Effective maintenance is necessary to ensure the reliability of equipment. If equipment is unreliable, the profitability of a business can be greatly decreased. Therefore, the benefits of employing efficient maintenance strategies cannot be underestimated.
At BP Bulwer Island refinery, great importance is placed on the maintenance and reliability function of the business unit. However, there is no formalised maintenance approach. The aim of the thesis was to devise improved maintenance strategies for centrifugal pumps at the refinery. The procedures used in this study may then be applied to other refinery equipment.
The objective was achieved by focussing on two areas. The data collection system used at the refinery was studied and improved, and methods of quantitative reliability analysis were introduced.
Optimal maintenance involves a trade-off between the cost of failure avoidance and the cost of failure. By applying mathematical models to the practical situation at the refinery, a way in which to determine an optimum maintenance policy for centrifugal pumps was devised.