Using Maintenance Strategy to Improve The Availability of Complex Systems

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In today's marketplace for high volume printers, reliability and availability are key performance factors that can affect the financial performance of both vendor and customer. Equipment having fewer failures and requiring less service will have higher availability and productivity and generally be perceived as offering better value. Higher availability translates directly to getting more out of the equipment and a higher return on investment.

The availability of complex equipment is affected by both the intrinsic reliability of the system and maintenance strategy. Generally, the reliability distribution of complex repaired systems follows the exponential distribution function. This distribution of failures, at the system level, is a result of having many elements in the system with a mixture of life distributions and or characteristic parameters. When there are many different and non-synchronized life distributions, the hazard rate (failure rate) is constant when measured over a long period. With a constant hazard rate a preventive maintenance strategy is not effective. However, within a complex system, lower level subsystems and components often have well defined wear-out modes of failure. Even though the total system has a constant hazard rate and exponential failure distribution, it is possible to improve equipment availability by managing the repair or replacement of those components with wear-out modes of failure. This paper compares several alternative maintenance strategies and shows how under certain conditions service hours can be reduced and equipment availability increased.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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