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Proceedings Paper

Reliability centered maintenance in astronomical infrastructure facilities
Author(s): W. R. Ansorge
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Paper Abstract

Hundreds of mirror segment, thousands of high precision actuators, highly complex mechanical, hydraulic, electrical and other technology subsystems, and highly sophisticated control systems: an ELT system consists of millions of individual parts and components, each of them may fail and lead to a partial or complete system breakdown. The traditional maintenance concepts characterized by predefined preventive maintenance activities and rigid schedules are not suitable for handling this large number of potential failures and malfunctions and the extreme maintenance workload. New maintenance strategies have to be found suitable to increase reliability while reducing the cost of needless maintenance services. The Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) methodology is already used extensively by airlines, and in industrial and marine facilities and even by scientific institutions like NASA. Its application increases the operational reliability while reducing the cost of unnecessary maintenance activities and is certainly also a solution for current and future ELT facilities. RCM is a concept of developing a maintenance scheme based on the reliability of the various components of a system by using "feedback loops between instrument / system performance monitoring and preventive/corrective maintenance cycles." Ideally RCM has to be designed within a system and should be located in the requirement definition, the preliminary and final design phases of new equipment and complicated systems. However, under certain conditions, an implementation of RCM into the maintenance management strategy of already existing astronomical infrastructure facilities is also possible. This presentation outlines the principles of the RCM methodology, explains the advantages, and highlights necessary changes in the observatory development, operation and maintenance philosophies. Presently, it is the right time to implement RCM into current and future ELT projects and to save up to 50% maintenance and operation costs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 June 2006
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6270, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems, 62700F (29 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.671776
Show Author Affiliations
W. R. Ansorge, RAMS-CON Management Consultants (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6270:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems
David R. Silva; Rodger E. Doxsey, Editor(s)

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