This chapter is dedicated to the reliability and maintenance of assets that are characterized by a degradation process. The item state is related to a degradation mechanism that represents the unit-to-unit variability and time-varying dynamics of systems. The maintenance scheduling has to be updated considering the degradation history of each item. The research method relies on the updating process of the reliability of a specific asset. Given a degradation process and costs for preventive/corrective maintenance actions, an optimal inspection time is obtained. At this time, the degradation level is measured and a prediction of the degradation is conducted to obtain the next inspection time. A decision criterion is established to decide whether the maintenance action should take place at the current time or postpone. Consequently, there is an optimal number of inspections that allows to extend the useful life of an asset before performing the preventive maintenance action. A numerical case study involving a non-stationary Wiener-based degradation process is proposed as an illustration of the methodology. The results showed that the expected cost per unit of time considering the adaptive maintenance strategy is lower than the expected cost per unit of time obtained for other maintenance policies.
Part of the book: System Reliability