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J. Cent. South Univ.

(2014) 21: 23722382

DOI: 10.1007/s11771-014-2190-2

Application of reliability-centered maintenance for

productivity improvement of open pit mining equipment:
Case study of Sungun Copper Mine

Amin Moniri Morad1, Mohammad Pourgol-Mohammad2, Javad Sattarvand1

1. Department of Mining Engineering, Sahand University of Technology, Tabriz 51335-1996, Iran;
2. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sahand University of Technology, Tabriz 51335-1996, Iran
Central South University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Abstract: Equipment plays an important role in open pit mining industry and its cost competence at efficient operation and
maintenance techniques centered on reliability can lead to significant cost reduction. The application of optimal maintenance process
was investigated for minimizing the equipment breakdowns and downtimes in Sungun Copper Mine. It results in the improved
efficiency and productivity of the equipment and lowered expenses as well as the increased profit margin. The field operating data of
10 trucks are used to estimate the failure and maintenance profile for each component, and modeling and simulation are
accomplished by using reliability block diagram method. Trend analysis was then conducted to select proper probabilistic model for
maintenance profile. Then reliability of the system was evaluated and importance of each component was computed by weighted
importance measure method. This analysis led to identify the items with critical impact on availability of overall equipment in order
to prioritize improvement decisions. Later, the availability of trucks was evaluated using Monte Carlo simulation and it is revealed
that the uptime of the trucks is around 11000 h at 12000 operation hours. Finally, uncertainty analysis was performed to account for
the uncertainty sources in data and models.

Key words: operating costs; maintenance; mining dump truck; reliability; availability; uncertainty

analyzing the reliability is based on the observed failure

1 Introduction data and proper statistical techniques [3]. Suitable
modeling and interpretation of inter-item relationships
Surface mining stands for major way of raw are the most important activities in the reliability
material production in contemporary mining and have assessment and improvement of the system performance.
been continuously modernized during last decades by Evaluation of the reliability is not singly a right indicator
introducing ultra large machinery and highly automated for analyzing of a typical system under the recurrent
equipment. Trucking is the most conventional and maintenance. Several types of maintenance could be
classical method of haulage system in mining industry. In applied on a system including preventive and corrective
this regards, loading and hauling equipments are maintenance in order to restore it to operational mode.
considered as the most precious assets of an open pit Therefore, this analysis plays an important role in
mine which correspond to the vast amount of capital dependability evaluation of repairable items. The
invested. Similar to all kind of machineries, trucks also availability is the probability that a component operates
need to be carefully preserved under a cautious at an intended mission time. Due to the application of
maintenance program which sometimes contributes as both failure and maintenance downtime data, availability
30% to 50% of the whole haulage costs [1]. Accordingly, is generally used for measuring performance of the
the current work was aimed to investigate the repairable items [4].
maintenance related to the mining trucks using This work describes the reliability-centered
reliability-centered maintenance. maintenance analysis process of the mining dump trucks
Reliability and availability are two suitable metrics in Sungun Copper Mine. The aim of the research is
for quantitative evaluation of system survival analysis. firstly to decrease trucks sudden failures and
Reliability is defined as the probability of the system breakdowns as well as to improve the service lifetime
mission implementation without occurrence of failure at and finally to reduce the maintenance costs. The
a specified time period [2]. In class of statistical methods, reliability management (e.g. improvement) decreases the

Received date: 20130902; Accepted date: 20131210

Corresponding author: Mohammad Pourgol-Mohammad, PhD; Tel: +984113459422; E-mail: pourgolmohammad@sut.ac.ir
J. Cent. South Univ. (2014) 21: 23722382 2373
unexpected failures by estimating the failure time and a Table 1 Researches summary in area of reliability of mining
suitable maintenance program such as preventive industry equipment
maintenance and inspection enhance the service lifetime Kind of Failure
Reference Year
and reduce the maintenance costs. The availability mining equipment process model
analysis investigates the effectiveness of the maintenance [7] 1989 Load-Haul-Dump RP
policy, though, the mine manager can make the preferred [10] 1992 Load-Haul-Dump NHPP
decision about the maintenance policy contrarily. In this [11] 1995 Hydraulic excavator NHPP
work, uncertainty analysis is performed due to the [12] 1997 Load-Haul-Dump RP, NHPP
uncertain nature of parameters and lack of sufficient [13] 2001 Hydraulic shovel RP, NHPP
data. [14] 2004 Electric haul truck RP
Mining system
[15] 2005 RP
2 Literature review (reliability allocation)
[16] 2005 Crushing plant RP, NHPP
A reliability, availability and maintainability (RAM) [5] 2008 Crushing plant RP, NHPP
program is crucial in an effective maintenance [17] 2009 Flexible conveyor RP
management. This program is used because the failures [18] 2009 backhoe NHPP
cannot be prevented entirely; however, well planned [19] 2009 Load-Haul-Dump RP
maintenance minimizes both probability of failure Draglines mechanical
[8] 2010 RP
(increases the reliability) and its impact on the equipment failure
(decreases the equipment breakdown) [5]. The RAM Electrical system of
[20] 2011 RP
method could be very beneficial in the mining industry drum shearer
because of the complication of the mining equipment Hydraulic system of
[9] 2011 RP
operation and maintenance [6]. KUMAR et al [7] drum shearer
RP stands for renewal process; NHPP stands for non-homogenous Poisson
investigated the reliability of the load-haul-dump (LHD) process
machines. The main objective of their research was to
analyze failure based on complete and censored data. times using graphical method. Basically, trend testing is
Their investigation demonstrated that the choice of each accomplished using either graphical method [21] (i.e.,
approach in utilization of either complete or censored probability plotting [2223] and time test on plot [24]) or
data leads to various directional results. BARABADY analytical method [2526] (i.e., Mann test [27], Laplace
and KUMAR [5] studied the reliability and availability test [28] and Military Handbook test [18]). Hence, the
of a crushing plant, studied the importance measure to repairable and non-repairable items of trucks are
identify the critical sub-systems and highlighted the identified and the probabilistic failure process methods
planning for system reliability improvement. UZGREN are distinguished for modeling the maintenance
et al [8] analyzed the mechanical failure data of draglines operations. Generally, reliability analysis of the
machine. It is considered as a repairable system and then repairable systems is estimated by several assumptions
renewal process approach is applied for statistical including renewal process (RP), homogenous Poisson
modeling of the system. HOSEINIE et al [9] also process(HPP), non-homogenous Poisson process (NHPP)
investigated the reliability of the hydraulic system of and generalized renewal process (GRP) [29]. In this
drum shearer. Accordingly, the maintenance strategy and work, the RP method is used when the state of the system
proper statistical distribution were selected based on after the maintenance is as good as new which means
failure behavior of the system. Table 1 summarizes the the age of the system restored to zero. In cases that the
research articles reviewed in conjunction to the reliability system converts to as bad as old state, which means the
evaluation of different mining equipment and age of system remains unchanged after the maintenance,
demonstrates the failure process models of the equipment NHPP is the method of choice whereas, HPP model is
restoration rate after a maintenance operation. applied when the failure intensity is constant and the
time between failures follows from the exponential
3 Methodology and modeling distribution. Hence, the GRP model is assumed to
generalize all three presented states for mining trucks.
Methodology and analysis process, as illustrated in Then, the optimal distribution and its parameters need to
Fig. 1, describe the procedure of the model identification be obtained via either parametric or non-parametric
and selection of the optimal statistical distribution for approaches. Subsequently, reliability of the system and
analysis of the failure and maintenance data. The study its components should be evaluated. The availability of
started initially by trend analysis of the truck failure the trucks is estimated by using maintenance policy data
2374 J. Cent. South Univ. (2014) 21: 23722382

Fig. 1 Flowchart of reliability evaluation

and reliability functions. The Markov chain method is limited on the maintenance operation analysis of mine
also used to evaluate the performance and availability of trucks only.
some repairable systems [29]. This is a direction for
system analysis which is not used in this work. 4.1 Data collection
Collection of failure data was the first phase in this
4 Case study project. The failure data come from different sources like
field data, generic data, test and inspection data. Due to
Sungun Copper Deposit is the second largest copper availability of the collected field data, the modeling and
mine in Iran. Geological reserve of the deposit is analysis are mostly performed by utilization of this field
estimated up to 828 million tons with average copper data. The database is composed of operation time, age of
grade of 0.62%. The mine operation is managed in the the trucks, maintenance data recorded for the trucks
mine site by employing a fleet of 52 and 20 Komatsu 32 components. The maintenance and operational data were
and 100 ton trucks, respectively, 11 Caterpillar 988 collected in time interval of 20102011. The equivalent
loader, 1 Liebherr 17 cubic meter shovels, 8 Komatsu operation times for a month and a year are approximately
PC800 excavators and 9 drilling rigs. This work is considered as 500 and 6000 h, respectively.
J. Cent. South Univ. (2014) 21: 23722382 2375
A main obstacle in data collection process was the reliability block diagram was developed for the system
deficiency of adequate data for the appropriate statistical based on its structure. Due to the design configuration of
analyses. There are methods to deal with this situation the truck system, the operations of considered sub-
including expert judgment [30], Bayesian updating systems were required for mission success of the dump
method [31], and combination of homogenous data truck. Therefore, the weakest link model was found a
method (similar parts of the equipment). Accordingly, it proper model for this purpose.
is assumed that the maintenance data are homogenous in
this work. Therefore, the combination of homogenous 4.3 Trend analysis
data technique is applied to deal with the scarcity of data. Non-parametric methods are alternatives for analysis
This method is appropriate for the fleet of equipment or of the failure and repair data trend. This analysis provides
the systems with dominant identical components and a curve of the mean cumulative function for mean number
similar condition [32]. The assumptions are made in a of failure at specified time against service lifetime to
way that the design, hardware, function, operation illustrate the trend of failure data during total period [34].
conditions, procedures, system structure, location and
If the failure data plot results a straight line, it is
environment are all similar [18]. Moreover, the age of
concluded that there is no trend. Based on this analysis,
dump trucks was a major factor for justification of the
each unit is composed of a staircase function that
identical conditions of trucks. Since each system has an
demonstrates the cumulative number of failures for a
intrinsic different failure random behavior at its service
particular event. Finally, regression of the generated
lifetime, in this work, 10 dump trucks are chosen with
points describes the trend procedure. Also, assembly of
the age of approximately 15000 operation hours. This
units generates a set of staircase curve of each unit in the
age is in the region of useful lifetime of trucks. In the
population, so that the mean cumulative number of
useful lifetime, the failure mostly occurs under a
failures is estimated. The serial correlation test is used
systematic process whereas the failure behavior for a
for studying the independence of the failure data. Serial
new system is based on the infant failure and in older
systems, the failure occurs in wear out region. correlation plot is based on i-th lifetime failure against
(i1)-th one. If only one cluster of points is generated
4.2 Modeling of system then no trend is observed. The trend exists if two or more
The system of dump truck is decomposed to its clusters, or a straight line is generated [18]. Probability
sub-systems and components in order to analyze the plot is used for estimating the statistical distribution
system reliability. Figure 2 demonstrates the hierarchical parameters when the failure data follow IID condition
decomposing of dump truck system into the main sub- whereas the GRP method is used whenever the failure
systems and also further decomposition of each data demonstrate a trend. The testing trend and serial
sub-system into its components. The failure mode and correlation for braking sub-system shows that the IID
effect analysis approach were conducted to assess the condition is obtained as shown Fig. 3 and Fig. 4,
significant failure modes for each component [33]. The respectively.

Fig. 2 Decomposion of dump truck system

2376 J. Cent. South Univ. (2014) 21: 23722382
maintenance data in truck items. Therefore, the TBF data
are collected as the input parameter of the PLP model to
estimate the statistical parameters. Weibull++8 software
is used as the computation tool for the calculations in this
work. It is assumed here that the maintenance is
imperfect in determining system behavior after a
maintenance task on the system components. The
restoration rate is estimated for the components after a
repair task whose value is specified in range of 0 to 1,
where restoration value 0 means no improvement in
component status after repair and restoration value 1 is
perfect repair making unit as good as new. In this
approach the assumptions are more realistic in
comparison with traditional methods discussed above
Fig. 3 Testing trend for braking component which they only consider either minimal repair state
(NHPP) or perfect repair state. However, a main
challenge in the method is to estimate the restoration rate
of item after completion of a maintenance task. It leads
to the consider ation of the uncertainties of model for
assessment of confidence level in estimation process.
Accordingly, two types of maintenance is considered for
corrective maintenance activities which are called Types
I and II. Type I model assumes that the repairs can
remove some portion of the damage which has
accumulated since the last repair. In other words, the age
of the components after the m-th maintenance
immediately return to the age of the (m1) maintenance
considering coefficient of maintenance effectiveness.
The model Type II assumes that the repairs can remove a
Fig. 4 Testing serial correlation for braking component portion of all damage that has accumulated since the
system was new. The models of Types I and II are used
4.4 Estimation of statistical parameters for calculation respectively as follows:
As shown in the process (Fig. 1), reliability analysis
of selected distributions requires estimation of statistical vi vi 1 qX i (1)
parameters. In this work, probabilistic distributions of the
components are selected based on repairable and vi q(vi 1 X i ) (2)
non-repairable situations. The distribution parameters are where vi is the virtual age after i-th maintenance, Xi is the
estimated according to GRP model and ordinarily
TBFs, q is the parameter of the virtual age (the range is
between 0 and 1) and q=1FR where FR is restoration
4.4.1 Repairable items
A general parametric method for solving the GRP
The trend test is used for performance analysis of
model is the power law process. This process is able to
the repairable items to identify the failure behavior. The
model the failure intensity for repairable systems. The
trend analysis of failure data leads to determination of
occurrence of the first failure follows Weibull
rate of occurrence. It also determines whether the part
distribution method which is defined as
has increasing failure intensity (IFI) or decreasing failure
intensity (DFI). If the intensity function decreases, the (t ) t 1 (3)
system is improving whereas the increasing intensity
function leads to deterioration of the system. According
v 1/ (4)
to flowchart process exhibited in Fig. 1, the parameters
of failure probabilistic distribution of repairable items are where (t) is intensity function, is PLP parameter, is
computed using GRP technique. GRP model is selected Weibull parameter.
because of its capability to consider the imperfect In this work, the Monte Carlo simulation and MLE
J. Cent. South Univ. (2014) 21: 23722382 2377
method are combined for estimation of the PLP statistical According to Table 2, while dealing with heavily
parameters. Monte Carlo simulation is utilized here for censored data (CND), the likelihood value was used to
supplying data set of failure times in order to compute select the better fitness of data and right model. The
virtual age. This process implemented by generating likelihood function of censored data is obtained by
random variables from conditional PDF for components Eq. (8). For complete data (CMD), the rank regression
failure time. Random variables sampling is accomplished on X axis is used. The rank regression method is based
in conditional CDF plot. It is assumed that the time to on the plotting position of the time to failure data. The
first failure fitted on Weibull distribution. Therefore, the value indicates the correlation coefficient of the RRX
conditional PDF and CDF are defined as method. Hence, the selected distribution for each
component is validated. In this table, the time to repair is
f (ti ti 1 ) ( X i vi 1 ) 1 exp{[( X i vi 1 ) vi1 ]}
calculated by appropriate distributions and goodness of
fit method (K-S test). The restoration factors (RF) for
F (ti vi 1 ) 1 exp{[( X i vi 1 ) vi1 ]} (6) Type I and Type II are considered as 0.30 and 0.70,
respectively. The type of maintenance is selected based
where f (ti t i 1 ) is the conditional PDF, F (ti vi 1 ) is on the LK value. The parameters of PLP method are
the conditional CDF, ti is successive failure times estimated via the Monte Carlo simulation. Results of
vi 1 is the virtual age after (i-1)-th Table 2 endorse the trend test outcomes. Thus, when the
(ti X j ),
j 1
failure intensity of the repairable items decreases, the
maintenance. parameter of the Weibull distribution in PLP model is
In the next step, the PLP parameters (, and q) are less than 1.0 and it shows the decrease in failure intensity.
estimated by MLE method. The maximum likelihood For >1, the increase in failure intensity occurs while
estimation function is formulated for the problem in >2 indicates that the components are in wearing region.
Eq. (7) [35]. To solve the equation, the Newton search Results of this table (distributions and quantity of
parameters) are used for reliability analysis of the dump
method is applied to maximize the MLE function.
truck sub-systems.
According to this method, at each iteration, the type of
maintenance (Types I and II) is chosen by likelihood

n m
L f (Ti ; x1 , x2 , , xk ) 1 F ( S j ; x1 , x2 , , xk )
value so that the lower LK estimates are selected for this
i 1 j 1

ln L n(ln ln ) [(T t n vn ) vn ] where f(Ti; x1, x2, , xk) is PDF, n is the number of
n n failures, Ti is the i-th failure time, xk is statistical
[( X i vi 1 ) vi ] ( 1) ln( X i vi 1 ) parameters, F(Sj; x1, x2, , xk) is CDF, Sj is the j-th time
i 1 i 1
to suspension of data.
where T=tn, if the observation stops right after the last 4.5 Reliability analysis
occurrence; L is MLE function; n is the whole number of The reliability of dump truck system and its
occurrences during observation period; T is stop time of sub-systems are temporarily estimated by selection of
the observation; vn is virtual age after n-th maintenance. optimal fitted distribution and by considering their
4.4.2 Non-repairable items estimated parameters (Table 3). According to Table 3, the
The probability plot is provided to assess the transmission is concluded to be the most unreliable
reliability of non-repairable items. The plot is a sub-system and the Frame and body as the most reliable
technique for testing goodness of fit of data to a sub-systems (reliabilities for two sub-systems at 3000
distribution. As shown in Fig. 1, the RP technique is operation hours are 3106 and 0.36, respectively) in
accomplished when the identical and independent comparison to other sub-systems reliability. Figure 5
distribution conditions are valid for the dump truck items. indicates the reliability values of the dump truck system
Initially, the TBF data are obtained and a suitable and its sub-systems during 3000 operation hours.
statistical distribution is fitted for each failure data set of
items. The goodness of fit method is used for choosing 4.6 Importance measure
optimal distribution. This method studies the problem of T h e i mp o r ta n c e me a s u r e is a me a n s f o r
determining whether a sample belongs to a hypothesized identification of the most critical items. By ranking of
theoretical distribution. Kolmogorov-Smirnov test [29] is the items based on their reliability importance,
performed as a proper procedure for this method. Results prioritizing policy is planned in a way that the weakest
of statistical estimations of each component (repairable items from reliability point of view are improved.
and non-repairable items) are given in Table 2. Importance measure I Ri (t ) is defined as probability that
2378 J. Cent. South Univ. (2014) 21: 23722382
Table 2 Results of statistical analyses for each dump truck component
Modeling maintenance TBF estimation TTR estimation
Component Trend Kind of K-S LK Optimal Parameters Parameters
Features FR/% /% Optimal fit
maintenance test/% value fit estimation estimation
=2.87 M=14.1
Engine body IFI GRP Type I 70 N/A N/A 81.8 PLP N-2P
=10887 S=7.45
CMD =1.47 ML=0.99
Fuel IID RP N/A 0.326 99.3 338.2 W-2P L-N-2P
RRX =3237 SL=0.47
CND M=1.16
Lubrication IID RP N/A 0.0002 N/A 34.8 EXP-1P M=39661 EXP-2P
MLE G=1.24
CMD ML=7.81 ML=1.1
Radiator & Cab IID RP N/A 0.010 98.4 257 L-N-2P L-N-2P
RRX SL=0.98 SL=0.66
=2.20 ML=1.63
Fan & Pulley IFI GRP Type I 70 N/A N/A 73.4 PLP L-N-2P
=12463 SL=0.42
Intake & CMD =1.29 ML=1.03
IID RP N/A 2.47 98.6 252.4 W-2P L-N-2P
Exhaust RRX =3411 SL =0.56
=1.84 M=4.38
Clutch IFI GRP Type II 30 N/A N/A 34.4 PLP EXP-2P
=22171 G=0.84
=0.98 =1.01
Gear box DFI GRP Type I 30 N/A N/A 55.5 PLP W-2P
=24384 =15.35
Connections & CMD =1.58 =1.82
IID RP N/A 1.04 99.5 351.8 W-2P W-2P
Bearing RRX =3139 =4.49
CND =1.87 M=2.35
Universal joint IID RP N/A 0.04 N/A 80.3 W-2P N-2P
MLE =9903 S=1.08
=0.64 =0.58
Differential DFI GRP Type I 70 N/A N/A 64.8 PLP W-3P =1.06
0 85
CMD =1.70 =1.67
Wheels IID RP N/A 1.81 98.6 398.9 W-2P W-2P
RRX =2735 =5.76
CND ML=8.35 =1.61
Steering IID RP N/A 0.001 N/A 189.6 L-N-2P W-2P
MLE SL=0.77 =0.68
CMD ML=7.54 ML=1.06
Braking IID RP N/A 0.78 99.4 416.6 L-N-2P L-N-2P
RRX SL=0.78 SL=0.52
=2.41 =1.6
Hydraulics IFI GRP Type II 30 N/A N/A 395.5 PLP W-2P
=4949 =2.54
CND ML=10.74 ML=1.55
Starter IID RP N/A 0.00001 N/A 23.3 L-N-2P L-N-2P
MLE SL=1.86 SL=0.37
CND ML=9.70 M=3.49
Cables IID RP N/A 0.00002 N/A 43.7 L-N-2P N-2P
MLE SL=1.55 S=0.68
Battery IID RP N/A 0.001 N/A 73 EXP-1P M=12376 EXP-1P M=1.26
CND M=0.95
Lights IID RP N/A 0.37 N/A 223.8 EXP-1P M=2840 N-2P
MLE S=0.24
Alternator CND =1.19 =0.79
IID RP N/A 0.00001 N/A 61.9 W-2P W-2P
(Dynamo) MLE =10903 =1.01
Related CND M=5360
IID RP N/A 0.002 N/A 34.5 N-2P EXP-1P M=2.10
electrical items MLE S=2485
=1.55 ML=0.98
Tiers IFI GRP Type I 70 N/A N/A 396.6 PLP L-N-2P
=3862 SL=0.34
Shock CND ML=8.36 M=2.63
IID RP N/A N/A N/A 142.8 L-N-2P N-2P
absorber MLE SL=0.82 S=1.30
Frame and CMD M =4.57
IID RP N/A 0.004 99.2 38 EXP-1P M=4000 EXP-2P
body RRX G=2.37
J. Cent. South Univ. (2014) 21: 23722382 2379
Table 3 Analyzing reliabiltiy of all sub-systems and dump truck system at various times
Sub-systems Frame Dump truck
Engine Transmission Hydraulics Electrical Tires
time/h and Body system
0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
50 0.888 0.823 0.871 0.919 0.983 0.955 0.549
100 0.788 0.676 0.759 0.845 0.966 0.911 0.301
200 0.621 0.456 0.575 0.713 0.933 0.83 0.09
500 0.301 0.139 0.247 0.429 0.842 0.625 0.0023
1000 0.088 0.018 0.058 0.183 0.71 0.387 5106
3000 0.0005 310 0.0001 0.006 0.36 0.051 1.751017

Fig. 5 Reliability values for each sub-system and dump truck


component i is critical to system failure and is calculated Fig. 6 Measuring reliabiltity importance for all of transmision
by components at 500 operation hours

I Ri (t ) Rs (t ) / Ri (t ) (9) for modeling the failure behavior under the maintenance

where Rs is reliability of the system, Ri is reliability of activities. The maintenance policies for simulation
the component i. process include time to repair (for all kinds of
The analysis reveals that the transmission system is maintenances), delay time for fault detection and
identified as the most critical sub-system. Also, the diagnosis and also logistic delay times which consists of
reliability importance measure reveals that the wheels are the required time for providing spare parts and delay
the most important among the transmission components. time before the crews start the tasks. Due to limitation of
The reliability importance value for the wheel paper pages, maintenance tasks of wheels is only
component was calculated as 0.31 at 500 operation hours. provided in Table 4. For further details, the reader can
This value is a relative importance of an individual item refer to Ref. [33]. The mean availability is estimated as
in comparison with total reliability of truck system at a 91.8% at 12000 operation hours from simulation. Some
specific time. Importance measures are shown in Fig. 6, of the simulation results are given in Table 5.
for all of the transmission components. The value of downtime is shown in Fig. 7, for each
component at 12000 operation hours. As it is illustrated,
4.7 Availability assessment the tires have the highest contribution to the
Availability is a better metric for performance unavailability of the system and shock absorber is found
analysis of the maintainable equipment. The availability as the most reliable component.
of the truck system is a function of the sub-systems and
components reliability and maintenance portfolio. The 4.8 Uncertainty
input data for calculating availability are reliability Uncertainty ranges are derived for the problem for
distribution functions and maintenance policy for a demonstration of the confidence on the obtained results.
specified time period. Monte Carlo simulation is utilized There are various input and model uncertainty sources in
2380 J. Cent. South Univ. (2014) 21: 23722382
Table 4 Maintenance policy for wheels component
Corrective maintenance Preventive maintenance Inspection
Crews delay Time
Time Spare parts Crews Spare parts Interval/ Crews
& failure Task Interval/h duration/ Task
duration/h delay/min delay/min delay/min h delay/min
diagnosis/min min
Final N-2P,
drive oil 250 =15,
W-2P, N-2P, N-2P, N-2P, N-2P, N-2P,
Final drive inspection =5
=1.67, =60, =50, 2000 =30, =10, =15,
oil change N-2P,
=5.76 =30 =10 =10 =5 =5 Wheels
100 =35,

Table 5 Simulation results for estimating availability features

Feature Value Feature Value
Mean availability (All events)/% 91.84 Uptime/h 11021
Point availability (All events) at 12000 hours/% 93.5 Corrective maintenance downtime/h 766
Mean availability (w/o PM & Inspection)/% 93.61 Inspection downtime/h 133
Mean time to first failure/h 95.37 Preventive maintenance downtime/h 80

Fig. 7 Downtime for each component

the calculations and results. It includes approximations, maintenance policies). Random variable sampling is
assumptions, sampling errors, selecting probability designed for variables with considering the dependency
distribution functions, models for estimation of statistical among them if significantly available. This process is
parameters and simulation process. Methods for repeated for sufficient sample size to estimate
estimation of input uncertainty include maximum availability values. A typical sampling for k elements in n
likelihood estimation, Bayesian, maximum entropy. iterations for estimating of availability function is given
Propagation of uncertainty also affects the results. by
Several methods exist for uncertainty propagation
x11 , x12 , , x1k A(t )1
including Monte Carlo simulation, response surface
method, method of moments and bootstrap sampling [29]. x12 , x22 , , xk2 A(t ) 2
Monte Carlo simulation is used here for propagation of
uncertainties. This method is designed based on x n , x n , , x n A(t ) n
1 2 k
probabilistic models and statistical sampling. Monte
Carlo method procedure is composed of sampling from where xkn is k-th parameter in n-th iteration, and A(t) is
CDF of each xi parameter that is involved in availability the availability value.
estimation (reliability distribution functions and Confidence intervals method is utilized for
J. Cent. South Univ. (2014) 21: 23722382 2381
presenting uncertainty of the estimated results. In this centered maintenance is evaluated for the Komatsu
method, a boundary with acceptable confidence level is mining trucks at the Sungun Copper Mine. The analysis
associated with the estimated response variable. The process is comprised for both repairable and non-
confidence bounds are calculated by Fisher Matrix repairable items. The reliability analysis is implemented
approach on censored data [36]. According to this for each sub-system at various mission time. The
method, the mean and variance of the availability probabilistic failure process modeling is performed for
function is determined. Maximum likelihood estimation repairable and non-repairable items using the GRP and
is used for point estimation of statistical parameters. RP methods, respectively. The importance measure
Determination of variance and covariance of the MLE analysis indicates that the wheels are the most critical
parameters matrix is obtained by the inverse of Fisher component. Later, the analysis based on the availability
Matrix: indicates that the mean availability of the dump truck is
var( x1 ) cov( x1 , x2 ) cov( x1 , xi ) 91.8% at 12000 operation hours. The uncertainty
cov( x , x ) var( x2 ) cov( x2 , xi ) analysis is done to find the confidence interval of the
1 2
F 1 (11)
estimated equipment reliability and availability. Research
findings are provided to the maintenance management
cov( x1 , xi ) cov( x2 , xi ) var( xi )
team for planning better decisions about the maintenance
2 2 2 operation, condition monitoring of the critical items,
x1 x2 x1 xi inventory of the spare parts and their re-order level
2 2 2 which leads to reduction in the equipment downtime.
F 1
x x x22

x2 xi (12) This leads to an improvement of the equipment
1 2
productivity and reduction of the operating costs. The
2 2 2 future researches are planned about maintenance
optimization and preventive maintenance intervals.
x1 xi x2 xi xi2
where xi is the statistical parameters, F1 is inverse of the Acknowledgment
Fisher Matrix, is the log-likelihood function. Authors wish to appreciate the support of the
The upper and lower intervals for mean availability Maintenance Department of Mobin Co. and Sungun
values at 12000 operation hours by using Monte Carlo Copper mine.
simulation uncertainty propagation method with
considering 500 iterations and confidence interval 95% Nomenclature and abbreviations
are given in Fig. 8. CMD Complete data
CND Censored data
CDF Cumulative distribution function
DFI Decreasing failure intensity
EXP Exponential
GRP Generalized renewal process
IFI Increasing failure intensity
IID Identical and independent distribution
K-S Test Kolmogorov-Smirnov test
LK Likelihood value
ML Log-mean
NL Log-normal
SL Log-standard deviation
Fig. 8 Boundary intervals for mean availability function at M Mean
12000 operation hours MLE Maximum likelihood estimation
NHPP Non-homogenous Poisson process
5 Conclusions N-2P Normal-2 parameters
PLP Power law process
The RAM analyses are essential in the maintenance
of the heavy machinery as productivity of the equipment PDF Probability density function
strongly depends on it. In this work, the reliability- RAM Reliability, availability and maintainability
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