By anticipating impending failures and addressing those with preventive replacements, Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) can provide several economic benefits to aircraft operators. While Prognostics and Health Monitoring (PHM) methods are widely available, scheduling of tasks originating from those methods is a relatively new challenge. To avoid incurring extra cost and ground-time, these maintenance tasks are typically scheduled during already existing (conventional) maintenance slots such as periodic checks. Following this strategy, an aircraft component would have to be replaced if a failure precursor is detected that is expected to result in failure between the next two checks. The decision following from that detection depends on the chosen decision threshold of the prognostic or diagnostic model, which can be represented by a point on the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve. Selecting the optimal operating point for each maintenance check is challenging, as it depends on the age-dependent reliability of the component, the performance of the prognostic (diagnostic) model, the interval of the periodic check and the cost of (corrective and preventive) maintenance. This paper presents an innovative method for selecting optimal operating points for all periodic checks throughout the lifetime of an aircraft component. This is done by means of a numerical optimization model that finds operating points that minimize the component’s total maintenance cost per flight hour. A case study on a compressor of a wide-body aircraft is presented, which shows that by using this method, additional economic value from existing PHM can be realized without the need for additional investments.
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Optimal Replacement Timing, PHM Cost Benefit Analysis, Planning Decision Support
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