M.A. Pronk MSc


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Optimal use of functional system tests of capital assets after maintenance

Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) and Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) use a method to determine if a functional system test (FST) after maintenance is necessary. The definition of an FST is: A performance test to verify whether a system meets the "Capability Requirement" under desired operating conditions. This method leaves openings for both maintainer and operator to deviate from the intended test plan.

This aim of this research will be:
Develop a profound analysis method to determine which functional system tests after maintenance are necessary. This method should be implemented in the maintenance methods to achieve cost effectiveness as a quality analysis method. To keep the analysis up-to-date the results should be reviewed. The goal of the analysis is: to reduce redundant testing, increase quality of the performed maintenance and create overview in added value of performed tests.

Research Approach
The rules to design tests are implemented in a decision tree, a risk matrix and a verification cross reference matrix. The verification cross reference matrix will be used as a registration form connecting: maintenance tasks, requirements, risk, test task and major resources.

The analysis will be implemented in the maintenance task analysis of an ILS installation review session. In this session most stakeholders for an installation are represented. It is proposed to introduce the test coordinator as a new participant. The installation manager and test coordinator will join a proposed periodical ILS system review to communicate the results of the analysis with system management. System management is the primary advisor on FST’s for the customer.

The proposed changes in the maintenance and test tasks will be documented in a preventive maintenance task database. This database will contain all maintenance and test tasks including FST’s. Clustering of tasks will be done during the tender of an overhaul project.

Recommendations
The proposed analysis method should be applied in the Maintenance Task Analysis (MTA) of the Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) installation review. This will create an overview over all maintenance and testing task. Redundant testing can be reduced, surplus tasks can be discarded.

To communicate the results of the analysis with the customer an ILS system review has to be organized. This review will focus on the Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS) figures of functional chains of a system. In this review the content of the FST’s will be ratified and communicated to the customer.

Commercial quality standards (SOLAS) for naval ships are introduced in parallel with post maintenance testing programs. Both programs are focused on quality assurance. These two programs should be integrated in one program.

Recommendations for further research
ILS used according to MIL-STD 1388 and DEF-STAN- 00-60 is mostly performed on installation level. Especially Logistics Support Analysis (LSA), as described in these standards, is best performed by installation specialists. There is a need to integrate and analyze this knowledge on a system level. It is proposed to organize a periodical system review to get into a control loop. The system review should be based on the functional breakdown of a system. The case study could not reveal a solid solution for composition and content of a system review. This should be investigated in further research.

Post maintenance testing is a part of quality management. Literature reveals quality can also be improved by preventing human error. The implementation of this theory in the Naval Support Establishment (Marinebedrijf) is a good topic for a further research. 

Due to the highly confidential data he was able to use it is decided that this thesis will not be available for public, directly by this website. Those who wants to have more information can get in contact with Martijn Pronk by AMC Centre; info@amccentre.nl.

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