Recent developments in sensor technologies in combination with advances in information and communication technologies has provided with new opportunities to deal with the complex and multidisciplinary area of maintenance in an effective way. In near future, it will be easier to merge data from machine health condition with business information to arrive at the best possible maintenance and business solutions leading to e-Maintenance. This special issue is a small timely step to move in that direction.
This special issue was initiated while organizing the First International Congress and Workshop on e-Maintenance in Lule? during June 22-24, 2010 by the Division of Operation and Maintenance Engineering of Lule? University of Technology, Sweden. Some representative papers befitting the theme of this special issue were selected from the presented papers and with additional inputs from the authors and following a blind review and subsequent revision before final acceptance of papers for this special issue of International Journal of Performability Engineering.
With emergence of intelligent sensors to measure and monitor the health of the engineering assets and gradual implementation of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the organization, conceptualization and development of e-Maintenance has turned into a reality. While e-Maintenance shows a lot of promise, seamless integration of ICT into the industrial environment still remains a challenge. The e-Maintenance concept found its application into engineering asset management as a part of e-Manufacturing and e-Business in the early 21st century. e-Maintenance is a concept necessary to enable and implement proactive decision making process; supporting e-Technologies; including e-Monitoring, e-Diagnostics, and e-Prognostics.
The first paper, A Generic Approach for Predictive Maintenance Considering Changing Ageing Conditions, deals with the analysis of condition in which data plays an important role to determine the health condition of machines. The paper proposes a sequence of steps which allows the determination of ageing indicators using a generic approach which are used to predict the behaviour of a machine. The current predictive maintenance approaches are often based on economical or statistical failure criteria and not on technical details of the concerned processes.
The second paper, Model based Fault Diagnosis of Rotor Systems, proposes a model based scheme for fault diagnosis of a rotor system. Since the vibration in rotating machinery is mostly caused by unbalance, misalignment, shaft crack, mechanical looseness and other malfunctions, the proposed scheme successfully detects and identifies the type, location and amount of fault in a rotor system for unbalances, misalignments and cracks. The method further demonstrates the efficacy of the model based fault detection system for a simple rotor-bearing system.
In the third paper, Mapping FMEA into Bayesian Networks, the authors use FMEA to detect possible flaws in a system or elements, especially in the design phase. This knowledge can be mapped into a Bayesian Network and this information can be used further, in software applications for maintenance. A good FMEA has the necessary features to build a good Bayesian Network: bottom-up (or top-down) analysis of all the components and subcomponents and cause-failure-effect chains. The Bayesian network has been used for the FMEA of a marine diesel engine, as a diagnostic application that uses a set of on-line lube-oil sensors.
The fourth paper, Maintenance Optimization for Large Coal-fired Power Plants, deals with minimization of the costs of scheduled and unscheduled plant downtimes as well as well as the financial losses involved. The authors have discussed the tools for optimizing maintenance cycles and avoiding downtimes and associated expenses through a software program INSTRA.
The fifth paper, A Simulation Approach to the Optimization of Railway Infrastructure Maintenance Strategies, looks into increased availability of railway infrastructure through diagnostics and preventive maintenance. The authors have presented a Petri net based modeling method for Monte Carlo simulation and validated it with a case study on French high speed line.
The sixth paper of the special issue, Essential Components of e-Maintenance, looks into the common features of the definition of e-Maintenance and the authors bring out the initial set of essential components for e-Maintenance. Besides, the definition of e-Maintenance, its relation in context of other e-Domains; and opportunities and challenges are presented.
In the seventh paper of this issue, e-Maintenance of Railway Asset based on a Reliable Condition Prediction, the authors emphasize that an efficient e-Maintenance concept helps provide a reliable basis for condition diagnosis and prediction. For the managers of railway infrastructure, it is essential to ensure high process efficiency through sustainable economical decisions. For this purpose maintenance is considered as a cost driver for the railway operation.
The eighth Paper, Development of Information System for e-Maintenance within Aerospace Industry, describes an approach for development of information products by linking theories to practical methodologies and tools like Quality Function Deployment in the context of a modern combat aircraft. The paper concluded that information product s for aerospace industry developed through e-Maintenance solutions can provide effective information logistics for internal and external stakeholders involved in the maintenance process.
The ninth paper, Information Logistics as a Guide for Research and Practice of e-Maintenance Operations, proposes a conceptual framework to guide both the practice and the research of e-Maintenance operations. The framework combines an Industrial Value Chain with a Buyer-Consumer value chain, where their intersections are articulated in terms of categories derived from Information Logistics. A brief case study, from a leading European truck-manufacturer, illustrates the proposed conceptual framework in application.
We take this opportunity to sincerely thank reviewers who helped us greatly in selecting, the best papers out of the several and in providing their helpful and timely reviews, which made this issue possible. Last but not the least; we would like to thank Professor Krishna B. Misra, Editor-in-Chief of IJPE for the help and support at all stages in bringing out this issue.
Lastly, we do hope that this special issue of nine papers will be found useful to the researchers and academia and lead to newer innovations and techniques in this important area.
Uday Kumar obtained his B. Tech. from India in the year 1979. After working for 6 years in Indian mining industries, he joined the postgraduate program of Lule? University of Technology, Lule?, Sweden and obtained a Ph.D. degree in field of Reliability and Maintenance in 1990. Afterwards, he worked as a Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor at Lule? University 1990-1996. In 1997, he was appointed as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering (Maintenance) at University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway. Presently, he is Professor of Operation and Maintenance Engineering at Lule? University of Technology, Lule?, Sweden. His research interests are equipment maintenance, equipment selection, reliability and maintainability analysis, System analysis, etc. He has published more than 170 papers in International Journals and Conference Proceedings. He is a Regional Editor of International Journal of Performability Engineering and an Editor-in-Chief of IJSAEM.
Ramin Karim is an Assistant Professor at Lule? University of Technology (LTU). He has a B.Sc. in Computer Science, and both a Licentiate of Engineering and a Ph.D. in Operation & Maintenance Engineering. He has worked within the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) area for 18 years, as architect, project manager, software designer, product owner, and developer. Karim is engaged in research at LTU in the area eMaintenance and has published more than 15 papers. Email: Ramin.Karim@ltu.se
Aditya Parida is an Associate Professor with Lule? University of Technology. He obtained his Ph.D. in Operation and Maintenance Engineering. His area of research is asset and maintenance performance measurement, RCM and eMaintenance. Besides teaching, he is actively involved in supervising the research students and projects. He has 50 publications to his credit, in addition to author of two books, three book chapters and editor of two International congress proceedings. Email: Aditya.Parida@ltu.se