2019 The Authors Safety-instrumented systems (SISs) have been widely installed to prevent accidental events and mitigate their consequences. Mechanical final elements of SISs often become vulnerable with time due to degradations, but the particulars in SIS operations and assessment impede the adaption of state-of-art research results on maintenances into this domain. This paper models the degradation of SIS final element as a stochastic process. Based on the observed information during a proof test, it is essential to determine an optimal maintenance strategy by choosing a preventive maintenance (PM) or corrective maintenance (CM), as well deciding what degree of mitigation of degradation is enough in case of a PM. When the reasonable initiation situation of a PM and the optimal maintenance degree are identified, lifetime cost of the final element can be minimized while keeping satisfying the integrity level requirement for the SIS. A numerical example is introduced to illustrate how the presenting methods are used to examine the effects of maintenance strategies on cost and the average probability of failure on demands (PFDavg) of a SIS. Intervals of the upcoming tests thus can be updated to provide maintenance crews with more clues on cost-effective tests without weakening safety.
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