New challenges in integrating production and maintenance decisions

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Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering

ISSN: 1355-2511

Article publication date: 16 August 2011


Allaoui, H., Castagliola, P. and Pellerin, R. (2011), "New challenges in integrating production and maintenance decisions", Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, Vol. 17 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

New challenges in integrating production and maintenance decisions

Article Type: Guest editorial From: Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, Volume 17, Issue 3

This special issue of the Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering is devoted to the publication of five papers that were presented at the IESM’09 (International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Systems Management) held in Montreal, Canada, May 13-15, 2009. This conference is the last of a series of nine successful consecutive biennial conferences: Mons, Belgium (1993), Marrakech, Morocco (1995), Lyon, France (1997), Glasgow, UK (1999), Quebec City, Canada (2001), Porto, Portugal (2003), Marrakech, Morocco (2005) and Beijing, China (2007). These conferences are distinguished by a relatively small number of attendees (ranking between 120 and 150) who constitute a “special interest group” in the field of operations planning and control. These conferences draw academics and industrial researchers from the fields of engineering, management, and computer science. The conferences are also distinguishable by the relatively small number of parallel sessions (at most three) and the time available for discussion at “round table” forums, at the plenary sessions, and at each session. The small number of participants, the relaxed pace of presentation, and the convivial atmosphere is conductive for fruitful exchange of ideas and cross-fertilization among areas of study.

The five papers included in this issue have gone through the usual rigorous review process, which explains the interval between the date of the conference and the date of this issue of their publication. These papers cover different topics at the interface between Production Control and Maintenance. Among all functions, planning and scheduling functions represent a crucial area where integration between maintenance and production can bring great benefits. Both production and maintenance planners must recognize and understand the realities of others. The integration of the two planning/scheduling systems creates the opportunity of being more proactive, leading to greater plant utilization. However, integration between production and maintenance can be difficult and authors in this special issue have proposed different means of addressing these issues.

One area where integration between maintenance and production functions can be advantageous is planning/scheduling. Both production and maintenance planning/scheduling must recognize the realities of the other’s needs. A classic question is: under what circumstances does production planning/schedule around maintenance versus maintenance planning/scheduling around production? The integration of the two planning/scheduling systems gives both functions the ability to more productively accomplish their planning/scheduling, leading to greater plant utilization.

The first paper entitled “Production control of unreliable manufacturing systems producing defective items”, co-authored by F. Mhada, A. Hajji, R. Malhamé, A. Gharbi and R. Pellerin, addresses the production control problem of a failure prone manufacturing system producing a random fraction of defective items by extending the Bielecki and Kumar (1988) theory under which the machine considered produced only good quality items, to the case where the items produced are systematically a mixture of good as well as defective items.

The second paper entitled “Simulation-based approach to joint production and preventive maintenance scheduling on a failure-prone machine”, co-authored by R. Benmansour, H. Allaoui, A. Artiba, S. Iassinovski and R. Pellerin, proposes an integrated production-maintenance model for a failure prone machine in a just in time context. This model links production, preventive maintenance and corrective maintenance by simultaneously focussing on the period (T) at which preventive maintenance actions have to be performed and the sequence of jobs (S) to reduce production and maintenance related costs.

The third paper entitled “On coordinating maintenance, production and subcontracting: insights from simulation models”, co-authored by G. Cormier and N. Rezg, examines the situation of a contractor (machine M1) who works in concert with a subcontractor (machine M2) in order to fulfil a constant single-item demand so as to minimize shortages. Simulation models are developed in the Arena© language is employed in order to establish the optimal preventive maintenance policies for each machine individually.

The fourth paper entitled “Maintenance/production planning with interactive feedback of product quality”, co-authored by A.N. Njike, R. Pellerin and J.P. Kenne, develops an optimal stochastic control model where interactive feedback consists of the quantity of flawless and defective products where only defective products as feedback are considered into the optimal model for maintenance and production planning and where two maintenance states of a machine controlled by two decision variables (production and maintenance rates) are considered.

Finally, the fifth paper entitled “An integrated hierarchical production and maintenance-planning model”, co-authored by C. Sitompul and E.H. Aghezzaf, and proposes to address the hierarchical planning problem (aggregate and detailed planning) where a general preventive maintenance is integrated into the aggregate planning while machine breakdowns are investigated in the detailed planning. The proposed general preventive maintenance model is tested against cyclical preventive maintenance models for some cases and the performance of the models is evaluated in term of costs and service levels.

In conclusion, this special issue focused on the idea of integrating production and maintenance activities in terms of planning and scheduling. Several new and innovative results were given from both theoretical and practical points of view. This idea has attracted much attention recently. However, because of their huge complexity, some problems are still not or not well studied especially stochastic problems taking into consideration uncertainties on data. Stochastic programming, fuzzy programming and meta-heuristics could be investigated to solve some of them efficiently.


The Guest Editors would like to thank all the authors for their contributions, and the reviewers for their dedication and the timely feedback provided to contributing authors of this special issue. The administrative work of Maryline Goudalier to produce this special issue is very much appreciated; her diligence is commendable. They deserve one’s sincere thanks and respect for their continuous collaboration. The Guest Editors would also like to thank the journal editor, who was very helpful in the edition process as well as being a great and continuing supporter of the IESM events.

Hamid AllaouiUniversité Lille Nord de France, Université d’Artois, France

Philippe CastagliolaUniversité de Nantes, Nantes, France & IRCCyN UMR CNRS, Nantes, France

Robert PellerinEcole Polytechnique de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada