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Journal of Applied Operational Research (2011) 3(2), 103109 Tadbir Operational Research Group Ltd. All rights reserved.

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ISSN 1735-8523 (Print), ISSN 1927-0089 (Online)

Economic design of x-bar control charts under preventive maintenance and Taguchi loss functions
Wei-Shing Chen 1, Fong-Jung Yu 1,*, Ruey-Shiang Guh 2 and Yu-Hua Lin 3
1 2

Da-Yeh University, Taiwan National Formosa University, Taiwan 3 Hsiuping Institute of Technology, Taiwan

Abstract. Statistical process control (SPC) is usually used to promote a product quality in the production processes. A control chart is the main tools in SPC. Economic designs of x-bar control charts have been widely investigated and insure that the economic design of control chart actually has a lower cost. A preventive maintenance can reduce the failure rate to an out of control state by an amount proportional to the preventive maintenance level. This paper presents an integrated model for combining the preventive maintenance and the economic design of x-bar control charts using the Taguchi loss function. The maintenance activities are coordinated with the statistical characteristics of the sampling results. Finally, a numerical experiment is conducted to investigate the models working underlying the effect of preventive maintenance on the quality control costs.

Keywords: preventive maintenance; economic design; x-bar control charts; Loss function * Received October 2010. Accepted February 2011

Introduction
Statistical process control (SPC) and maintenance management are key tools in production process. They are used to achieve optimal product quality, little down time and cost reduction. A control chart is one of the most important tools of SPC. It is used to detect process shifts in both mean and variance. It can monitor whether a process is under a statistical control or not. So the necessary corrective action can be taken before a large quantity of nonconforming products is manufactured. The x control chart is the most commonly used one. Traditionally, control charts are designed with respect to statistical criteria only. The first model for the economic design of x control charts was introduced by Duncan (1956) and it insures that the economic design control chart actually has a lower cost, compared with a Shewhart one. Duncan (1956) incorporated optimum methodology to obtain the design parameters, namely subgroup size (n), sampling interval (h) and control-limit width ( k standard deviations) for minimizing the loss cost. The cost items consist of a sampling and testing cost, an increasing cost from out-of-control process, false alarm cost and the searching and repairing cost. This research method has been widely used in subsequent studies on the subject
* Correspondence: Fong-Jung Yu, Department of Industrial Engineering and Technology Management, Da-Yeh University, 168 University Road, Dacun, Changhua 51591, Taiwan (ROC). E-mail: fischer@mail.dyu.edu.tw

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by several authors. For example, Duncan (1971) extended his research from single to multiple assignable causes in which the failure mechanism was also assumed to be an exponential distribution. Saniga (1977) supposed there were two assignable causes in the production process and proposed a joint economic design of x and R control charts. In this model, one assignable cause results in a shift of the process mean; the other one results in a shift of the process variance. The average time for occurrence of assignable cause is also exponentially distributed. Von Collani (1986) proposed a different procedure to determine the economic design of an x control chart. In this procedure, in addition to the possibility of employing a regular x chart, the alternative of periodic inspection of the process without performing sampling inspection is also included. In order to simplify the analytical method for different situations, Lorenzen and Vance (1986) proposed a unified model which applies to the situations where production is continuous or ceased during search or repair for the assignable cause. In order to fit a real situation, the model assumption was extended from exponential to non-Markovian by Baker (1971), Montgomery and Heikes (1976), Banerjee and Rahim (1988). Some literature reviews can be found in Ho and Case (1994). The theoretical developments in the area of economic design of control charts have been proposed over the past several decades. It is observed that very little of this type of research has been implemented in practice. One of the reasons is the lack of confidence in the precision of the input parameters. Recently, Linderman and Choo (2002) proposed robust economic design procedures for a single process by assuming multiple scenarios. Vommi and Seetala (2007)a proposed a design approach by introducing a simple statistics for the robust economic design problem of a process with multiple scenarios. Vommi and Seetala (2007)b provided a risk-based approach to find the optimum parameters of an x control chart. In order to reflect the social cost of a control chart, the Taguchis loss function was also employed to the economic design of control chart by several researchers, such as Yang (1998), Ben-Daya and Duffuaa (2002) and Serel (2009). Production processes are shifting from workers to machines underlying the increasing of automation and robotization. Consequently, the role of the equipment condition in controlling quantity, quality and costs is more evident and important than ever. More and more practitioners and academicians recognize that there is strong relationship between product quality and equipment maintenance (McKone et al. 2001) and integration of control chart design and equipment maintenance may be beneficial to organization. Rahim and Banerjee (1993) determined jointly the optimal design parameters on an x control chart and preventive maintenance (PM) time for a production system with an increasing rate. Ben-Daya (1999) investigated integration of x control chart and PM, while the deteriorating process of in-control period follows a general probability distribution with increasing hazard rate. Ben-Daya and Rahim (2000) proposed an economic design of control charts underlying the PM actions for the equipment. It supposed that the PM actions are taken after each sampling. So the maintenance frequency may be too often and the maintenance cost of equipments may be too high. Zhou and Zhu (2008) developed an integrated model of control chart and maintenance management. The control chart is used to monitor the equipment and to provide signals that indicate equipment deterioration, while planned maintenance is schedule at regular intervals to the pre-empt equipment failure. Chang et al. (2009) proposed an economic design of x control chart underlying the PM consideration that the process is tending to have an out of control signal. In a traditional system, a product is accepted if the product measurement meets the specification requirement and there are no quality losses. The quality losses tend to be constant if the product measurements beyond the quality specification limit. This concept is also used in the most models of economic design of control charts. Taguchi suggests that any deviation from characteristics target value results in a loss. If a characteristic measurement is the same as the target value, the loss is zero. This concept of the Taguchis loss function was employed in this research to construct the quality losses for economic design of x control chart and PM consideration. A numerical example is also used to illustrate how the model works and to demonstrate its utility.

Proposed model
Assumptions and notations The features to be studied in this article are as follows (Duncan, 1956):

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(1) The process is either in-control or out-of-control state and in-control at the beginning. (2) There is one assignable cause in the production process. (3) The process will have a shift , if assignable cause occurs. (4) The process shift is instant and can not back to in-control state automatically. (5) The distribution of x is normal. (6) Production is continuous during the search and repairing the process. (7) Preventive maintenance will be conductive when the statistics character is located over two third magnitudes of control width. Next, the following notations are needed for developing the model related to the control chart design.
Decision variables

n: h: k: w:

sample size; sampling interval; control limit coefficient of control chart; warning coefficient, PM threshold.

Other parameters

true process standard deviation; magnitude of process mean shift if an assignable cause occurs; failure rate parameter of the exponential distribution of time for an assignable cause per unit time; e: average time to testing the sample, analyzing the results and plotting; D: average time to bring a process back to an in-control state after assignable cause has been identified; V: average cost per false alarm when process is in-control; M: average increasing cost when process is out-of-control; W: cost to locate and repair an assignable cause; a: fixed sampling cost per unit; b: variable sampling cost per unit; Z: average preventive maintenance time; r: extension rate in the age of the equipment; C pm : the average cost per preventive maintenance action. On the basis of above assumption, two remaining elements will be constructed to the proposed model. They are described as follows. Cycle time in the model The expected cycle length is defined as the total time from which the process starts in-control, after which an assignable cause occurs, is detected, identified and brought back to an in-control state. It can be divided into four time intervals. They are (1) the interval during which the process is in-control; (2) the interval during which the process is out-of-control but still undetected; (3) the interval between the time at which the assignable cause is detected and identified; (4) the interval between the time at which the assignable cause is identified and repaired. It is assumed that the control chart is in-control and maintained to detect an assignable cause at the beginning, and that the average time for occurrence of the assignable cause is exponentially distributed with mean 1 / o . In many preventive maintenance models, the system is assumed to be as good as a brand new after each preventive action. However, it is usually not a realistic situation. Generally, the failure rate of the system is increased after each PM. The extension in the age of the equipment is proportional (1/r) to the original one. So the average interval for occurrence of the assignable cause is exponentially distributed with new mean 1 / ( = r 0 ). Also there is no any extra preventive maintenance action required if the process is under the control state and quality characteristic is located between the zones of w / n , where is the process mean, is the standard deviation, n is the

: : 0 :

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sample size and w is a warning width. In this research, we assign w is two third of the magnitude of control width k in this study. If the quality characteristic is located between the zone (called warning zone) of + w / n and + k / n or between the zone of w / n and k / n . Then a preventive maintenance action for the equipment will be taken. Let Pw be the probability when the process is under the control state and there is no any extra action required. Let Pr be the probability when the process is under the control state but the process mean falls in the warning zone, respectively. Then they can be shown as:

Pw = (w) ( w) Pr = 2((k ) (w))

(1) (2)

where () is a cumulative density function of normal distribution. Let h be the sampling interval and Z is the elapsed time required for each preventive maintenance action. Then the expected sampling interval, h0 , when the process is in-control state can be expressed as:

h0 = h Pw + (h + z ) Pr
The average time of occurrence of the assignable cause within an interval can be shown (Duncan, 1956):

(3)

e h0 (1 + h0 )

e h0 1

(4)

Therefore, the mean time during which the process is in the beginning to the first sampling after the process shifts can be shown as:

T0 = h0 e h0 + h0 e 2 h0 + h0 e 3h0 + ...

(5)

' The mean of the process shifts to + when the process fails. Let Pw be the probability that the mean falls ' inside warning control limit and Pr be the probability that the mean falls between the warning and control limit, respectively. Then they can be shown as:

Pw = (w ) ( w )
Pr = ( w ) ( k ) + (k ) (w )
Let h1 be the expected sampling interval when the process is out-of-control state. Then it can be shown as:
' h1 = h Pw + (h + Z ) Pr'

(6) (7)

(8)

Let be the type II error probability, then can be expressed as:


' = Pw + Pr'

(9)

At this time, the average-run length when the process shifts to the out of control state can be expressed as:

ARL1 = 1 / (1 )

(10)

Let T1 be the expected time interval within the faulty process is detected and the first sampling point after the process shifts. Then it can be shown as:

T1 = h Pw ARL1 + (h + Z ) Pr ARL1

(11)

Suppose another time for testing the sample, analyzing the results and plotting is considered as a constant time (denoted as e). After the assignable cause has been identified, the average repairing time is also a constant (denoted as D), necessitating its addition to the time cycle. Then a complete average cycle length can be shown as:

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Tc = T0 + T1 + e.n + D

(12)

Loss cost generated There are three types of loss functions that may be used. The first one is that the nominal value is the best value. The proper function depends on the magnitude of variation and the variation is allowed in both directions from the target value. This target can be the center or some shift in two-sided specification limits, called two-sided equal specification Taguchi loss function and two-sided with specification preference Taguchi loss function, respectively. The other two functions are one-sided minimum specification limit and one-sided maximum specifications limit function, called smaller is better, higher is better (Ross, 1996). In this model, two-sided equal specification will be employed to calculate the loss cost. It is also supposed that the production speed is constant and the expected loss per item as an optimality criterion to replace the expected costs per hour is used in this model. Then the expected loss cost generated in a cycle length includes several relevant costs, namely: (1) the loss cost of a false detection of signal; sampling, inspecting, evaluating, plotting and actually finding, repairing the assignable cause, (2) the preventive maintenance cost, (3) the social loss cost in control state, and finally (4) the social loss cost out of control state. These costs are calculated as follows: Let be the type I error probability, then it can be expressed as:

= 1 (Pw + Pr )

(13)

The loss cost of a false signal detection, sampling, inspecting, evaluating, plotting and actually finding, and repairing the assignable cause can be shown as:
T T + en L1 = (T0 / h0 ) V + ( a + b * n ) 0 + 1 +W h1 h0

(14)

where V is the average cost per false alarm, and a is the cost of taking a sample that is independent of the sample size and b is the variable cost per item for sampling, testing and plotting, W is the cost of finding and repairing the assignable cause each time. The preventive maintenance cost can be expressed as:
L2 = C pm Pr (T0 / h0 ) + Pr1 ARL1

(15)

where C pm is the average cost per preventive maintenance action. Suppose the specification limit of quality characteristic is m , where m is target value. It will cost M dollars for repairing the item and bring the shifted process back to in-control state. Then we can obtain the value of M / 2 for the coefficient of loss function. Suppose the process is still in-control state, let dv be the difference between the average and target and be the standard deviation of the process, respectively. Then the in-control average social loss can be expressed as equation (16).
L3 = M
2

(
(

+ ( dv )

) (T h + ) u
0 0

(16)

where u is a production quantity per unit time. If assignable cause occurs, it will be assumed to produce a penalty loss M due to a greater percentage of items being outside the control limits. The expected social loss due to poor quality is expressed in equation (17):
L4 = M
2 2

+ ( + dv )

) (T + en + D + h ) u
1 0

(17)

Moreover, the loss-per-item in an average cycle process can be summed together for all of above cost items and expressed in equation (18):

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L = L1 + L2 + L3 + L4

(18)

The goal of the economic design of x control charts is to find the design parameters, n, h and k, to minimize the loss-cost function in equation (18). Since equation (18) is a very complicated function to the decision variables. In this study, Rahims search technique (1993) is coded using Matlab 7.6 software and is employed for this calculation algorithm to solve the optimal design parameters for reaching the minimum cost. The sample size (n) is always a discrete variable in the sampling. It is possible to treat n as an integer and h or k as a continuous value to obtain a different loss cost; then the minimum loss cost and its h and k for the proposed design parameters are selected.

Numerical example
Ben-Daya and Rahims (2000) data are employed to illustrate the use of the model. If the rate of occurrence of assignable causes ( ) is given as 0.05 and the improving factor of preventive maintenance r is 0.8. The process produces a shift of 1.5 when assignable cause occurs. A preventive maintenance time (Z) is 0.1 hours. All another parameters are e = 0.2 hours, D = 1 hours, a = 2, b = 0.5 US dollars. M = US $100 / hour , V = US $500 /each time, W = US $1100 , C pm = US $200 and the width of specification limit of quality characteristic = 8.0 . To run the program under the consideration of preventive maintenance and social loss cost, the economic design parameters and minimum loss cost are shown in Table 1 for sample sizes (n) varied from 2 to 10. From the calculation result, we can conclude that the minimum loss cost obtained here is $10.7087 within the optimal economic design parameters n=4, k=2.9117 and h= 0.3508. Also the fraction for sampling, false alarm, locating and repairing, PM, in control social loss and out of control social loss cost are 1.06%, 0.43%, 3.81%, 2.75%, 66.62% and 25.33%, respectively. From above cost structure, the social loss cost is about 92% of total loss cost. Especially, in-control social loss cost is about 66.62%. In a traditional model, there is no quality loss if the product measurement meets specification requirement. So we can conclude that the quality characteristic will be not enough if its measurement is only within the specification limit. The measurement should aim to the desired target from above analysis.
Table 1. Loss cost using Taguchi loss function under PM. n 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 k 2.4500 2.7078 2.9117 3.0820 3.2359 3.3859 3.5391 3.7039 3.8820 h 0.3758 0.3578 0.3508 0.3516 0.3555 0.3609 0.3672 0.3742 0.3820 loss cost 10.9708 10.7669 10.7087 10.7270 10.7908 10.8842 10.9982 11.1270 11.2666

Conclusions
This paper has shown the detailed development of an economic design of x control chart that is combined with the effects of preventive maintenance. Also the social loss cost of the Taguchis loss function is considered into the design model. The model assumes that preventive maintenance is performed on the basis of sampling characteristic. It can only reduce failure rates but does not recover the faulty system to a brand new system after the maintenance. A numerical example shows that social loss cost has a significant impact to the total loss cost. So in the production process, the quality characteristic will be not enough if its measurement is only within the specification limit. The measurement should be aims to the desired target from the above analysis. Also in this study, PM is performed on the basis of sampling characteristic. The rule for conducting PM may not be the best policy. Other policies are possible and being investigated.

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Acknowledgments The authors wish to express their appreciation for the financial support by Ministry of Economic Affairs (98-EC-17A-16-SI-127) and National Sciences Council of the Republic of China, Grant No NSC 98-2221-E-212-020-MY2.

References
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