Air Force Research Laboratory
C. Richard Cassady, Justin R. Chimka, Jason Honeycutt, Mauricio Carrasco , Stephen Ormon, Scott J. Mason, , Chase E. Rainwater
University of Arkansas
The objective of this project is to develop a mathematical modeling methodology for assessing the impact of cannibalization on fleet performance, to identify policies for making cost-effective, dynamic cannibalization decisions, and to study the impact of these policies on management of the spare parts supply chain
Fleet aircraft maintenance involves a variety of activities that are intended to maximize the readiness of the fleet without violating budgetary constraints. One such activity is cannibalization. While cannibalization provides a short-term fix that makes one aircraft available, its long-term impacts can be significant. Because of the military’s focus on fleet readiness and the expense of maintaining large component inventories, all military services rely extensively on cannibalization and consider it to be a normal part of fleet maintenance. A recent five-year study identified approximately 850,000 documented US Air Force and Navy cannibalizations which consumed 5.3 million maintenance hours (equivalent to 500 full-time aircraft maintenance personnel). Other downsides of cannibalization include reduced morale of maintenance personnel, extended downtime periods for the cannibalized “hangar queens”, and induced mechanical problems (“Cannibalization”, Air Force Magazine, March 2002). The objectives of this project are to develop a mathematical modeling methodology for assessing the impact of cannibalization on fleet performance, identify policies for making cost-effective, dynamic cannibalization decisions, and study the impact of these policies on management of the spare parts supply chain.