A model of system limiting availability under imperfect maintenance

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Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering


© 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of the Kijima Type II imperfect repair model on the availability of repairable systems (RS). Since many individuals are interested in measuring the extent to which the system will be available after it has been run for a long time, the specific interest in this study is in the steady-state (limiting) availability behavior of such systems. Furthermore, the authors study the impact of age-based preventive maintenance (PM) on the RS performance. Design/methodology/approach - Because of the complexity of the underlying assumptions of the Kijima Type II model, the authors use simulation modeling to estimate the system availability. Based on preliminary simulation results, the availability function achieves a steady-state value greater than zero. The system steady-state availability is then estimated from the simulation output by computing the average of the availability estimates beyond the initial transient period. Next, the authors develop a meta-model to convert the system reliability and maintainability parameters into the coefficients of the limiting availability estimate without the simulation effort. Using a circumscribed central composite experimental design, the authors confirm the accuracy of the meta-model. Findings - The results show that the meta-model is robust, and provides good estimates of the system limiting availability. Also, the authors find that when using a Kijima Type II model for a system repair process, age-based PM can improve the steady-state availability value. Therefore, an optimal age-based PM policy that maximizes the system's steady-state availability can be identified. Originality/value - In practice, it is important to study the system steady-state availability because many individuals, i.e. engineers, are more interested in measuring the extent to which the system will be available after it has been run for a long time. Therefore, this study represents a significant addition to the body of knowledge related to virtual age modeling, in that it incorporates a Kijima type II model and considers system steady-state availability.

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