Defense Logistics

December 02 - 04, 2014

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Condition Based Maintenance


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Controlling Total Ownership Costs and Implementing PBL

Jerry J. Johnston, Logistics Management Specialist, US Army Product Management Office for Air Traffic Control Systems & Kurt Kaufman, Program Manager, Rockwell Collins spoke to us recently about condition based maintenance.

Download the transcript of this exclusive Q&A to get their top three tips for controlling total ownership costs and actionable strategies for implementing a successful PBL program.

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With the rise in terrorist activities in recent times, military operations have become more common, resulting in added burden to the government exchequer. As a result, the need for methods to lower the costs of such operations is being felt constantly. The federal government is in search of solutions, which could lower the costs of such operations. One of the most recent developments in this regard is the use of condition based maintenance principles in military logistics, which involves applying usage characterizations, diagnostic, as well as prognostic processes that are executed on HUMS i.e. health & usage monitoring systems.

Extensive instrumentation in the area of military equipments, along with better tools for analysis of condition data, has enabled precise and quick decision making in regard to knowing the correct time for the maintenance. With the help of condition based monitoring the maintenance cost as well as time gets reduced by a high margin. Apart from that, optimizing readiness of the military through sense and respond logistics, or exploring strategies to acquire reliable components which drive down the costs are some other advantages of using CBM principles.

Condition based maintenance bases maintenance on actual conditions of a system instead of fixed time interval. Usage characterization is employed in the process, which involves assessment of the way in which the system is employed as well as indicates as to how or why things might be broken. This involves hours run, time at idle, miles driven, fuel consumed, hard turns, hard brakes as well as vehicle speed over the specific terrains. Diagnostics is conducted on the basis of indicators or symptoms of problems to find out what is exactly broken or is on the verge of breaking in the system. Thereafter Prognostics are used on the basis of the combination of the indicators along with physics of the failure methods, to find methods of predicting as to when the components would break.

CBM is implemented in 4 phases. In the first phase the appropriate software and hardware to be incorporated into the HUMS is identified which may be used for the purpose of engineering development purposes. The second Phase involves integration of such components in a military-grad, robust EDHUMS, thereby designing the data analysis processes. The third phase involves identification of an inexpensive, small focused HUMS with limited yet specific capabilities which may be deployed in larger fleets due to its lower costs. The fourth phase involves integration of the established FHUMS hardware in platforms by original equipments manufacturer during the manufacturing process. It also involves testing in the parallel environments for generating precise results.