Purpose– The optimization of production imposes a review of facility maintenance policies. Accidents during maintenance activities are frequent, sometimes fatal and often associated with deficient or absent machinery lockout/tagout. Lockout/tagout is often circumvented in order to avoid what may be viewed as unnecessary delays and increased production costs. To reduce the dangers inherent in such practice, the purpose of this paper is to propose a production strategy that provides for machinery lockout/tagout while maximizing manufacturing system availability and minimizing costs. Design/methodology/approach– The joint optimization problem of production planning, maintenance and safety planning is formulated and studied using a stochastic optimal control methodology. Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman equations are developed and studied numerically using the Kushner approach based on finite difference approximation and an iterative policy improvement technique. Findings– The analysis leads to a solution that suggests increasing the “comfortable” inventory level in order to provide the time required for lockout/tagout activities. It is also demonstrated that the optimization of lockout/tagout procedures is particularly important when the equipment is relatively new and the inventory level is minimal. Research limitations/implications– This paper demonstrates that it is possible to integrate production, maintenance and lockout/tagout procedures into production planning while keeping manufacturing system cost objectives attainable as well as ensuring worker safety. Originality/value– This integrated production and maintenance policy is unique and complements existing procedures by explicitly accounting for safety measures.
Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 9, 2016
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