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Frontiers of Engineering Management doi: 10.1007/s42524-022-0206-4

Bridging reliability and operations management for superior system availability: Challenges and opportunities

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Recently, firms have begun to handle the design, manufacturing, and maintenance of capital goods through a consolidated mechanism called the integrated product-service system. This new paradigm enables firms to deliver high-reliability products while lowering the ownership cost. Hence, holistic optimization models must be proposed for jointly allocating reliability, maintenance, and spare parts inventory across the entire value chain. In the existing literature, these decisions are often made fragmentally, thus resulting in local optimality. This study reviews the extant works pertaining to reliability-redundancy allocation, preventative maintenance, and spare parts logistics models. We discuss the challenges and opportunities of consolidating these decisions under an integrated reliability-maintenance-inventory framework for attaining superior system availability. Specific interest is focused on the new product introduction phase in which firms face a variety of uncertainties, including installed base, usage, reliability, and trade policy. The goal is to call for tackling the integrated reliability-maintenance-inventory allocation model under a nonstationary operating condition. Finally, we place the integrated allocation model in the semiconductor equipment industry and show how the firm deploys reliability initiatives and after-sale support logistics to ensure the fleet uptime for its global customers.

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