A data-driven approach to diagnosing throughput bottlenecks from a maintenance perspective
Journal article, 2020

Prioritising maintenance activities in throughput bottlenecks increases the throughput from the production system. To facilitate the planning and execution of maintenance activities, throughput bottlenecks in the production system must be identified and diagnosed. Various research efforts have developed data-driven approaches using real-time machine data to identify throughput bottlenecks in the system. However, these efforts have mainly focused on identifying bottlenecks and only offer limited maintenance-related diagnostics for them. Moreover, these research efforts have been proposed from an academic perspective using rigorous scientific methods. A number of challenges must be addressed, if existing data-driven approaches are to be adapted to real-world practice. These include identifying relevant data types, data pre-processing and data modelling. Such challenges can be better addressed by including maintenance-practitioner input when developing data-driven approaches. The aim of this paper is therefore to demonstrate a data-driven approach to diagnosing throughput bottlenecks, using the combined knowledge of the maintenance and data-science domains. Diagnostic insights into throughput bottlenecks are obtained using unsupervised machine-learning techniques. The demonstration uses real-world machine datasets extracted from the production line. The novelty of the research presented in this paper is that it shows how inputs from maintenance practitioners can be used to develop data-driven approaches for diagnosing throughput bottlenecks having more practical relevance. By gaining these diagnostic insights, maintenance practitioners can better understand shop-floor throughput bottleneck behaviours from a maintenance perspective and thus prioritise various maintenance actions.

Throughput bottlenecks

Machine learning


Manufacturing system

Production system

Data science


Mukund Subramaniyan

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Anders Skoogh

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Muhammad Azam Sheikh

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), CSE Verksamhetsstöd

Jon Bokrantz

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Björn Johansson

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Christoph Roser

Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences

Computers and Industrial Engineering

0360-8352 (ISSN)

Vol. 150 106851

DAIMP - Data Analytics in Maintenance Planning

VINNOVA (2015-06887), 2016-03-01 -- 2019-02-28.

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Reliability and Maintenance

Software Engineering

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance




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