Corrective maintenance through dynamic work allocation and pre-emption: Case study and application

Rolando Quintana, Mark T. Leung, J. Rene Villalobos, Michael Graul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This case study develops an innovative management and scheduling system for corrective maintenance of machines in a manufacturing facility. The study also involves a comparative evaluation of the proposed and the existing systems under a spectrum of operating conditions. A comprehensive simulation is used to evaluate system performances under a variety of settings which include reliability, service level, and cost consequences. The analysis is based on a full factorial experimental design. In summary, the developed self-regulating management system which involves dynamic work allocation and pre-emption is shown to yield higher machine availability and higher mechanic utilisation even with fewer mechanics. The study also finds that the new system is more streamlined, agile, and robust although it is subject to more-constrained machine reliability and mechanic service time environments. Further, a major reduction of current manpower can still achieve at least 95% machine availability, illustrating the cost effectiveness and efficacy of the developed system. This rule-based corrective maintenance system can be operated in uncertain environments on a real-time basis without additional reformatting costs and provides a competitive measure to deal with managerial issues such as low retention rate for skilled mechanics, highly uneven training levels and pay scales. The financial consequences and gains in strategic advantage with respect to the facility's operational structure are promising after implementation. Moreover, the system developed in this case study represents a meaningful starting point for a more vigorous theoretical research on the bucket brigade system to different functions in industrial and operations management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3539-3557
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Corrective maintenance
  • Dynamic work allocation
  • Machine reliability
  • Pre-emption
  • Real-time labour dispatching
  • Service levels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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