of the subsystems each can be obtained. They are
t
p
{761; 1278; 1408; 2068; 1066}
The PM interval of the system would be T 761: Next,
the maintenance benets are calculated for choosing the PM
actions. According to the given parameters in Table 1, the
maintenance benets of different PM actions can be
calculated by Eq. (19) (Table 2). The optimal PM contents,
availabilities and costs of the system are recorded in Table 3.
According to the calculated results, the average availability
and the total cost of system were 0.76 and $6718,
respectively. For example, SC2 would progress one time
of (1a)- and (1b)-maintenances before (2P)-maintenance.
The reliability changing of the system and the correspond-
ing subsystems in the example are shown in Figs. 4 and 5,
respectively. Moreover, for judging the validity of
the algorithm, we reset the t
p
500 and 900 h to
Table 1
The supposed parameters of the subsystems in the example
SCs a
I
u
I
b
I
MTBF t
p
m
1
t
a
PM C
2p
1 0.5 1300 1.8 1155 761 0.8 30 $180
2 0.6 2400 2.5 2127 1278 0.8 50 $240
3 0.6 2600 3.2 2326 1408 0.9 70 $400
4 0.6 3800 3.1 3395 2068 0.8 60 $320
5 0.5 2000 3.1 1787 1066 0.8 80 $260
m
1
m
2
; t
b
CM 3t
a
; C
1a
0:3C
2p
; C
1b
0:6C
2p
:
Table 2
The maintenance benets of the subsystems under various PM actions
Stage Actions Subsystems
1 2 3 4 5
j 1 1a 2.67 3.18 4.03 0.64 4.15
1b 3.50 2.11 2.17 0.40 2.43
2P 3.71 3.12 1.89 1.37 2.89
j 2 1a 2.67 5.47 5.34 4.93 4.24
1b 3.50 5.53 4.96 4.11 3.24
2P 3.71 5.07 5.65 4.68 4.36
j 3 1a 2.67 4.98 4.03 6.28 4.15
1b 3.50 4.27 2.17 6.25 2.43
2P 3.71 5.18 1.89 6.79 2.89
j 4 1a 2.67 3.18 5.34 0.64 3.24
1b 3.50 2.11 4.96 0.40 4.24
2P 3.71 3.12 5.65 1.37 4.36
j 5 1a 2.67 5.47 4.03 4.93 4.15
1b 3.50 5.53 2.17 4.11 2.43
2P 3.71 5.07 1.89 4.68 2.89
j 6 1a 2.67 4.98 5.34 6.28 3.24
1b 3.50 4.27 4.96 6.25 4.24
2P 3.71 5.18 5.65 6.79 4.36
Table 3
The PM schedules of the system in the example t
b
3t
a

Stage Time (h) PM actions Availability Cost (PM) Cost (CM)


j 1 761 3 1 0 0 1 0.88 330 137
j 2 1522 3 2 3 0 3 0.71 984 339
j 3 2283 3 3 0 3 1 0.74 818 363
j 4 3044 3 1 3 0 3 0.73 912 284
j 5 3805 3 2 0 0 1 0.84 402 239
j 6 4566 3 3 3 3 3 0.62 1400 510
Average availability 0.76; Total cost 4846(PM) 1872(
CM) $6718.
Fig. 4. The reliability changing of system under the PM schedule t
b
3t
a
:
Y.-T. Tsai et al. / Reliability Engineering and System Safety 84 (2004) 261270 267
the example. The calculated results are listed in Table 4.
Comparing Tables 3 and 4, we nd that the effectiveness at
t
p
500 and 900 h is lower than the one at t
p
761 h: This
demonstrates the feasibility of the algorithm.
Fig. 5. The reliability changing of the subsystems in the example t
b
3t
a
:
Table 4
The availabilities and costs of the system at t
p
500 and 900 h t
b
3t
a

Stage t
p
500 h t
p
900 h
Availability Cost
(PM)
Cost
(CM)
Availability Cost
(PM)
Cost
(CM)
1 0.92 180 62 0.81 704 200
2 0.77 408 202 0.76 1096 302
3 0.71 570 326 0.77 900 440
4 0.68 594 360 0.73 1016 505
5 0.70 560 271 0.66 1304 515
6 0.77 348 331
7 0.68 528 409
8 0.66 594 421
9 0.72 378 609
Avg. 0.74 Total
cost $7151
0.74 Total
cost $6982
Table 5
The PM schedules while only replacement adopted for the system t
b
3t
a

Stage Time (h) PM actions Availability Cost (PM) Cost (CM)


j 1 761 3 0 0 0 3 0.84 440 137
j 2 1522 3 3 3 0 3 0.68 1080 420
j 3 2283 3 0 0 3 3 0.75 760 312
j 4 3044 3 3 3 0 3 0.68 1080 407
j 5 3805 3 0 0 0 3 0.83 440 196
j 6 4566 3 3 3 3 3 0.61 1400 582
Average availability 0.73; Total cost 5200(PM) 2054
(CM) $7254.
Y.-T. Tsai et al. / Reliability Engineering and System Safety 84 (2004) 261270 268
Moreover, the PM policy which only replacement
taken is calculated for comparing the difference of various
PM strategies. The replaced schedules and the correspond-
ing availability and cost information are recorded in
Table 5. Comparing it with Table 3, we found that the
availability is lower and the total cost is higher than the
results in Table 3. The results reveal that the proposed PM
policy is more advantage than only single action
considered.
Furthermore, the PM interval of system would be t
p

637 h if we set the scale factor to t
b
4t
a
: The PM
schedules and the related information are written in Table 6,
and the related reliability changing is shown in Fig. 6.
Finally, various scale factors are set for analyzing
the properties of PM program (Table 7). We found that
the average availability would be lowered as well as the
total cost of system gradually heightened depending on
the increase of the scale factor. The results are very
consistent with the real case.
6. Conclusion
This paper presented a method of periodical PM policy
based on availability consideration for multi-components
systems. The possible jobs in maintenance are classied into
three activity-types (1a, 1b and 2P) which are concurrently
considered on every PM stage. The effects of maintenance
to reliability were formulated based on the improvements of
the survival and failed parts for constructing the reliability
model of system following PM. The improvements are
measured by using two factors, which the assessed approach
had also been proposed. The PM interval of system is then
derived based on availability maximization after the
maintenance times decided. While scheduling the PM
program, the components whether maintained or not was
settled depending on reliability check, and the action option
for them were decided by maintenance-benet analyzing.
The PM scheduling was progressed step by step for
obtaining the maximum system effectiveness. Once the
extended system life is meet to the expected system life, the
PM scheduling is terminated. In brief, several remarks are
summarized as follows:
1. This PM scheduling was well suitable on a real system
because the maintenance contents are considered from its
physical characteristics. Properly, this approach can be
extended to cost-oriented systems for minimizing life-
cycle-cost or maximizing system prot.
2. The maintenance improvement involves both the main-
tainability of component itself and the maintenance
support. A large improvement would easily be obtained
if the complexity of components is low and having
sufcient tools provided.
3. The studied results show that simultaneously considering
1a, 1b and 2P can efciently reduce the maintenance cost
and increase system availability so that it is more
advantage than only replacement considered.
4. The PM interval is affected obviously by the mainten-
ance times. The bigger the ratio of the CM to the PM
times, the shorter the PM interval would be. Meanwhile,
the more small system effectiveness would be incurred
following the ratio increased.
Acknowledgements
The work was supported by a grant from the National
Science Council under contract No. NSC 91-2212-E-237-
001. The authors would like to appreciate the reviewers for
their valuable suggestions.
Table 6
The PM schedules of the system in the example t
b
4t
a

Stage Time (h) PM actions Availability Cost (PM) Cost (CM)


j 1 637 3 0 0 0 1 0.89 258 118
j 2 1274 3 3 1 0 1 0.73 618 381
j 3 1911 3 0 2 1 2 0.74 672 399
j 4 2548 3 3 1 0 3 0.65 800 519
j 5 3185 3 0 0 1 1 0.75 354 433
j 6 3822 3 3 1 0 1 0.69 618 555
j 7 4459 3 0 2 2 2 0.68 768 591
Average availability 0.73; Total cost 4088(PM) 2996(
CM) $7084.
Fig. 6. The reliability changing of system under the PM schedule t
b
4t
a
:
Table 7
The availabilities and costs of the system on different time ratios
Scale Avg. availability Cost (PM) Cost (CM) Total
t
b
2t
a
0.78 5104 1058 $6162
t
b
3t
a
0.76 4846 1872 $6718
t
b
4t
a
0.74 4088 2996 $7084
t
b
5t
a
0.67 4712 4320 $9032
Y.-T. Tsai et al. / Reliability Engineering and System Safety 84 (2004) 261270 269
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