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A maintenance-focused approach to complex system design

  • Bo Yang Yu (a1), Tomonori Honda (a1), Syed M. Zubair (a2), Mostafa H. Sharqawy (a3) and Maria C. Yang (a1)...

Maintenance plays a critical role in reducing operating cost and maximizing reliability of a complex engineering system. This paper proposes a novel maintenance-focused, system-level design framework that attempts to capture the interactions between maintenance strategies and system-level design parameters overlooked in current modeling approaches. The goal of this maintenance-focused approach is to help designers better understand the interconnectedness of system architecture, choice of maintenance strategy, and uncertainties in a design. Application of the proposed design framework is demonstrated through a case example of a power plant condenser system. Results show that using an integrated approach can reveal the many nonobvious interactions between subsystems, and produce system designs that have lower life-cycle cost compared to traditional sequential design approaches.

Corresponding author
Reprint requests to: Maria C. Yang, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 3-449B, Cambridge, MA, USA. E-mail:
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