Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine how certain limitations of the current approaches to planning and scheduling of aircraft heavy maintenance can be addressed using a single integrated framework supported by unified data structures. Design/methodology/approach – The “unitary structuring technique”, originally developed within the context of manufacturing planning and control, is further enhanced for aircraft heavy maintenance applications, taking into account the uncertainty associated with condition-based maintenance. The proposed framework delivers the advanced functionalities required for simultaneous and dynamic forward planning of maintenance operations, as well as finite loading of resources, towards optimising the overall maintenance performance. Findings – Execution of maintenance operations under uncertainty involves materials changes, rectification and re-assembly. It is shown that re-scheduling of materials (spare-parts), resources and operations can be taken care of by simultaneous and dynamic forward planning of materials and operations with finite loading of resources, using the integrated framework. Research limitations/implications – As part of adopting the proposed framework in practice, it needs to be guided by an overall methodology appropriate for application-specific contexts. Practical implications – The potential direct benefits of adopting the proposed framework include on-time project completion, reduced inventory levels of spare-parts and reduced overtime costs. Originality/value – Existing approaches to aircraft maintenance planning and scheduling are limited in their capacity to deal with contingencies arising out of inspections carried out during the execution phase of large maintenance projects. The proposed integrated approach is, capable of handling uncertainty associated with condition-based maintenance, due to the added functionalities referred to above.
Samaranayake, P. & Kiridena, S. (2012). Aircraft maintenance planning and scheduling: An integrated framework. Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, 18 (4), 432-453.