A risk-based availability estimation using Markov method

Qadeer Ahmed, Faisal I. Khan, Syed A. Raza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Asset intensive process industries are under immense pressure to achieve promised return on investments and production targets. This can be accomplished by ensuring the highest level of availability, reliability and utilization of the critical equipment in processing facilities. In order to achieve designed availability, asset characterization and maintainability play a vital role. The most appropriate and effective way to characterize the assets in a processing facility is based on risk and consequence of failure. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach: In this research, a risk-based stochastic modeling approach using a Markov decision process is investigated to assess a processing unit's availability, which is referred as the risk-based availability Markov model (RBAMM). RBAMM will not only provide a realistic and effective way to identify critical assets in a plant but also a method to estimate availability for efficient planning purposes and resource optimization. Findings: A unique risk matrix and methodology is proposed to determine the critical equipment with direct impact on the availability, reliability and safety of the process. A functional block diagram is then developed using critical equipment to perform efficient modeling. A Markov process is utilized to establish state diagrams and create steady-state equations to calculate the availability of the process. RBAMM is applied to natural gas absorption process to validate the proposed methodology. In the conclusion, other benefits and limitations of the proposed methodology are discussed. Originality/value: A new risk-based methodology integrated with Markov model application of the methodology is demonstrated using a real-life application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-128
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Quality and Reliability Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Availability
  • Maintainability
  • Markov decision process
  • Risk assessment
  • Risk assessment matrix
  • Risk-based availability Markov model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management

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