More Research at C-MORE

Maintenance performance management

Methods of measuring performance have been developed independently in different fields of study such as finance, operation, marketing, human resource management, and reliability and maintenance. There is usually no link between these methods, resulting in many duplications and contradictory results. Future performance measurement systems will focus on dynamic relationships between significant factors in the business environment. C-MORE Postdoctoral fellow Ali Zuashkiani is currently collaborating with Dofasco on the design of a world-class maintenance performance management system.

Maintenance and repair contracts

In the modern mining world, terms and conditions of agreements between companies providing maintenance services (contractors) and companies in need of such services (customers) are regulated by Maintenance Contracts. A maintenance contract typically specifies the scope of delegated work, the compensation to contractor for the correspondent services, and the extension/adjustment/termination conditions.

Availability guarantee specified by the contract may not be the most attractive target for a rational contractor. The benefit of achieving a higher level of availability and and paying smaller penalty may not be enough to cover an increase in internal cost associated with achieving the required level of performance. It is of the interest of either party to foresee the implications related to the conditions of a MARC, and thus predict actions of their opponent’s. Changes in some parameters and strategies can in fact be beneficial to both opponents, making the problem interesting for investigation.

Reliability and maintenance of medical devices

For decades, reliability engineering techniques have been successfully applied in many industries to improve the performance of equipment maintenance management. Numerous inspection and optimization models are developed and widely used to achieve maintenance excellence, i.e. the balance of performance, risk, resources and cost to reach to an optimal solution. However, the application of all these techniques and models to medical devices is new. Hospitals, due to possessing a large number of difference devices, can benefit significantly if the optimization techniques are used properly in the equipment management processes. Most research in the area of reliability engineering for medical equipment mainly considers the devices in their design or manufacturing stage and suggests some techniques to improve the reliability. To this point, best maintenance strategies for medical equipment in their operating context have not been considered. We aim to address this gap and propose methods to improve current maintenance strategies in the healthcare industry.

Information engineering

Reliability data is very important for maintenance tasks to facilitate the identification of optimum maintenance and replacement decisions, such as establishment of preventive maintenance programs and overhaul programs, the determination of spares parts levels etc. Currently much of the reliability information is contained in a computerized form like a CMMS (the computerized maintenance management system). However, sometimes the data contained in the database can be poor in content and quality. There are two possible reasons for this. First, the CMMS focuses more on the maintenance management function. The design of the database is not orientating toward reliability analysis. As a result, some data important for reliability analysis are not usually available within the database. Second, some CMMSs have data integrity problems, resulting in conflicting data for reliability analysis. At C-MORE, Tanya Tang is working on this complex issue. She aims to improve the data quality of the CMMS for both maintenance work and analysis purpose, resulting in cost savings and maintenance performance improvement.

Maintenance Scheduling

Maintenance scheduling involves tracking actual maintenance history, equipment monitoring status and other factors to schedule maintenance actions before an expected occurrence of a failure.  Maintenance scheduling can be integrated with the systems used to plan future resource availability and to indicate when future downtime will occur.