Asset Management.
The state of the Art in Europe from a Life Cycle Perspective
Van der Lei, Telli; Herder, Paulien; Wijnia, Ype (Eds.)
2012, 2012, XIV, 172 p.
ISBN 9789400727236
Chapter 6
(pages 8199)
Life Cicle Cost Analysis (LCCA) consideration within the built and inuse assets maintenance management.
A. Crespo Márquez, **C. Parra Márquez, J.F. Gómez Fernández, M. López Campos & V. González Díaz
Dept. Industrial Management. University of Seville
School of Engineering, University of Seville, Spain
**Email: parrac37@yahoo.com
Abstract
The chapter presents a generic model for assets maintenance management. This model inte grates other models found in the literature for built and inuse assets, and consists of se quential management building blocks. More precisely we want to show the reader the im portance of selecting an appropriate method when considering the estimation of the non reliability cost of an asset. By doing so, we show the impact of maintenance in life cycle costing and provide arguments to claim about the needs for proper assets maintenance con trol.
1. Introduction
In this chapter, in the first part, we illustrate a process (Section 2) for built and inuse assets maintenance management and to characterize maintenance engineering techniques within that process. This has become a research topic and a fundamental question to reach the effective ness and efficiency of maintenance management and to fulfill enterprise objectives [15]. We review a model/process proposed in this chapter tries somehow to integrate other models found in the literature (see for instance [6,7]) and presents a total of eight sequential manage
81
ment building blocks. Each block, as will be discussed, is a key decision area for asset main tenance and life cycle management.
In the second part of the chapter (Section 3), among referred decision areas and according to the editorial team of this project, we have selected to explore methods and models that may be used to do a suitable asset life cycle cost analysis. More precisely we want to show the reader the importance of selecting an appropriate method when considering the estimation of the non reliability cost of an asset. By doing so, we somehow show the impact of maintenance in life cycle costing and provide arguments to claim about the needs for proper assets mainte nance control.
2. Characterizing the Maintenance Management Process
The maintenance management process can be divided into two parts: the definition of the strategy, and the strategy implementation. The first part, conditions the success of mainte nance in an organization, determines the effectiveness of maintenance. Maintenance effec tiveness allows the minimization of the maintenance indirect costs [3] associated with produc tion losses and customer dissatisfaction [4], reduces the overall company cost, obtained because production capacity is available when needed [5]. The second part of the process, the implementation of the strategy will allow us to mini mize the maintenance direct cost (labour and other maintenance required resources). Effi ciency is acting or producing with minimum waste, expense, or unnecessary effort.
Figure 1. Maintenance management model (Adapted from [2])
Our model for maintenance management consists of eight sequential management building blocks, as presented in Figure 1. At the same time, our idea is that there are maintenance engi neering tools that may be used to improve each building block decision making process (see Figure 2).
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Effectiveness
Phase 3:
Phase 3:
Immediate
Failure Root
intervention
Cause Analysis
on high impact
(FRCA)
weak points


[10].


Phase 7:
Asset Phase life cycle 7:
Life analysis Cycle
and Cost replacement Analysis 
optimization (LCCA) 
Phase Phase 6: 6:
Maintenance Reliability 
Analysis execution (RA) 
& assessment Critical Path 
and Method control 
(CPM) 
Figure 2. Sample of techniques within the maintenance management framework (Adapted from [2])
Phase 1 tries to avoid that the maintenance objectives and strategy could be inconsistent with the declared overall business strategy [8]. This can indeed be done by introducing the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) [9]. The BSC is specific for the organization for which it is devel oped and allows the creation of key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring maintenance management performance which are aligned to the organization’s strategic objectives (See Figure 3).
Learning
Learning
Data integrity
Data integrity
(95%)
(95%)
Figure 3. A KPI and its functional indicators (Adapted from [2])
Unlike conventional measures which are control oriented, the Balanced Scorecard puts overall strategy and vision at the centre and emphasizes on achieving performance targets
Once the Maintenance Objectives and Strategy are defined, there are a large number of quantitative and qualitative techniques which attempt to provide a systematic basis for deciding what assets should have priority within a maintenance management process (Phase 2). Most of the quantitative techniques use a variation of a concept known as the “probability/risk number” (PRN) [11]. In professional risk assessments, risk combines the
83
probability of an event occurring with the impact that event would cause R=PxC, where P is probability and C is consequence (Figure 4). Risk assessment techniques can be used to prioritize assets and to align maintenance actions to business targets at any time.
As mentioned above, once there is a certain ranking of assets priority, we have to set up the strategy to follow with each category of assets. Of course, this strategy will be adjusted over time, and will consist of a course of action to address specific issues for the emerging critical items under the new business conditions (see Figure 5).
Reach optimal reliability,
A A 
maintainability and 


Asset category B B 
availability levels Ensure certain equipment availability levels Sustain 
Maintenance strategy Maintenance strategy 

C C 
– improve 
current situation
Figure 5. Example of maintenance strategy definition for different category assets [2]
An example of detailed maintenance actions for category A assets — where we try to reach optimal reliability, maintainability and availability levels — could be: 1) Apply FMECA for critical failure mode analysis; 2) Apply RCM for optimal maintenance task selection; 3) Standardise maintenance tasks; 4) Analyse design weaknesses and 5) Continue review FMECA and RCM. Phase 3 deals with finding and eliminating, if possible, the causes of certain repetitive fail ures that take place in high priority items. There are different methods developed to carry out this weak point analysis, one of the most well known being rootcause failure analysis (RCFA). This method consists of a series of actions taken to find out why a particular failure or problem exists and to correct those causes. Phase 4 is devoted to the design of the preventive maintenance plan for a certain system and this requires identifying its functions, the way these functions may fail and then establish
84
a set of applicable and effective preventive maintenance tasks, based on considerations of sys tem safety and economy. A formal method to do this is the Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM), as in Figure 6.
Figure 6. RCM implementation process
Optimization of maintenance planning and scheduling (Phase 5) can be carried out to en hance the effectiveness and efficiency of the maintenance policies resulting from an initial preventive maintenance plan and program design. Models to optimize maintenance plan and schedules will vary depending on the time horizon of the analysis [13]. Phase 6 deals with the execution of the maintenance activities ― once designed planned and scheduled using techniques described for previous building blocks —. This execution has to be evaluated and deviations controlled to continuously pursue business targets and ap proach stretch values for key maintenance performance indicators as selected by the organiza tion. A life cycle cost analysis (Phase 7) calculates the cost of an asset for its entire life span (see Figure 7). The analysis of a typical asset could include costs for planning, research and devel opment, production, operation, maintenance and disposal. A life cycle cost analysis is impor tant when making decisions about capital equipment (replacement or new acquisition) [12], it reinforces the importance of locked in costs, such as R&D, and it offers important benefits. We concentrate on techniques for LCCA in Section 3 of this Chapter.
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Figure 7. Life cycle cost analysis
Finally, continuous improvement of maintenance management (Phase 8) will be possible due to the utilization of emerging techniques and technologies in areas that are considered to be of higher impact as a result of the previous steps of our management process. Regarding the application of new technologies to maintenance, the “emaintenance” concept (Figure 8) is put forward as a component of the emanufacturing concept [14], which profits from the emerging information and communication technologies to implement a cooperative and dis tributed multiuser environment. EMaintenance can be defined [10] as a maintenance support which includes the resources, services and management necessary to enable proactive decision process execution.
3. Evaluating the economic impact of the failure in the LCCA
Life cycle costing is a wellestablished methodology that takes into account all costs arising during the life cycle of the asset. These costs can be classified as the ‘capital expenditure’ (CAPEX) incurred when the asset is purchased and the ‘operating expenditure’ (OPEX) in curred throughout the asset’s life. LCCA is a method that can be used, for instance, to evalu ate alternative asset options [1], or/and assets maintenance management strategies [2]. For all these potential purposes, a key aspect to introduce in a LCCA is the failure costs. In order to model that cost we will now introduce the Nonhomogeneous Poisson Process model (NHPP, repairable systems). With the NHPP model we can estimate the frequency of failures and the impact that could cause the diverse failures in the total cost of ownership of a produc
86
tion asset. This section also contains a case of study to illustrate the above mentioned con cepts.
3.1. Characterizing the total costs of failures (non reliability)
Life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) can be defined [14] as a systematic process of technical economical evaluation that considers, in a simultaneous way, economic and reliability aspects of an asset, quantifying their real impact along its life cycle cost. Reliability is related to op erational continuity. We normally say that a production system is "reliable" when it is able to accomplish its function in a secure and efficient way along its life cycle. Low reliability causes normally high costs, mainly associated to the asset function recovery (direct costs) be sides the corresponding escalated impact in the production process (penalization costs). The totals costs of non reliability can be then classified as follows ([20], [21] and [22]):
Costs for penalization: Downtime, opportunity losses/deferred production, production losses (unavailability), operational losses, impact in the quality, impact in security and en vironment. Costs for corrective maintenance: Manpower, direct costs related with the manpower (own or hired) in the event of a non planned action; and materials and replacement parts, direct costs related with the consumable parts and the replacements used in the event of an unplanned action.
3.2. Using NHPP for Reliability Analysis
NHPP is a stochastic discrete process where, in its initial formulation, we assume that the equipment is “as bad as old” (ABAO) operating condition after a repair (this is also referred as minimal repair in the maintenance modelling literature [24, 25]). In this process the probabil ity of occurrence of n failures in any interval [t1, t2] has a Poisson distribution with the mean
[24]:
1
2
t
t
t dt
( )
Where (t)
Therefore, according to the Poisson process:
is the rate of occurrence of failures (ROCOF).
Pr[
N
(
t
2
)
N
(
t
1
)
n
]
t
t
1
2
t dt
( )
n
exp
t
t
1
2
t dt
( )
n !
(1)
(2)
Where n = 0, 1, 2,… are the total expected number of failures in the time interval [t1,t2]. Let us represent with (t) the expected number of failures in a time interval [0, t], then
( )
t
t
0
( )
t dt
(3)
One of the most common forms of ROCOF used in reliability analysis of repairable systems is the Power Law Model ([24] and [25]), that estimates the failure rate as follows:
( )
t
t
1
(4)
This form comes from the assumption that the interarrival times between successive fail ures follow a conditional Weibull probability density function, with parameters α and β. The Weibull distribution is typically used in maintenance area due to its flexibility and applicabil ity to various failure processes (however, solutions to Gamma and Lognormal distributions are also possible). As we know by reliability theory, λ(t) is a conditional probability for which we can consider the following definition (see Figure 10):
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Figure 10. Conditional probability of occurrence of failure [26]
P T
(
t
T
t
1
)
( )
F t
(
F t
1
)
1
( )
R t
1
( )
R t
(
R t
1
)
(
R t
1
)
1
( )
R t
(
R t
1
)
(5)
where F(t) and R(t) are the probability of failure and the reliability at the respective times. Assuming a Weibull distribution, Eq. (5) yields:
F
(
t
i
)
1
exp
t
i 1
t
i
(6)
Therefore, the conditional Weibull density function is:
f
(
t
i
)
t
i
1
.exp
t
i 1
t
i
(7)
Now we will use this function in order to obtain the maximum likelihood (ML) estimators of the parameters of the Power Law model. For the case of the NHPP, different expressions for the likelihood function may be obtained. We will use expression based on estimations at a time t after the occurrence of the last failure and before the occurrence of the next failure, see details on these expressions in [27].
3.2.1. Time terminated NHPP maximum likelihood estimators
In the case of time terminated repairable components, the maximum likelihood function L can be expressed as:
n
L i 1
f
(
t
i
) f
Therefore:
L
t
1
1
n 1
n t
i
2
1
( t
1 )
n
f
i 2
(
t
i
)
R ( t
exp
1
t
1
exp
n
i
2
t
i
1
n
t )
t
i
(8)
(9)
Then the ML estimators for the parameters are calculated. The results are ([24] and [25]):
88
ˆ
ˆ
t
n
1
n
n
n
ln i 1
t n
i
t
(10)
(11)
Where ti is the time at which the ith failure occurs, tn is the total time where the last fail ure occurred, and n is the total number of failures. The total expected number of failures in the time interval [tn, tn+s] by the Weibull cumulative intensity function is [27]:
(
t
n
,
t
n
s
)
1
t
n
t
s
t
n
(12)
Where t s is the time after the last failure occurred in the one which needs to be considered the number of failures and tn is:
t
n
t
n i 1
i
(13)
3.3. A NHPP MODEL FOR FAILURE COST ASSESSMENT IN LCCA
Our previous NHPP model structure can be used for the quantification of the costs of fail
ures in the LCCA (cost of non reliability [28]). With this model we propose to assess the im pact of main failures on a production system LCC structure by following the next procedure:
1. Identify for each alternative to evaluate the main types of failures. This way for certain equipment there will be f = 1… F types of failures.
2. Determine for the n (total of failures), the times to failures t _{f} . This information will be
gathered by the designer based on records of failures, databases and/or experience of maintenance and operations personnel.
3. Calculate the Costs for failures C _{f} ($/failure). These costs include: costs of penalization
for production loss and operational impact Cp ($/hour), costs of maintenance corrective Cc ($/hour) and the mean time to repair MTTR (hours). The expression used to estimate
the
C
_{f}
C
(
f
is shown next:
Cp
Cc
)
MTTR
(14)
4. Define the expected frequency of failures per year (tn ,tns ) . This frequency is assumed as a constant value per year for the expected cycle of useful life. The (tn,tns) is calcu
lated starting from the expression (12). This process is carried out starting from the times
to failures registered
from the following expressions (10) and (11). In the expression (12), ts it will be a year (1 year) or equivalent units (8760 hours, 365 days, 12 months, etc.). This time ts represents the value for estimate de frequency of failures per year.
t _{f} by failure type (step 2). The parameters and , are set starting
5. Calculate the total costs per failures per year TCPf , generated by the different events of
stops in the production, operations, environment and security, with the following expres sion:
89
6.
TCP
f
F
f
t
n
, t
n
s
C
f
(15)
The obtained equivalent annual total cost, represents the probable value of money that will be needed every year to pay the problems of reliability caused by the event of failure, during the years of expected useful life.
Calculate the total costs per failures in present value
. Given a yearly value
, the quantity of money in the present (today) that needs to be saved, to be able to
pay this annuity for the expected number of years of useful life (T), for a discount rate (i).
The expression used to estimate the
PTCP
f
TCP
f
PTCP
f
is shown next:
PTCP
f
TCP
f
1
i
T
^{1}
i
1
i
T
(16)
Once this cost is estimated, it is added to the rest of the evaluated costs (investment, planned maintenance, operations, etc.). Finally, the total cost is calculated in present value for the selected discount rate and the expected years of useful life. Different results can be ob tained, for instance for different assets options or/and maintenance strategy options.
3.4. CASE STUDY
The following case study proposes the evaluation of the economic impact of the failures us ing the method NHPP. The analysis was developed for the oil company PETRONOX (con tractor of Petróleos of Venezuela), located in the field of gas and petroleum Naricual II, in Monagas, Venezuela. In general terms, it is requires to install a compression system to man age a flow average of 20 millions of cubic feet of gas per day. The organization PETRONOX, evaluates the information of two suppliers of compressors. Next, are shown the data of costs of: initial investment, operation and maintenance for the two options to evaluate (value esti mated by the suppliers, see Table 1):
Option A:
Reciprocant Compressor, 29003200 hp, caudal: 20 millions of feet cubic per day
Option B:
Reciprocant Compressor, 28103130 hp, caudal: 20 millions of feet cubic per day
Data 
Option A 
Option B 
I: Investment 
1.100.000 $ 
900.000 $ 
OPC: opera 
100.000 $/year 
120.000 $/year 
tionals costs 

PRC: preven 
60.000 $/year 
40.000 $/year 
tive costs 
OVC: overhauls
costs
100.000 $ every 5 years
80.000 $ every 5 years
i: interest 
10% 
10% 
T: expected 
15 years 
15 years 
useful life 
Table 1. Economical data
With this information the organization PETRONOX carried out a first economic LCCA and a comparison made among the two alternatives, in this first evaluation, no failure cost analysis was considered and results are presented in Table 2:
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Results 
Option A 
Option B 

1) I: Invesment 
1.100.000 $ 
900.000 $ 

2) OPC(P): 
760.607,951 $ 
912.729,541 $ 

operationals costs in present value 

3) PRC(P): preventive costs in present value 
456.364,77 $ 
304.243,18 $ 

4) OVC(P): overhauls costs in present value, 
62.092, 1323 $ 
49.673,7058 $ 

t 
= 5 years 

5) OVC(P): overhauls 
38.554,3289 $ 
30.843,4632 $ 

costs in present value, 

t 
= 10 years 

6) OVC(P): overhauls 
23.939,2049 $ 
19.151,3639 $ 

costs in present value, 

t 
= 15 years 

TLCC(P): Total Life Cycle Costs in pre sent value, i: 10%, T: 
2.441.558,387 $ 
2.216.641,254 $ 
15 years (Sum 1…6)
Table 2. Economical results without to evaluate the costs per failures
In Table 2, the oil company doesn't consider the possible costs of failures events. The op tion B results to be the best economic alternative (more economic alternative for a lifespan pe riod of 15 years). There is a difference of approximately: 224.917,133 $ between the two al ternatives (this quantity would be the potential saving to select the option B, without considering the possible costs for failures). Later on, a proposal consisting on the evaluation of the same figures taking into considera tion now the failure costs was made to the organization. It was suggested using a NHPP model
for this evaluation, the total expected number of failures the interval of time [tn, tn+s] is es timated by the NHPP stochastic model (Weibull cumulative intensity function) [27]. Next, are shown the data of costs and times of failures to be used inside the NHPP model (the data of
were gathered by PETRONOX of two similar compression systems that
operate under very similar conditions in those that will work the compressor to be selected):
times to failures
t
f
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Data 
Option A 
Option B 

Cp 
($/hour) 
6.000 
6.000 
Cc 
($/hour) 
700 
400 
MTTR (hours) 
9 
8 

t f 
_{(}_{m}_{o}_{n}_{t}_{h}_{s}_{)} 
5, 7, 3, 7, 2, 4, 3, 5, 8, 9, 2, 4, 6, 3, 4, 2, 4, 3, 8, 9 
2, 3, 3, 5, 6, 6, 5, 6, 5, 6, 4, 3, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 2, 2, 3, 2, 2, 3, 3 
t n (total of 
98 
82 

months) 

n (total of fail ures) 
20 
24 
Table 3. Failure costs and maintainability/reliability data
With the information of the Table 3, the equation (16) was used to calculate the frequency
of failures per year
tained in the equation (16) were calculated from the equations (14) and (15). The total costs
TCP f were calculated from the equations (18) and (19); these costs are
. The parameters and of the Distribution of Weibull con
(
t
n
,
t
n
s
)
for failures per year
with the equation (20). Next, are shown the results of the
frequency of failures and the total costs for failures for year obtained starting from the NHPP model, for the two evaluated options:
converted to present value
PTCP
f
Results 
Option A 
Option B 
_{} 
6,97832 
6,13985 
_{} 
1,13382 
1,22614 
(
t
n
,
t
n
s
)
= fail
ures/year
TCPf
_{=} _{$}_{/}_{y}_{e}_{a}_{r}
PTCP
f
=
$
_{(}_{i}_{=}_{1}_{0}_{%}_{,} _{T}_{=}_{1}_{5} _{y}_{e}_{a}_{r}_{s}_{)}
2,7987 = 2,8
168.840
1.284.210,46
4,3751=4,38
224.256
1.705.708,97
Table 4. Results from NHPP model
Later on, a second LCC economic evaluation was carried out including the results of costs of failures obtained from the NHPP model. The results are presented in Table 5:
92
Results 
Option A 
Option B 

_{1}_{)} _{I}_{:} _{I}_{n}_{v}_{e}_{s}_{m}_{e}_{n}_{t} 
1.100.000 $ 
900.000 $ 

2) OPC(P): 
760.607,951 $ 
912.729,541 $ 

operationals costs in present value 

3) PRC(P): preventives costs in present value 
456.364,77 $ 
304.243,18 $ 

4) OVC(P): overhauls costs in present value, 
62.092, 1323 $ 
49.673,7058 $ 

t 
= 5 years 

5) OVC(P): overhauls costs in present value, 
38.554,3289 $ 
30.843,4632 $ 

t 
= 10 years 

6) OVC(P): overhauls 
23.939,2049 $ 
19.151,3639 $ 

costs in present value, 

t 
= 15 years 

7)PTCPf: total costs 
1.284.210,46 $ 
1.705.708,97 $ 

per failures in present 

value 

TLCC(P): Total Life Cycle Costs in present value, i: 10%, T: 15 years (Sum 1…7) 
3.725.768,851 $ 
3.922.350,22 $ 

PTCPf / TLCC(P) = % 
34,46% 
43.48% 
(total costs per failures
/ total life cycle costs)
Table 5. Economical results with the costs per failures
In the results of this second evaluation (see Table 5), the total costs for failures are included in present value PTCPf. Notice that now Option A turns out to be the best economic alterna tive, with a difference of approximately: 196.581,368 $ (this quantity would be the potential saving if selecting the option A instead of B). An important aspect to be considered in this analysis, is that PTCPf category of cost turns out to be the highest economic factor, with more weight, inside the process of the two alternatives comparison. Specifically, this category of costs represents the 43,48% (Option B) and the 34,46% (Option A) of the total LCC of the se two assets (with an interest rate of 10% and a prospective cycle of life of 15 years). Finally, as per previous results discussion, PETRONOX decided to consider failures cost analysis in their LCCA. Additionally, the organization PETRONOX decided to develop an in ternal procedure allowing the evaluation of reliability opportunity cost, this procedure would be used in a continuous and obligatory basis every time different options are analyzed inside the processes of: design, selection, substitution and/or purchase of assets.
3.4.1. Limitations of the NHPP proposed model
The analysis of the failure is an important facet in the development of maintenance strategy in the life cycle cost analysis of the asset. Only by properly understanding the mechanism of failure, through the modeling of failure data, can a proper maintenance plan and an analysis of costs be developed [47]. This is normally done by means of probabilistic analysis of the fail ure data. From this, conclusions can be reached regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of preventive replacement (and overhaul) as well as that of predictive maintenance. The optimal
93
frequency of maintenance can also be established by using well developed optimization mod els. These optimize outputs, such as profit, cost and availability. The problem with this ap proach is that it assumes that all repairable systems are repaired to the ‘goodasnew’ condi tion at each repair occasion. Maintenance practice has learnt, however, that in many cases equipment slowly degrades even while being properly maintained (including part replacement and periodic overhaul). The result of this is that failure data sets often display degradation. This renders conventional probabilistic analysis useless. The NHPP model has proved to provide good results even for realistic situations with bet terthanold but worsethannew repairs [29]. Based on this, and given its conservative nature and manageable mathematical expressions, the NHPP was selected for this particular work. The NHPP models can be considered as simple curvefitting approach that can be easily un derstood and implemented by software engineers and developers [47]. It is also this type of models that have been used by practitioners in most cases. On the other hand, without an in depth understanding, the models and analysis are more likely to be misused and further analy sis, which could been possible are not carried out. There is a need for more in depth study of NHPP model and their effectiveness in predicting future failure behaviour. Most of current re search focuses on developing more complex models, see other models found in the literature ([48] and [49]). However more research is needed with regard to model selection. When com paring models, the focus should be on the prediction rather than fitting as a model can fit the past data correctly, but has a poor predictive ability. Knafl and Morgan [50] provides some initial discussion on this area. The model described above has advantages and limitations. In general, the more realistic is the model, the more complex are the mathematical expression involved. The main strengths and weakness of this model are summarized next:
Strengths:
It is a useful and quite simple model to represent equipment under aging (deterioration).
Involves relatively simple mathematical expressions.
It is a conservative approach and in most cases provides results very similar to those of more complex models like Generalized Renewal Process [29]. Weakness:
Is not adequate to simulate repair actions that restore the unit to conditions better than new or worse than old.
4. Conclusions
The orientation of this chapter is towards maintenance management models, and within them, to the presentation of techniques to consider LCCA within the process (Phase) of assets maintenance assessment, control and improvement. We have shown how the reliability factor and its impact on costs can be critical for LCCA and may influence in final results produced with this analysis for assets options and/or for maintenance management strategy alternatives. Prevision of unexpected failure events and their cost is crucial for correct decision making and profitability of production process. Improvements of process reliability (quality of the de sign, used technology, technical complexity, frequency of failures, costs of preven tive/corrective maintenance, maintainability levels and accessibility) may have a great impact on the total cost of the life cycle of the asset, and on the possible expectations to extend the useful life of the assets to reasonable costs.
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5. Future trends
We believe that, within LCCA techniques, there is a potential area of research related to the optimization of the reliability impact evaluation techniques on LCC. Some interesting trends that we have identified are as follows:
Stochastic methods see ([30], [31] and [32]). Table 6 shows the stochastic processes used in reliability investigations of repairable systems, with their possibilities and limits [27].
Advanced maintenance optimization using genetic algorithms see ([33] and [34]).
Monte Carlo simulation techniques see ([35], [36] and [37]).
Advanced Reliability distribution analysis see ([38], [39], [40], [41] and [42]).
Markov simulation methods see ([43], [44], [45] and [46]).
Reliability methods in phase of design see ([51] and [52]).
95
Stochastic pro 
Can be used 
Back 
cess 
ground/ 

Difficulty 

Renewal process 
Spare parts provisioning in the case of arbitrary failure rates and negligi ble replacement or repair time (Poisson process) 
Renewal the 
ory/ 

Medium 

Alternating 
Oneitem repairable (re newable) structure with arbitrary failure and re pair rates 
Renewal the 
renewal process 
ory/ 

Medium 

Markov process 
Systems of arbitrary structure whose elements have constant failure and repair rates during the stay time (sojourn time) in every state (not neces sarily at a state change, e.g. because of load shar ing) 
Differential 
(MP) 
equations 

or integral 

equations/ 

Low 

SemiMarkov 
Some systems whose el ements have constant or Erlangian failure rates (Erlang distributed fail urefree times) and arbi trary repair rates 
Integral 
process (SMP) 
equations/ 

Medium 

SemiRegenerative 
Systems with only one repair crew, arbitrary structure, and whose el ements have constant failure rates and arbitrary repair rates 
Integral 
process 
equations/ 

High 

Nonregenerative 

process 
Systems of arbitrary structure whose elements have arbitrary failure and repair rates 
Partial diff. eq.; case by base sol./ High to very high 
Table 6. Stochastic processes used in reliability analysis of repairable systems
Finally, it is not feasible to develop a unique LCCA model, which suits all the require ments. However, it is possible to develop more elaborate models to address specific needs such as a reliability costeffective asset development.
6. Acknowledgements
This research is funded by the Spanish Department of Science and Innovation project DPI200801012 (Modelling emaintenance policies for the improvement of production sys tems dependability and ecoefficiency).
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Corresponding author
A. 
Crespo Márquez can be contacted at: adolfo@esi.us.es 
C. 
Parra Márquez can be contacted at: parrac37@yahoo.com 
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