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A two-phase approach for integrating preventive maintenance with production and delivery in an unreliable coal mine

Abstract

We consider a coal mine that extracts raw coal by a set of coal mining equipment (CME), separates out multiple products by a set of coal washing equipment, and delivers the products through a fleet of trains over a multi-period horizon. The equipment requires a daily preventive maintenance (PM) and each CME is subject to random failures and repairs. We study a joint PM, production, and delivery problem that determines when to perform the PM and how to manage coal production and delivery in each period, to minimize the expected total cost. We formulate a multi-period stochastic optimization model that delicately integrates the static PM decisions with the adaptive production-delivery decisions, which is extremely difficult to solve due to CME’s decision-dependent operating status. We propose a novel two-phase solution approach to overcome this difficulty. Phase 1 firstly determines the PM decisions using a scenario-based variable neighborhood search algorithm. Using the PM solution and the resultant set of scenarios as input parameters, Phase 2 adaptively determines the production-delivery decisions using a forward-looking algorithm in a rolling horizon manner. We show numerically that our approach consistently produces good-quality and robust solutions while preserving tractability for varying problem instances.

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Acknowledgements

The author thanks the associate editor and the two anonymous referees for their valuable comments toward improving this study. The author is grateful for the support from the Southwest Jiaotong University under the Qingmiao Program and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. A1420502052101-48).

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Correspondence to Song Jiu.

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Jiu, S. A two-phase approach for integrating preventive maintenance with production and delivery in an unreliable coal mine. J Heuristics 27, 991–1020 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10732-021-09482-0

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Keywords

  • Preventive maintenance
  • Coal production
  • Coal delivery
  • Equipment failure
  • Two-phase approach