The direct impact of spare parts supply on the ability of a technical system to meet operational requirements is indisputable. But dimensioning and allocating spare parts can be a difficult task. The challenge is to maximize performance at an affordable cost. Things become even more complicated if the system at hand has an operational profile that varies significantly over time.
An optimal spare supply inventory for a period of
limited system utilization is probably insufficient when utilization intensifies. On the other hand, an inventory customized for an intense phase will probably be too large when usage decreases. The lengths of intense versus slow periods, and the difference in systems utilization, are obviously important factors. The regularity of these periods and the turnaround time for component repairs are other relevant factors.
Systecon and the Swedish Defence Material Administration performed a Level of Repair Analysis (LORA) for the SPK39 modular reconnaissance pod for the Gripen fighter jet. The purpose was to produce a cost effective maintenance solution that satisfies the operational requirements placed on the pod in international assignments. These assignments typically recur regularly and entail significantly higher pod utilization than the exercise and training operations in Sweden.
The OPUS10 optimization software was used to perform the analysis, that also included right-sizing and allocation the spare parts inventory. OPUS10 results are calculated based on the average operations, but in cases such as this, where the utilization may vary significantly over time, the analytically calculated results should be further analyzed and validated by simulation, where the dynamics of the scenario dynamics can be taken into account. With a particular investment in spare parts, will the pod deliver the required number of operational hours and missions? The SIMLOX simulation software was used to answer this question.