System availability assessment using a parametric Bayesian approach : a case study of balling drums

Saari, Esi and Lin, Jing and Zhang, Liangwei and Liu, Bin (2019) System availability assessment using a parametric Bayesian approach : a case study of balling drums. International Journal of Systems Assurance Engineering and Management, 10 (4). pp. 739-745. ISSN 0976-4348

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    Assessment of system availability usually uses either an analytical (e.g., Markov/semi-Markov) or a simulation approach (e.g., Monte Carlo simulation-based). However, the former cannot handle complicated state changes and the latter is computationally expensive. Traditional Bayesian approaches may solve these problems; however, because of their computational difficulties, they are not widely applied. The recent proliferation of Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approaches have led to the use of the Bayesian inference in a wide variety of fields. This study proposes a new approach to system availability assessment: a parametric Bayesian approach using MCMC, an approach that takes advantages of the analytical and simulation methods. By using this approach, mean time to failure (MTTF) and mean time to repair (MTTR) are treated as distributions instead of being “averaged”, which better reflects reality and compensates for the limitations of simulation data sample size. To demonstrate the approach, the paper considers a case study of a balling drum system in a mining company. In this system, MTTF and MTTR are determined in a Bayesian Weibull model and a Bayesian lognormal model respectively. The results show that the proposed approach can integrate the analytical and simulation methods to assess system availability and could be applied to other technical problems in asset management (e.g., other industries, other systems).