Scheduling of planned maintenance activities


Balanced resource load with reduced travel requirements.

1. Problem Statement

  • Thousands of sites across South Africa with multiple equipment to be serviced annually. Each piece of equipment has specific maintenance requirements in term of discipline (e.g. mechanical, electrical etc.) and frequency (4, 8, 12 week etc.);
  • This resulted in an unbalanced work load of resources (i.e. resources would work overtime in the one week and be idle the next) and unnecessary travel (maintenance strategies did not match up and resources would travel to the same site in subsequent weeks).

2. Solution Approach

  • A scheduling algorithm was developed to balance and maximise the work load of resources and to minimise the total travel distance of the work force;
  • Tasks are allocated to resources based on the discipline, maintenance strategy and travel proximity;
  • A travel matrix was compiled to establish the minimum travel distances between sites;
  • Different resource planned utilisation levels where applied in the algorithm as required by the regional scheduling officers.

3. Project Outcomes

  • Maintenance plan (inclusive of all planned maintenance tasks) for applicable period;
  • Balanced resource load (number of resources and overtime reduced);
  • Reduced travel requirements.