The benefits of applying Prognostics & Health Monitoring (PHM) techniques to Aircraft Maintenance are evaluated using System Dynamics (SD). It is well known that a key motivation for PHM is to increase aircraft availability by reducing unscheduled removals and downtime, ultimately reducing Direct Maintenance Costs (DMC). The benefits to aircraft maintenance are tested by modelling two maintenance philosophies using SD: the traditional approach driven by scheduled & reactive maintenance; and through Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) by considering PHM functionality in maintenance practice. The study is focused on an Electromechanical Actuator (EMA) for an aircraft flight control system across a fleet of 25 aircraft over an 8 year maintenance overhaul period. The study indicated there were fewer unscheduled removals as a result of CBM in comparison to the traditional approach. Further sensitivity studies on varying degradation patterns led to instability in maintenance planning with more reactive maintenance due to more abrupt failures of the EMA. The cost effectiveness of CBM as a function of PHM efficiency is demonstrated through DMC accumulation where it was found that CBM is no longer cost-beneficial when over 85% of the EMA life has been used. Overall, the SD models presented a general level of systems understanding of the causalities that are inherent within the two maintenance policies and are a useful methodology to consider PHM benefits through analysing the impact of different policies on the system behaviour.
How to Cite
health monitoring, maintenance, prognostics, Aerospace, System Dynamics
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