Considering financial factors and the need for operational readiness, the Level of Repair Analysis (LORA) analytical methodology is valuable in determining whether you should replace, fix, or scrap a broken system component. LORA aims to identify the best location for repair and maintenance facilities to reduce total life-cycle costs for complex engineering systems that involve thousands of assemblies, sub-assemblies, and components arranged into various degrees of indenture.
It determines the least expensive, technically viable repair level or discards alternatives for carrying out maintenance actions. So how does it work?
Level of Repair Analysis (LORA) process
Here is a level of repair analysis example; if a part were to malfunction on a conveyor system, LORA would choose the best course of action from among the following:
- Send a crew of technicians to the conveyor’s location to handle the repairs (O-level)
- Bring the faulty component to a local shop (I-level)
- Send the item to the maker for repairs (D-level)
Preventive maintenance carried out by a lesser repair level would be recommended if certain repairs were deemed too expensive in particular circumstances. However, some failures might not occur frequently enough to justify ongoing preventative actions.
If they’re severe enough or affect an asset that’s essential to your business, you’d still need to take care of it, even if it would need a more significant (and therefore more expensive) level of maintenance.
LORA establishes the following:
- The physical resources that must be accessible to support the performance of maintenance
- The locations where each required maintenance activity will take place
- The capacities that the support infrastructure must be able to withstand for the duration of the system’s operational life.
The LORA results are documented and serve as the foundation for creating the physical resources needed to support the system.
Identification of the possibilities for maintenance is the first step in the LORA process. Systems frequently use two or three levels of maintenance, and LORA generates a decision that specifies the location of each maintenance activity the item requires.
The cost of the component that needs to be replaced or repaired is only one factor that logistics employees consider while ensuring that the operation is smooth. This comprises the personnel’s level of expertise, the tools needed to complete the task, the necessary testing tools to evaluate the repaired product, and the buildings needed to house the entire operation. Here is more on asset management levels of service:
Organizational level maintenance
In this instance, technicians are working on-site. With modular components, the operation is frequently straightforward remove-and-replace. Additionally, there is much “repair in place” labor. It is vital to finish the work as soon as feasible to prevent unplanned downtime.
Intermediate level maintenance
Techs bring parts and components to back shops to work on them rather than on-site. They can execute more challenging repairs because they have more room and access to more tools. Techs frequently work on moving equipment here.
The maintenance division can send more specialist work to repair depots or the original manufacturers. Here, the tasks are either more involved, labor-intensive, or both. D-level establishments often feature an abundance of manufacturing and diagnostic tools.
Types of LORA
Noneconomic: Decision criteria are a set of principles or guidelines used to decide whether there is an overriding reason why maintenance is necessary. Some businesses have rules stating that anything less expensive than a certain threshold will require a replacement rather than repair.
Economic: dealt with by applying cost models that determine the least expensive alternative after calculating the potential costs of all support options. It is the lowest alternative regarding long-term support during the machine’s life.
LORA analyzes if it is more cost-effective to dispose of an object rather than try to restore it. It also determines who will repair each device and where that repair will occur. This evaluation supports each repairable unit under consideration in terms of maintenance.
Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Gorodenkoff.