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Supporting maintenance strategies using Markov models

Lookup NU author(s): Dr David Swailes, Joseph Chan, Dr Andrew Metcalfe


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The basic principle of total productive maintenance (TPM) is to reduce and ultimately eliminate breakdowns by pre-emptive maintenance strategies, which rely on the cooperation of all employees. When properly applied, TPM can bring about tremendous improvements in a company's performance. However, recent research, using interviews and questionnaires, suggests that many managers in manufacturing industries in Europe still have to be convinced of the usefulness of TPM. Many more are perhaps unsure of the losses which can accrue as a consequence of not having an appropriate maintenance programme implemented in their organizations. A simple yet powerful Markov model is proposed as a diagnostic tool for the manager who wants an effective way of identifying the prime costs involved in production line downtimes, and hence the potential benefits of TPM. The influence of the performance of a single machine on a line can be investigated. This is vital information for strategic planning of machine replacements, which involve major capital investments. In particular, an approximate analysis of the benefits of a machine building up a buffer stock is presented, and assessed against the costs involved. The model has been implemented as an Excel macro.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Metcalfe AV; Chan JFL; Swailes DC; Al-Hassan K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: IMA Journal Management Mathematics

Year: 2002

Volume: 13

Issue: 1

Pages: 17-27

ISSN (print): 1471-678X

ISSN (electronic): 1471-6798

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/imaman/13.1.17


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