Traditionally, the optimal preventive maintenance interval for an unreliable production system has been determined by maximizing its limiting availability. Nowadays, it is widely recognized that this performance measure does not always provide relevant information for practical purposes. This is particularly true for order-driven manufacturing systems, in which due date performance has become a more important, and even a competitive factor. Under these circumstances, the so-called interval availability distribution is often seen as a more appropriate performance measure. Surprisingly enough, the relation between preventive maintenance and interval availability has received little attention in the existing literature. In this article, a series of mathematical models and optimization techniques is presented, with which the optimal preventive maintenance interval can be determined from an interval availability point of view, rather than from a limiting availability perspective. Computational results for a class of representative test problems indicate that significant improvements of up to 30% in the guaranteed interval availability can be obtained, by increasing preventive maintenance frequencies somewhere between 10 and 70%.
- Interval availability distribution
- Preventive maintenance
- Order-driven manufacturing systems