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Production and maintenance strategies for parallel machines with load transfer in case of failure

Jérémie Schutz (LGIPM, Université de Lorraine, Metz, France)
Anis Chelbi (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’ingénieurs de Tunis, Unité de recherche, CEREP, Université de Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia)
Nidhal Rezg (LGIPM, Université de Lorraine, Metz, France)
Safa Ben Salem (LGIPM, Université de Lorraine, Metz, France)

Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering

ISSN: 1355-2511

Article publication date: 5 April 2019

Issue publication date: 20 September 2019




The purpose of this paper is to deal with the problem of integration of production and maintenance policies. In this context, the authors consider production systems made of parallel machines producing a single product over a finite horizon made of equal periods for which a forecasted demand is known. The authors investigate the impact of switching production in case of failure of any given machine.


A mathematical model is first developed to find an optimal production plan which minimizes the average total storage, shortage and production costs. Then, using this optimal production plan and taking into account the influence of the production rate on the degradation of each machine, optimal preventive maintenance (PM) policies are proposed for the situations with and without switching.


Optimal production rates are determined for each production period and for each machine. Optimal PM periods are also computed for each machine.

Practical implications

Usually, in manufacturing systems, the production rate of a machine influences its failure rate. In case a machine fails, it takes a random time to repair it during which production is lost. The paper attempts to propose a switching policy (SP) according to which the lost production is compensated by all the other machines. The effects of the SP coupled with the PM strategy are shown through a numerical example.


Contrarily to previous works, the authors consider more realistic settings with a non-negligible random time for repairing failed machines. In order to compensate the lost production during the repair of a failed machine, a SP is proposed to transfer the load uniformly to all the other machines. As a result, those machines will produce at a higher production rate and will consequently have their failure rate increased. It will therefore be essential to determine an optimal PM schedule knowing that durations of these activities are not negligible. It is shown that the simultaneous implementation of periodic PM and load transfer in case of failure is the most economical integrated strategy.



Schutz, J., Chelbi, A., Rezg, N. and Ben Salem, S. (2019), "Production and maintenance strategies for parallel machines with load transfer in case of failure", Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 525-544.



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