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Precision Material Condition Assessments

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One of the key elements for cost effective and efficient maintenance of today's Navy is the use of material condition assessments as part of the overall Navy's Condition‐Based Maintenance (CBM) philosophy. Through the use of material condition assessments, maintenance managers are able to detect, mitigate, and prevent potential costly and operationally debilitating equipment or systems failures. All Type Commanders (TYCOMs) use CBM assessments to help manage maintenance. This has been accomplished for CNSF N432 by the consolidated visit process, which has an established track record of proven success and is continuing to evolve with new technology and emerging processes, especially in view of the need to “do more with less.” One of the advances made in the material condition assessment process is the increased ability to accurately target problem maintenance objects for assessment. Much like the improvements made in missile technology, whereby the detection and seeker accuracy have evolved to permit pinpoint targeting (thus allowing warheads to become smaller and overall less costly), the improved use of maintenance history data and engineered risk priority business rules allows the material condition assessment process to zero in on problem maintenance objects. Modern missiles can now zoom in on specific buildings as designated targets and no longer need to be as destructive as in the past in order to achieve desired results, thus saving the cost and necessity for larger missiles and warheads. Likewise, today's precision material condition assessments can zoom in on those components within systems that are causing failures and not expend time, effort, and funding on collateral assessments for non‐problem items. A process tool currently being used to provide the precision targeting for material condition assessments is the Maintenance Assessment Index (MAI). This paper will review the background of the MAI, the process by which precision material condition assessments are determined, and how that information is integrated with the consolidated visit process: Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical Readiness Assessment. Success of the MAI is measured by increasing the look‐to‐find and find‐to‐fix ratios executed during the visits. Good systems and components fall off the radar screen, while bad actors are specifically targeted. This paper will also cover the consolidated visit process from agenda building to task loading from the Integrated Class Maintenance Plan, from the use of work order management tools to metrics collection and measures analysis. The ability to adjust the targeting criteria of the material condition assessment has become a powerful weapon for the TYCOM's battle to accomplish more maintenance with fewer resources and yet ensure a high state of material readiness for the fleet.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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  • The Naval Engineers Journal is the peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE). ASNE is the leading professional engineering society for engineers, scientists and allied professionals who conceive, design, develop, test, construct, outfit, operate and maintain complex naval and maritime ships, submarines and aircraft and their associated systems and subsystems.
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