Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Industrial Engineering

Major Professor

Rupy Sawhney

Committee Members

Robert Keyser, Rajive Dhingra


Purpose - Aggressive Maintenance Strategy can improve the overall operation and reliability through redesigning or modifying equipment. A decision support tool is proposed that could aid in discovering the many options and in selecting the best approach for redesigning or for modifying the equipment. The new tool has three sections that correspond to the equipment life cycle:

1. Keeping the equipment in perfect running condition.
2. Identifying defects as soon as the equipment starts to degrade.
3. Minimizing losses after the equipment has ceased functioning.

Design/Methodology – The first section seeks to keep the equipment running in perfect condition. There are three approaches:

1. Eliminate the root cause.
2. Prevent outside causes from affecting the equipment.
3. Increase the equipment’s resistance against outside influences.

The second section seeks to identify the defect as soon as possible. There are three approaches:

1. Modify the equipment so that defects may be detected more easily.
2. Improve the detecting instruments such as enhancing the sensitivity or adding machine intelligence.
3. Improve the work environment so that equipment operators may more easily notice any changes in the machinery.

The third section seeks to minimize any losses. The three approaches are:

1. Modify the equipment and relevant tools to enable the equipment’s lost function to be recovered sooner.
2. Add a resilient system.
3. Add buffer inventory.

Findings – After a very extensive literature review, only two tools appear to exist for helping practitioners to make proper decisions concerning their equipment. Edward de Bono’s “Six Thinking Hats” and Genrich S. Altshuller’s “Theory of Inventive Problem-Solving” methodology are used extensively, but these are not very practical and lack a systematic scheme.

Research Limitations/Implications – Any implementation assumes that root cause identification has been made by another tool such as by the 5 Whys, Cause and Effect Diagram, Fault tree analysis, or another tool.

Originality/Value- This tool could be implemented in any equipment reliability management program. It guides the practitioner for redesigning and for modifying the equipment in order to achieve high equipment reliability and to reduce the equipment’s usage costs.

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