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ASSESSMENT OF POISSON MODEL FOR AIRLINERS REPAIRABLE

SPARE PARTS DEMAND FORECASTING



Carlos Federico Gayer
Facultad de Ciencias de la Administracin
Universidad del Salvador, Argentina

Received: August 30, 2010; Accepted: October 15, 2010





ABSTRACT
Flight delays and cancellations have extreme impact on airlines competitiveness.
Historically, operators have adopted different strategies avoiding critical spare-parts shortages,
reducing AOG situations. Then, in order to evaluate OEMs method based on Palms theorem
for recommending a repairable component operative inventory for an airliners fleet, and its
efficacy estimating parts demand during a certain period, the number of removals for the
cockpits audio control panels from a group of A320 family aircrafts was analyzed. As a result
of the demand variance, the method shown not to be appropriate for all type of components and
repair processes.

Keywords: Spare-Parts; Inventory Theory; Palms Theorem.
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1. INTRODUCTION
Increasing airlines need to control their
operative costs in order to be more
competitive, attractive for the investors and
especially be able to survive for long time in a
complex political, economic and financial
context (Doganis, 2006), with changing game
rules and sensitive to the globalization effects,
forced the operators to work on the reduction
of the departure times, the reliability of their
flight equipment, and the cash flow
optimization. This is traduced especially, due
to the high cost of the components, in optimal
levels of spare parts inventories that assure the
smaller proportion of immobilized capital,
without jeopardizing operational efficiency
(Chong et al., 2008).
An industry widely spread practice
(Kaul et al., 2008) for determining repairable
components recommended number of units
for replacement (stock), satisfying a required
service level, is based on a statistical process
with Poisson-type distribution, in which the
mean time between unscheduled removals
(MTBUR) and the time that passes since the
component is sent to repair and it is replaced
by a repaired unit, or turn-around time (TAT),
are computed.
In order to verify its efficacy, the
historical evolution during seven years for the
removals of one repairable item was analyzed
(demand) within a defined fleet, and its
number per trimester was compared with the
expected removals resulting from the method
application for every corresponding period.
The number of aircrafts in the fleet (FS) and
the average flight hours (FH) per period were
independent variables.
1.1. Audio Control Panel
The component whose removals have
been analyzed was an ATA (Air Transport
Association) chapter 23 item named Audio
Control Panel -with part number
ACP2788AB04- installed in Airbus A320
family airliners. Each aircraft has three units
in the cockpit: two in the pedestal, for the
captain and first officer (Figure 1), and
another one available for the third occupant.
These units are used to control the
transmission and reception of audio signals
from different intercommunication, radio
communication and radio navigation devices
installed in the aircraft, through a collector
ARINC 429.
They are financially classified as rotable
modules (repairables). Each unit price is USD
6.500 and its MEL dispatch inoperative
equipment list essentiality is ESS2 (Go-If). It
is important to notice that among the studied
population, the main cause of removal was the
accidental breakage -or mishandling- of its
switches, and the fault of its consumable
parts.


Figure 1 - Audio Control Panel ACP2788AB04
ASSESSMENT OF POISSON MODEL FOR AIRLINERS REPAIRABLE SPARE PARTS DEMAND FORECASTING
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1.2. Research Population
Data corresponds to a group of Airbus
A320 family aircrafts (models A318, A319
and A320) that were part of the same Latin-
American airline at the time of the last
statistical record. Nevertheless, history is
associated to each one of the aircrafts,
although they were in service with different
operators for a certain period.
In Table 1, the serial numbers (MSN)
for each aircraft model of the fleet were
detailed. The average age at the last recorded
period was 3,5 years. At the same time, 10,0
and 0,2 years have passed since the first flight
of the oldest and youngest aircraft,
respectively.


Table 1 - Fleet Composition.
Model MSN
A320-232 990
A320-233 1304, 1332, 1351, 1355, 1491, 1512,
1526, 1548, 1568, 1626, 1854, 1858,
1877, 1903, 3280, 3319, 3535, 3556
A319-131 2096
A319-132 2089, 2295, 2304, 2321, 2572, 2585,
2845, 2858, 2864, 2872, 2886, 2887,
2892, 2894, 3663, 3671, 3770, 3772,
3779
A318-121 3001, 3030, 3062, 3214, 3216, 3371,
3390, 3438, 3469, 3509, 3585, 3602,
2606, 3635, 3642


2. DEFINITION OF THE PROBLEM
For airlines, on-time flight departure is
crucial. As noted by Cohen et al. (2006),
technical delays are associated with the
riskiest situations. To reduce them, airlines
usually allocate a specific number of critical
components at some strategic airports. These
components are selected based on the
recommendations made by the Original
Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) through a
document known as Minimum Equipment
List (MEL).
According to MEL, the dispatch
inoperative equipment list is created and
components are classified into three
categories depending on their quantity per
aircraft (QPA) and their essentiality for the
operation: ESS1, ESS2 and ESS3. If a failure
is detected for a component ESS1, the
affected aircraft is not authorized for take-off
(No-Go). For ESS2 component failure, the
aircraft could take-off under certain
conditions (Go-If), and its repair can be
deferred for a period of time indicated by
MEL (from 1 to 10 days). However, an
accumulation of ESS2 failures may lead to
ESS1 situation. When a component ESS3
faults, its repair or replacement can be
deferred for a longer period (120 days). A No-
Go situation leads to an AOG (aircraft on
ground) condition where the airplane is
inoperative until the failure is repaired.
The terms "failure" and "demand" are
used indistinctly in this report. It is assumed
when demand exists, that one spare unit is
required to replace a failed component.
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Repairable parts supply cycle is a
specific process, different to that developed
for other components such as consumable
parts (Ijioui et al., 2008). It includes a number
of events of the supply chain designed to
ensure that replenishment occurs, beginning a
new cycle. It is characterized by the dual role
of end users (they must return the faulty unit
to start the repair cycle).
Replenishment consists of three
processes: recovery of the failed unit from the
base, its transport to the repair center, and
resupply the user with a functional unit that
can be the same serial already repaired, or
another one (Muckstadt et al. 2002).
As noted by Kilpi et al. (2004), there are
four factors that affect the availability cost of
a component: its reliability, its repair process
TAT, the required service level, and the
number of protected units. The concept of
service level (SL) is used to indicate the
probability that a spare unit is available when
demand is created. Given an inventory level s,
Muckstadt (2005) defined service level to the
fraction of demand that can be satisfied
immediately with the available spare units in
the warehouse. As s increases, the service
level increases. When calculating the service
level, it does not take into account the time it
takes to meet the originally unsatisfied
demands (shortages).
For an inventory system with stationary
demand and inventory policy, the long-term
service level can be calculated as the percent
ratio between the units available when an
order was placed and the total demand (Katok
et al., 2008). In a finite horizon, the level
attained is a random variable. In the case of
repairable components it is usually defined as
inventory policy (s-1,s) based on an optimal
level s, for which replacement is ordered
immediately after a unit consumption.
To recognize that spare parts
consumption forecast for unscheduled
maintenance events is random in nature
(MacDonnell et al., 2007), involves the
intensive use of condition-based inspection
and fault analysis to determine the
requirements. Better demand forecasts may be
developed taking into account causal factors
such as aircraft and components aging (Cohen
et al., 2006). Traditional MRP techniques can
be applied only to scheduled maintenance (A-,
B-, C-and D-Check).
2.1. Palms theorem
Within the framework of queuing
theory, the model was published at Sweden by
Conny Palm in 1938 for calculating the traffic
through telephone networks. Applied to
inventory theory, its importance relies on its
ability to estimate the steady state probability
distribution for the number of units under
repair, by using the probability distribution of
the demand process and the repair time
distribution average.
It basically states that if demand for an
item is a process with mean [ea/time],
which is constant (VTMR=1), and the repair
time for each defective unit is independently
and identically distributed according to a
distribution with mean T [time], the steady-
state probability distribution of the number of
units being repaired has a Poisson distribution
with mean T [ea] (Sherbrooke, 2004).
Poisson distribution (Rychlik, 2006)
allows knowing repeatability for a particular
phenomenon without knowing its causes,
assuming that they are independent, and
establishing the probability that an accidental
event, which causes its occurrence, exists or
not. If the relationship between cause and the
phenomenon is not accidental, because there
is a relationship of dependency between them,
this would be evident by increasing the
number of intervals of occurrence that were
taken as a sample (Poisson, 1837).
Noted Sherbrooke (2004) that it was
observed during some tests for U.S. Air Force
that the model lost validity when demand
varied substantially over time, as the variance
(the measure of its dispersion) exceeded the
average (VTMR>1), triggering a Poisson
process with nonstationary increments. For
ASSESSMENT OF POISSON MODEL FOR AIRLINERS REPAIRABLE SPARE PARTS DEMAND FORECASTING
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these cases, Hodges (1985) proposed a model
based on a negative binomial distribution, and
recommended to apply Poissonian distribution
when Variance-to-Mean-Ratio (VTMR) lies
between 0,9 and 1,1.
Assuming the interval between coming
units from the repair shop is negative
exponentially distributed, and that the failure
process is independent from the number of
spares available at the warehouse, according
to Kilpi et al. (2004) it is not necessary to
measure the shape of the distribution. This
assumption is violated when a shortage
occurs, because the number of operational
units is reduced, decreasing the demand for
replacement units.
For Adams et al. (1993) the methods
sources of error affecting the demand
estimation, are: 1) events random occurrence,
2) a high rate of demand for short periods, 3)
insufficient information to determine the real
rate of demand, and 4) biased demand rate
estimation.
According to Crawford (1981), the
steady-state hypothesis (constant mean)
clearly results in a demand underestimation.
For high-removal rate units, he suggested that
demand could be predicted with linear
regression techniques.
2.3. Algorithm
Recommended stock of spare units
(operational inventory) depends on the
components degree of utilization and their rate
of removal (due to failure or breakage). In the
case of repairable units, demand is limited to
that created during replacement time (DTAT)
when the inventory is unprotected. From
Palms theorem (Sherbrooke, 2004) the
probability P that the number of unscheduled
removals R is less than -or equal to- the
number of replacement parts m is a process
with Poisson distribution of the form:

=

m m
TAT D
m
D
e m R P
TAT
0
!
} {


This formula describes the probability
that during TAT the maintenance base will
not suffer more removals than the available
spares. Demand is caused by unscheduled
removals occurring during the replacement
cycle. Therefore, it is possible to decrease the
stock of spare parts by improving TAT.
Then, the problem of determining the
optimal stock of spare parts, given DTAT is
reduced to an iterative process where the
value of m for which P is greater than -or
equal to- the desired service level (SL) is
calculated.
Demand forecasting process for a given
period n+1, begins with the period n MTBUR
calculation. Conceptually, MTBUR represents
the average number of hours between
unscheduled removals R. It is calculated
considering the cumulated number of hours in
service provided by all the installed units of
the same component in the fleet:

R
FH FS QPA
MTBUR

=


Then, the forecasted demand D [ea] for
the period n is:

MTBUR
FH FS QPA
D

=


Finally, multiplying D by the ratio
between TAT and the period length for which
the calculation is performed, DTAT is
obtained.
As a decision criterion, the inclusion in
the operational inventory of a specific item for
a certain period depends on the relationship
between its demand for that period, and the
minimum number of removals from the
previous cycle. If DR
min(n-1)
then a number of
spare units must be required.
2.3. Reliability
Reliability can be defined as the
product's ability to function under certain
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conditions during a specific period without
exceeding an acceptable level of failure. In
other words, it is the probability that no
failure occurs (Hnatek, 2003).
It varies by product category, price,
quality, user expectations, and the impact of
its malfunction. In the field of technical
reliability its estimation should be done
through testing (Hecht, 2004).
Measuring reliability always involves a
time factor. Among the indicators used,
MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) and
MTBUR are often mentioned. Technical
failures during system operation are
considered by MTBF, but also those from
accidental breakage are included in MTBUR.
The instantaneous rate of failure of a
component over time is a law called the
"bathtub curve" due to its U-shaped graph
(there are distinguished three phases over the
part life: infant mortality, random failure, and
aging).
According Batchoun et al. (2003), when
a failure occurs less than ten times per year it
is assumed that removals follow a Poisson
process (discrete variable), but when its rate is
equal to -or greater than- ten times a year, the
number of removals should be assumed to
follow a Gaussian distribution (continuous
variable).
As an advice, Selivanov said in 1972
that theoretical arguments about the
performance of the various elements that
compose a machine are insufficient to permit
a full appreciation of their real service
characteristics, so it is the user who must find
the answer to the problem by considering the
particular conditions in which the equipment
is operated.
3. METHODOLOGY
For this study, historical statistics on the
component removals, MTBUR, the number of
active aircraft in the fleet (FS) and the average
flight hours per period (FH), were collected
consulting quarterly records between 2002
and 2009 from the external repair workshop.
In particular for this analysis, the
duration of each period was 90 days so the
expected demand during the replenishment
period DTAT was calculated as follows:

90
TAT
D D
TAT
=


With the parameters from Table 2 for
each period n, its corresponding MTBUR, and
the values of FS and FH for the period n+1,
the expected demand for the next period Dn+1
and its associated DTAT were calculated, and
Table 4 prepared with the results.

Table 2 - Parameters.
QPA 3 [ea]
TAT 60 [day]
SL 98,0 [%]

Thus, the expected demand for period
n+1 was compared to Rn +1 establishing the
gap between these numbers.
To estimate the number of replacement
units, an iterative process was performed for
each period, calculating P for different values
of m, and selecting as the recommended stock
number that value of m for which P SL. For
example, Table 3 shows the different values P
takes for each m between 0 and 2 with n=3
(FH=403 [hour], MTBUR=7000[hour],
FS=14[ea]). A TAT of 60 [day] is
representative, assuming the unit returned for
repair is not replaced with another available in
stock. Since P{RTAT2}=99,3 is greater than
SL, the recommended value of m to support
the operation during the next period is 2 [ea].

Table 3: Iteration Process
m P
3 99,9
2 99,3 > 98,0
1 94,3
0 0,0

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4. RESULTS
4.1. Analysis of removals
Comparison between quarterly
estimated demand D
n,
and actual removals R
n

for the same period n, showed that 50% of
times the expected demand was
underestimated, and 14% of times removals
were lower than half of expected ones. The
ratio between estimated demand and actual
removals cumulated during the whole seven
years period was 1,06. The mean of R was
7,0 [ea] and VTMR=2,4. Table 5 shows the
values taken by the frequency distribution of
R (mode interval [3;5]) .
While it can be considered that the
method was effective to predict the total
number of removals, the availability of units
in operation was out of phase with the
demand, pressing on the repair cycle. This
discrepancy would not exist if MTBUR
remains roughly constant for different periods.
Periodical addition of aircrafts to the sample
undoubtedly was a factor of error for the
model application.

Table 5: Distribution of fi(R)
R
f
i

0-2 0,07
3-5 0,31
6-8 0,28
9-11 0,21
12-14 0,07
15-17 0,07



Table 4: Poisson process results
Period n
[90 days]
R
[ea]
MTBUR
[hour]
FS
[ea]
FH
[hour]
D
n+1

[ea]
m
[ea]
1 1 20871 11 632 1,0 1
2 3 7000 13 538 2,4 2
3 1 16920 14 403 2,6 2
4 4 11082 15 985 2,7 2
5 4 7482 15 665 3,8 3
6 6 4799 15 640 5,2 3
7 4 6215 15 552 7,8 4
8 4 12055 17 945 2,1 2
9 4 6191 17 486 9,1 4
10 11 5124 17 1105 4,1 3
11 10 2125 17 417 9,7 5
12 6 3440 20 344 5,8 3
13 3 6680 20 334 3,1 2
14 9 2290 20 344 9,8 5
15 6 3746 20 375 8,5 4
16 6 5333 22 485 4,2 3
17 13 1719 22 339 12,3 5
18 12 1757 22 319 13,9 6
19 16 1523 26 312 13,7 6
20 4 5198 30 231 7,1 4
21 11 3372 30 412 10,1 5
22 8 4259 31 366 8,4 4
23 7 5140 32 375 7,7 4
24 7 5643 37 356 5,7 3
25 7 4584 38 281 8,0 4
26 16 2278 41 296 24,8 8
27 10 5642 46 409 20,7 7
28 4 29186 51 763 2,1 2
29 9 6914 51 407 6,8 2
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As the variance of R exceeded the
average, the demand evolution is not
associated to a Poisson-type process, and the
first assumption of the method was not
satisfied. Then, it can be considered a
negative binomial distribution (Figure 2)
associated with the same probability function:

( )
r k
p p
k
r k
k R P

+
= = 1
1
} {

with k=0, 1, 2,

Where coefficients r and p are
calculated with: r=int|/(VTMR-1) |
p=1/VTMR
For this particular case r=5 and
p=0,4167.
Moreover, in order to determine the
effect of each period n length on the demand
estimation, annual periods were also
considered. With this data, defined average
MTBUR for the first year, the demand for the
second year was calculated, repeating the
process for each year. The first four columns
of Table 6 show results and actual total
removals for each period.


Figure 2: Probability Function P{R=k}

Total forecasted demand (D
annual
) for
the six years period represented 95% of the
removals actually occurred (R
annual
) during
that time. But, 67% of times the demand by
year (D
annual
) was underestimated, reducing
the service level.


Table 6: Annual demand forecast
Year R
annual
MTBUR
annual
D
annual
MTBUR
cumulated
D
annual

1 18 13968 9 13968 9
2 31 7638 16 10803 11
3 24 4220 23 8609 11
4 45 4512 20 7585 12
5 33 2549 58 6578 22
6 37 4604 53 6249 39


Trying to lessen the effects of varying
MTBUR the same simulation was performed
but considering for each year a mean time
between removals equal to the cumulative
average of previous years. In this case, total
estimated demand accounted for 56% of the
actual removals during six years, and 83% of
times demand was underestimated (columns 5
and 6 of Table 6). Therefore, for short periods
of computation over the full term, there is a
closer approximation to reality of the total
estimated, but if the average time between
failures shows much variation, spares supply
timing is strongly out-phased.
To verify the effectiveness of demand
forecasting by means of linear regression the
relationship between the number of removals
and total flight hours cumulated by the units
in service within the fleet (considered
independent variable) was modeled. The
effectiveness achieved in estimating the total
number of removals was 100,5%, but 64% of
times demand was overestimated (and
therefore assets were immobilized
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unnecessarily). Its correlation coefficient
was 0,2431 (on the other hand, if R is
correlated in terms of FH and FS its
coefficients were 0,2952 and 0,3695
respectively).



Figure 3: Relationship between removals and total flight hours


4.2. Operational Inventory estimation
Variations between the values of m for
each period indicated little economic viability
to adjust inventory levels so regularly. But on
the other hand, longer intervals (in terms of
annual demand), would lead often to shortage
situations.
Also, in those periods for which mR,
depending on TAT length and the moment
when the failure happens (to the beginning or
towards the end) it is probable that the
replacement units will not return on time from
the repair shop to be available to initiate a
new cycle (timing). Therefore, actual SL
would be less than desired.
In this study, each unit could initiate a
replacement cycle up to 2 times per period.
That is, m spares would absorb removals up to
twice its value. But that will happen, if the
removal is deferred after the failure detection
until the unit under repair is returned in
serviceable condition. Assuming that
inventory level s in each period was adjusted
perfectly to m (i.e. buying or selling units),
34% of times there had been a shortage,
having to make an unbudgeted purchase.
Average number of replacement units for all
periods was 4[ea]. Adopting a negative
binomial distribution, to represent D
TAT
the
following probability function was obtained:


1 , 5
3703 , 0 6297 , 0
1 , 4
} {

+
=
k
TAT
k
k
k D P
with k=0, 1, 2,

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Figure 4: DTAT probability function and its distribution (TAT 60 days)


Then, for m=15 the probability
P{D
TAT
15}=98,43% exceeded desired SL.
Therefore, according to this model the number
of recommended spare parts would be 15
units. But, when compared to the number of
removals there is a tendency to overestimate
the demand.
Moreover, there is a dependency
between TAT and the type of distribution that
characterizes demand during replenishment
time. If D
TAT
is calculated for different TAT
and then VTMR for each case is determined,
there is a proportional relationship between
them. Also for a given TAT, VTMR value is
1,0 (in this case for a TAT of 22,5 days). This
means that there is a replacement time for
which distribution that characterizes the
expected demand is Poisson (VTMR=1,0) and
can apply Palm's theorem. But, for shorter and
longer terms a binomial distribution
(VTMR<1,0) and a negative binomial
distribution (VTMR>1,0) should be
respectively applied for better results.



Figure 5: DTAT probability function and its distribution (TAT 25 days)


When D
TAT
is calculated for TAT of 25
days, the average is equal to 2,14 and
VTMR=1,1, yielding the negative binomial
probability distribution seen in Figure 5.
Then, the recommended m was 6 units for
SL>98%, which given the lower TAT could
play up to 3 cycles of repair within 90 days,
allowing a reasonable coverage of the actual
demand.
4.3. Component reliability analysis
Table 7 shows the values of MTBUR
relative frequency at intervals of 2.000 hours.
According to records, failures often occurred
between 4.000 and 6.000 service hours.

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Table 7: Distribution of f
i
(MTBUR)
MTBUR f
i

0-2000 0,10
2001-4000 0,21
4001-6000 0,31
6001-8000 0,21
8001-10000 0,00
10001-12000 0,03
12001-14000 0,03
14001-16000 0,00
16001-18000 0,03
18001-20000 0,00
20001-22000 0,03
22001-24000 0,00
24001-26000 0,00
26001-28000 0,00
28001-30000 0,03

4.3.1. Cumulated flight hours effect
In Figure 6, a linear regression was
plotted relating MTBUR to a summation for
each period of the flight hours contributed by
all the installed units. It was noted that
MTBUR presented a nearly constant value for
any number of hours in service (the difference
between maximum and minimum values
calculated from regression was 1%), and a
low value of correlation (=0,0223). That
is, an increase in the number of flight hours
was associated with an increased parts
demand, but can be assumed that it was not
related to the mean time between removals.
4.3.2. Correspondence between reliability
and aircraft utilization
Applying the same procedure for
MTBUR based on the average hours flown by
each aircraft, the trend in the evolution of
mean time between removals was no longer
constant. It is noted that a relationship existed
between the aircraft utilization and component
lifespan ( =0,4659). By increasing the
average flight hours per aircraft, removals
tended to decrease, increasing component
reliability.
4.3.3. Fleet size effect
By increasing the number of aircrafts
(proportional to the number of parts installed),
there was a trend to lowering reliability. The
resulting correlation coefficient was
=0,3482.



Figure 6: Cumulated flight hours effect on reliability
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Figure 7: Aircraft utilization effect on reliability


Figure 8: Fleet size effect on reliability


5. CONCLUSIONS
Method derived from Palm's theorem to
estimate the safety stock of a repairable
component is based on a Poisson-type
probability distribution of demand and a
constant mean time between removals.
However, if demand dispersion increases
(VTMR>1) or if the mean is not stationary,
chosen statistical model boundary conditions
are not satisfied. Then, method leads to
removals underestimation with a consequent
decrease in available stock of spare units,
causing a low service level, an increase in
deferred items, and the stress of the supply
chain, all of these in detriment of the
operating costs.
During this analysis, the period used for
calculating the MTBUR had strong impact on
the estimates. The greater the frequency the
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37
study of reliability was conducted, the closer
to the reality was the estimated amount of
long-term accumulated demand. However,
when mean time between removals presented
a high variation from one period to another, or
seasonality, predictions for the next period
were less accurate than in those cases where
reliability was established for longer periods.
As the number of aircraft in the fleet has been
changed constantly, it was not helpful to use
historical accumulated values to calculate
reliability (average MTBUR).
Determining demand at the time when
units were in the queue for repair, it was
observed that when the ratio between TAT
and the period length was very small, the
information on its variance was lost due to the
softening of historical demand dispersion,
allowing a dynamic process to be confused
with a stationary one, and mistakenly
associating removals behavior with a Poisson
distribution. To avoid this, it should be
considered additional methods for estimating
future VTMR.
Model considers an infinite number of
available units, meaning that for each removal
there is a replacement unit, and estimates with
a certain risk level (probability) how many
units are being repaired simultaneously for a
specified period assuming equally spaced
faults. However, this study found that when
demand is concentrated in a certain part of the
period, the units available (inventory finite)
fail to return to the stock on time and there is
a shortage.
When demand was forecasted using a
linear regression as an alternative method, a
better approximation was obtained for high
values of the independent variable, but the
model demanded more investment in assets
than necessary.
Focusing on Audio Control Panel
component, given its high removal rate
variability, a negative binomial distribution
proved to be more representative for its repair
process. MTBUR (reliability) showed high
dependence on the number of average flight
hours per aircraft (FH) and low dependence
on the cumulated time in service, as the
removals (R) tended to be related to the
number of units installed (FS). That is, taking
the number of total flight hours as an
independent variable (either flight cycles) was
not representative for this process in
particular. This behavior can be justified on
the main cause of removal indicated by the
repair shop (damage during unit handling).
For this component, scheduled removals
were not taken into account (for example, due
to obsolescence or hard time). However, in
the event that any unit at the operational
inventory is used as replacement for
scheduled removal, it is recommended to
include this event in the statistics to avoid
triggering a shortage in the medium term.
Based on the simulations it is concluded
that Poissonian model is especially suitable
for determining initial inventory, when little
information from the units in service is
available, and it is replaced by industry
standard parameters (like MTBF) supplied by
OEM. Then, for an already operating fleet, the
application should be preferred for those
components with very low rotation (slow
movers). Different probability distributions of
discrete or continuous variable -depending on
the number of removals- should be tested for
each component and repair process in
particular, to find the most suitable parameters
to characterize them. In this research, a
negative binomial distribution proved to be an
appropriate complement to the model that
significantly reduces the number of shortages
for those components with significant
variation in demand and high turnover (fast
movers), poorly controlled repair processes
(changing TAT), or for those fleets subject to
constant size changes.
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