Joint condition-based maintenance and load-sharing optimization for two-unit systems with economic dependency

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Many production facilities consist of multiple and functionally exchangeable units of equipment, such as pumps or turbines, that are jointly used to satisfy a given production target. Such systems often have to ensure high levels of reliability and availability. The deterioration rates of the units typically depend on their production rates, implying that the operator can control deterioration by dynamically reallocating load among units. In this study, we examine the value of condition-based load-sharing decisions for two-unit systems with economic dependency. We formulate the system as a Markov decision process and provide optimal joint condition-based maintenance and production policies. Our numerical results show that, dependent on the system characteristics, substantial cost savings of up to 40% can be realized compared to the optimal condition-based maintenance policy under equal load-sharing. The structure of the optimal policy particularly depends on the maintenance setup cost and the penalty that is incurred if the production target is not satisfied. For systems with high setup costs, the clustering of maintenance interventions is improved by synchronizing the deterioration of the units. On the contrary, for low setup costs, the deterioration levels are desynchronized and the maintenance interventions are alternated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1119-1131
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number3
Early online date27-Mar-2021
Publication statusPublished - 16-Dec-2021

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