Reliability and maintenance in production control-an introduction

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During the last decade, total quality (TQM) has become a major issue in industry. While in the past (see list of books before 1980) quality was tested on the end product, TQM requires quality control in all the phases of the production process, including inventory of spare parts, reliability, scheduling, due dates (JIT), etc. Consequently, there has been growing interest in the application of reliability and maintenance to production control in the OR literature. Several books have been written during this decade (see list of books in the references) covering aspects of quality and reliability. In addition, there are several journals devoted to reliability (see list of journals in the references). Although several international conferences have been devoted to the subject (see list of conference proceedings in the references), hardly any of these books and collective volumes are completely devoted to the interface between production control and reliability or maintenance. This volume is devoted to reliability and maintenance in production control. As I stated in the call for papers, “we welcome submissions on the use of a wide range of OR techniques such as linear and nonlinear programming, stochastic and dynamic programming, as well as simulation and heuristics applied to more complex reliability and maintenance problems in production control”. Consequently, this volume presents a varied collection of papers on the subject, to serve the growing audience of academic, industrial and government persons investigating various issues of reliability and maintenance in various systems. Naturally, the audience here is interdisciplinary: operations researchers/management scientists, statisticians, engineers, and mathematicians. Often, some are unaware of the work being carried out in the other disciplines. A brief review of the events leading up to this volume may help place it in context. The Editor-in-Chief approached me during the EURO XIV Conference, which took place in Jerusalem 1995 (I was chair of the organizing committee of the conference). As a result, I circulated a call for papers, together with an invitation for authors in the field to present their papers at the 1996 IFORS meeting (Vancouver, Canada), where some of the papers in this volume were actually presented in a stream of sessions. Overall, 43 papers were submitted; after a long refereeing process, only 19 papers were included in this volume.
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


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