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Developing an Inspection Optimization Model Based on the Delay-Time Concept
Infrastructures are considered as important facilities required for every country and society to be able to work properly. Aging and deterioration of such structures during their lifetime are a major concern both for maintenance researchers in the academic world and for the practitioners. This concern is mainly because the deterioration increases the maintenance costs dramatically and lowers the reliability, availability, and safety of the structural system. Preventive maintenance and inspection activities are the most usual means for keeping the structure in a good condition. This paper utilizes the concept of delay-time for developing the optimal inspection policy for deteriorating structures. In the proposed stochastic model, discrete times of inspection activities are taken as the decision variables of an optimization problem, in a way that the obtained aperiodic (nonuniform) inspection schedule minimizes the total downtime ratio of the structure. To illustrate the model capabilities, various numerical examples are solved and results are compared with the traditional periodic (uniform) inspection policies. The results indicate the substantial reduction in system downtime due to the wisely planned inspection schedule and the appropriate utilization of delay-time concept, which is indeed a powerful framework for inspection optimization problems.
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