Maintainability Computations in .NET

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Maintainability Computations
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Organizationally, the subject of maintainability often receives lip service and usually falls second in priority to reliability. Yet, operational support costs, which include maintenance, account for approximately 70% of system life cycle costs, especially for complex systems. As a result, post deployment support costs and their contributory factors should be a MAJOR concern EARLY in the SE Design Segment. The primary system design factors that contribute to support costs are: 1) reliability, which impacts the frequency of maintenance, and 2) maintainability, which impacts the amount of time required to perform preventive and corrective maintenance. Once a system is elded, the User must live with the consequences of SE design decisionmaking and its accountability or the lack thereof for the reliability and maintainability factors. Additionally, these considerations manifest themselves in another factor, availability, which represents the level of operational readiness of a system to perform its mission on demand for a given set of operating conditions. If unavailable, the system: 1) is NOT generating revenue and 2) even worse, is costing the organization funds for repairs. Engineering textbooks often approach maintainability with equation-itis. Equation-itis, like analysis paralysis, is a condition created by a preoccupation with equations WITHOUT understanding the operational challenges Users have to address and the base assumptions to be established that lead to the need for equations. Maintainability is a classic topical example. To illustrate WHY we need to understand User challenges, let s brie y explore a SUPPORT SYSTEM scenario.
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50.5 Failure Reporting, Analysis, and Corrective Action System (FRACAS)
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A system is either: 1) operating performing a mission or supporting training, 2) in storage, 3) awaiting maintenance, 4) being maintained, or 5) awaiting return to active service. System maintenance is categorically referred to as Maintenance Down Time (MDT). Every hour spent in MDT equates to $$ of lost revenue as in the case of commercial systems such as production machinery, airlines, and so forth. To ensure that the enterprise can sustain schedules, extra systems may be procured, leased, rented, and so forth to maintain continuity of operations while one system is being maintained. When a system failure occurs, you need a system of spare parts on-site along with skilled maintenance technicians who can perform the repair with the least amount of MDT. Therefore, you need some insight concerning: 1) the quantity of spare parts required for a given type of failure, 2) the quantity maintenance technicians required full time and part time , 3) the quantity of maintenance workstations, if applicable, 4) the types and quantities of test equipment, 5) system and parts storage space allocations, 6) ordering systems, 7) logistical support systems, and so forth. This challenge is compounded by seasonal usage factors for some systems. All of this translates into $COST. To minimize the cost of maintaining an inventory of spare parts, many organizations arrange strategic partnerships or tier level suppliers to provide parts Just in Time (JIT), when required. How do we minimize the cost of maintenance in the SE Design Segment We can: 1) incorporate a Built-In Test (BIT) capability into major items to detect Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) failures, 2) perform corrective maintenance on mission critical items during a preventive maintenance cycle BEFORE they fail, 3) promote standardization and interchangeability of LRUs, 4) provide easy access, quick removal and installation of LRUs, and so forth. For example, some complex, mission critical systems are designed for condition-based maintenance (CBM). As an Acquirer representing the User s contract and technical interests, your job as an SE may be to prepare System Performance Speci cation (SPS) requirements for mission reliability (MTBF), maintainability (MTTR), and operational availability (Ao) discussed in a later section. As a System Developer SE, you may be confronted with analyzing, allocating, and owing these requirements down to con guration items and their LRUs. For example, how do you design the system for a 30-minute MTTR To answer this question, maintainability engineers employ a series of equations and analysis data to support informed SE Design. The strategy is that if we know the quantity of elded systems and the state of maintenance of each system, failure rate data for system LRUs, and the prescribed preventive maintenance schedule, we can ESTIMATE the parameters of the SUPPORT SYSTEM such as quantities of spare parts, maintenance technicians and levels of training, work stations, ordering systems, and so forth. The intent of the computation discussion that follows is to provide you with a general working knowledge of the maintainability terminology, metrics, and their interrelationships, not plug and chug equations. Given a working knowledge, you should be better prepared to communicate with maintainability engineers and understand the speci cation requirements they respond to as well as review the work products they produce in response to contract requirements. Maintenance Down Time (MDT). When a system fails, Users want to know: how long the system will be out of service DOWNTIME. In the commercial world, system downtime means an interruption to the revenue stream. In the military and medical elds, downtime can mean the difference in life or death situations. The answer to the question resides in an Organizational Level metric referred to as Maintenance Down Time (MDT). MDT is a function of three key elements: 1) Mean Active Maintenance Time, 2) Logistic Delay Time, and 3) Administrative Delay Time. Eq. 50.17 illustrates the computation. MDT = M + LDT + ADT (50.17)
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