A simplified numerical decision making toolbox for physical asset management decisions

Burnett, Sulene (2013-12)

Thesis (MEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The management of physical assets has become a popular eld of study over recent years and is being acknowledged in multiple disciplines world wide. In this project, research on Physical Asset Management (PAM), maintenance and decision making are presented. PAM is a complex subject and requires the participation of multiple disciplines in order to successfully manage physical assets. Moreover, the management of maintenance makes a big contribution in achieving successful PAM. Decision making is a core element to manage maintenance e ciently, both on strategic and operational level. Various methods and techniques can be used to aid the decision making process such as, using past experience, xed decision making techniques and techniques involving numerical calculations, to mention only a few. However, using numerical calculations to make decisions are not very popular. This is due to various reasons, for example the inherent complexity of the mathematics and the time required to execute such calculations are disliked. People tend to avoid complex numerical calculations and rather rely on past experience and discussion of circulating opinions to make decisions. This is not ideal and can lead to inconsistent and inaccurate decisions. In this project, the importance of numerical decision making is researched, especially in maintenance related decisions. The focus is placed on the simpli cation of numerical decision making techniques with the aim to make it easy and quick to use to support operational PAM decisions. Di erent decisions regarding PAM, especially decisions with regards to managing maintenance in order to achieve PAM, are discussed by means of a literature study. This is done to clarify the applicability of using numerical decision making techniques to support this type of decisions. A few di erent available numerical techniques are highlighted that can be used to support the decision making process. The decisions together with numerical decision making techniques are evaluated in order to combine the most appropriate techniques in a simpli ed manner. The purpose of this is that it can be used by anyone with the necessary knowledge of a speci c system or operation. As a result a simpli ed numerical decision making toolbox is developed that can support maintenance related decision. This toolbox is applied to a real life situation by means of a case study, made possible by Anglo American Platinum Limited (Amplats). An evaluation and validation of the toolbox is done through the case study to conclude wether it has value in practice or not.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die bestuur van siese bates het die afgelope paar jaar 'n gewilde studieveld geword en word erken in verskeie dissiplines reg oor die w^ereld. In hierdie projek word navorsing gedoen oor Fisiese Bate Bestuur (FBB), instandhouding en besluitneming. FBB is 'n komplekse onderwerp en vereis die deelname van verskeie dissiplines om sukses te behaal. Die bestuur van instandhouding maak 'n groot bydrae tot suksesvolle FBB. 'n Kern element van doeltre ende instandhouding is besluitneming, beide op strategiese en operasionele vlak. Verskillende metodes en tegnieke kan gebruik word om die besluitnemingsproses te ondersteun soos byvoorbeeld om gebruik te maak van ondervinding en vorige gebeurtenisse, vaste besluitnemingstegnieke, tegnieke wat numeriese berekeninge gebruik en nog meer. Die gebruik van numeriese metodes om besluite te neem is nie baie gewild nie. Dit is as gevolg van verskeie redes soos byvoorbeeld die inherente kompleksiteit en ingewikkeldheid van die wiskunde en ook die tyd wat benodig word om sulke berekeninge uit te voer. Mense is geneig om ingewikkelde numeriese berekeninge te vermy en eerder staat te maak op vorige ervaring en die bespreking van menings om besluite te neem. Dit is nie ideaal nie en kan lei tot onkonsekwente besluite, of selfs verkeerde besluite. In hierdie projek is die belangrikheid van numeriese besluitneming nagevors, veral in die onderhoudsverwante besluite. Die fokus word geplaas op die vereenvoudiging van die numeriese besluitnemings tegnieke. Die doel is om dit op so 'n manier te vereenvoudig dat dit maklik en vinnig is om te gebruik vir operasionele FBB besluite. Verskillende besluite oor FBB, veral besluite met betrekking tot instandhouding om suksesvolle FBB te bereik, word bespreek deur middel van 'n literatuurstudie. Die literatuurstudie ondersoek die toepaslikheid van die gebruik van numeriese besluitnemingstegnieke vir hierdie soort besluite. 'n Paar verskillende beskikbare numeriese tegnieke wat gebruik kan word om die besluitnemingsproses te ondersteun word uitgelig. Die besluite, saam met numeriese besluitnemingtegnieke, word ge evalueer om die mees gepaste tegnieke te kombineer in 'n vereenvoudigde manier. Uiteindelik moet dit deur enige iemand met die nodige kennis van 'n spesi eke stelsel of proses gebruik kan word. As resultaat is 'n vereenvoudigde numeriese besluitnemingstegniekkombinasie ontwikkel wat besluite verwant aan instandhouding kan ondersteun. Hierdie tegniek-kombinasie word toegepas in 'n werklike situasie deur middel van 'n gevallestudie, wat moontlik gemaak is deur Anglo American Platinum Limited. 'n Evaluering en validering van die tegniek-kombinasie word gedoen in die gevallestudie om te bepaal of dit wel waarde het in die praktyk of nie.

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