Knowledge Criticality Assessment and Codification Framework for Major Maintenance Activities: A Case Study of Cement Rotary Kiln Plant

Lilian O. Iheukwumere-Esotu, Akilu Yunusa-Kaltungo

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Maintenance experts involved in managing major maintenance activities such as; Major overhauls, outages, shutdowns and turnarounds (MoOSTs) are constantly faced with uncertainties during the planning and/or execution phases, which often stretches beyond the organisation’s standard operating procedures and require the intervention of staff expertise. This underpins a need to complement and sustain existing efforts in managing uncertainties in MoOSTs through the transformation of knowledgeable actions generated from experts’ tacit-based knowledge. However, a vital approach to achieve such transformation is by prioritising maintenance activities during MoOSTs. Two methods for prioritising maintenance activities were adopted in this study; one involved a traditional qualitative method for task criticality assessment. The other, a quantitative method, utilised a Fuzzy inference system, mapping membership functions of two crisp inputs and output accompanied by If-Then rules specifically developed for this study. Prior information from a 5-year quantitative dataset was obtained from a case study with appreciable frequency for performing MoOSTs; in this case, a Rotary Kiln system (RKS) was utilised in demonstrating practical applicability. The selection of the two methods was informed by their perceived suitability to adequately analyse the available dataset. Results and analysis of the two methods indicated that the obtained Fuzzy criticality numbers were more sensitive and capable of examining the degree of changes to membership functions. However, the usefulness of the traditional qualitative method as a complementary approach lies in its ability to provide a baseline for informing expert opinions, which are critical in developing specific If-Then rules for the Fuzzy inference system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4619
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2021


  • Criticality assessment
  • Fuzzy logic
  • Knowledge management
  • Major-maintenance
  • Major-overhauls-outages-shutdowns-turnarounds
  • Task-based expertise


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