Quality and Reliability Engineering International

A simulation model for improving the maintenance of high cost systems, with application to an offshore oil installation

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We describe a Generalized Semi-Markov Model paired with Monte Carlo simulation that represents the evolution of the systems that constitute an offshore installation. We use the model to assess the performance of a maintenance plan in terms of a production penalty and unplanned shutdowns. In addition to estimating, comparing and improving maintenance plans, our approach enables the determination of the consequences of planning capital expenditures and installation modifications and the value of process improvements. Moreover, the entire framework is designed to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate various 'what if' scenarios in addition to other modifications. The simulation model was tested on data from an offshore oil installation, and was well received by the installation's operations personnel. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.