Reliability Solutions for the Aerospace Industry
Powerful solutions for high-performing components

Reliability Solutions for the Airline Industry
Reliability solutions that make your profits soar

Reliability Solutions for the Automotive Industry
Reliability from R&D to the road

Reliability Solutions for the Chemical and Process Industry
Build processes with reliable results

Reliability Solutions for the Defense Industry
A strong reliability program breeds strong defense

Reliability Solutions for the Electronics and Appliances Industry
Reliable components ensure reliable business

Reliability Solutions for the Energy Industry
Let reliability light the way

Reliability Solutions for the IT Hardware
Reliability keeps the world connected

Reliability Solutions for the Medical and Healthcare Industry
Reliability for life

Reliability Solutions for Military Organizations
Dependability begins with reliability

Reliability Solutions for the Oil and Gas Industry
Streamline processes along the pipeline

Reliability Solutions for the Semiconductor Industry
Big results for small materials

Reliability Solutions for the Telecommunications Industry
Reliable solutions to better help you connect the world

Reliability Solutions for the Transportation Industry
Results that get you where you need to be

Reliability Solutions for the Trucks and Heavy Equipment
Reliability solutions that do the heavy lifting

Ordering Software from ReliaSoft
Choose the software license and configuration that's best fit for your organization

The Synthesis Platform
Integration to Empower the Reliability Organization

ALTA — Accelerated Life Testing Data Analysis Software
Accelerated life tests... quantifiable resultsTM

RENO — Simulation Software for Probabilistic Event and Risk Analysis
If you can flowchart it, you can simulate itTM

RBI — Risk Based Inspection (RBI) Software
Full-featured RCM with risk based inspection

ReliaSoft Offers Unparalleled Technical Support and Documentation
Connect with ReliaSoft's acclaimed technical support team via phone, email and live chat at locations throughout the world

The Synthesis Enterprise Portal
Open up the Synthesis Platform, and your work in the platform, to your whole organization with this web-based Portal

DOE++ — Software Tool for Experiment Design and Analysis (DOE)
DOE software designed with reliability in mindTM

Lambda Predict — Standards Based Reliability Prediction Software
MIL-217 * Bellcore/Telcordia * FIDES * NSWC Mechanical

MPC — MSG-3 Aircraft Maintenance Program Creation Software
An MSG-3 compliant maintenance program creator

Register and Activate Software from ReliaSoft
Start using ReliaSoft's helpful applications by registering and activating your software today!

The Synthesis API
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for the Synthesis Platform

RGA — Reliability Growth Analysis and Repairable System Analysis
Reliability growth and repairable system analysisTM

Xfmea — FMEA and FMECA Software Tool
Expert support for all types of FMEA and FMECATM

XFRACAS — Web-Based Failure Reporting Software (FRACAS System)
Highly configurable, web-based FRACAS

Download Free Software Demos and Free Service Releases
Get a free trial of the reliability engineering software trusted by thousands of companies, or install the latest update

Weibull++ — Life Data Analysis (Weibull Analysis) Software
The standard for reliability life data analysisTM

BlockSim — System Reliability and Maintainability Analysis Software
The ultimate system visualization and analysis toolTM

RCM++ — Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) Software
Putting the reliability back into reliability centered maintenanceTM

Orion eAPI — Enterprise System Focused on Asset Performance Management
Reliability Business IntelligenceTM

Reliability Education Course List
Peruse the variety of introductory and advanced courses offered for reliability practitioners of all experience levels

The New Master the Subject, Master the Tools!SM Course Lineup
Choose the reliability engineering education track that best fits your needs: Product Development or Asset Management

Worldwide Public Seminar Calendar
Find out which courses are being taught near you, and register today!

Why Attend ReliaSoft's Reliability Training Seminars?
Learn about ReliaSoft's commitment to reliability engineering education, as well as the benefits of attending

Seminar Registration
Register for a course today, and learn about seminar options and other details

Seminar Instructors
Meet the esteemed group of professionals that bring ReliaSoft's training seminars to life

Reliability Training Center (RTC)
Take a glimpse inside ReliaSoft's newly built, multimillion dollar state-of-the-art training facility

Frequently Asked Questions about ReliaSoft's Seminars
Get answers to the most common questions about the finer details of attending ReliaSoft's courses

Available Reliability Consulting Services
ReliaSoft's expert consulting team can accommodate requests of any size or complexity in a wide variety of areas

Customers that Benefited from ReliaSoft's Consulting Services
View some of the organizations that took advantage of ReliaSoft's on-site consulting and education services

ReliaSoft's Expert Reliability Consultants
Meet the esteemed group of professionals that organizations worldwide have trusted for their consulting needs

Frequently Asked Questions about ReliaSoft's Consulting Services
Get answers to the most common questions about the finer details of ReliaSoft's consulting services

About ReliaSoft Corporation
Learn more about ReliaSoft and its commitment to empowering the reliability professional

ReliaSoft Corporation Online Store
Purchase new software licenses, upgrades or resource books, and register for training seminars or ARS events

Companies that Rely on ReliaSoft's Reliability Software and Services
See some of the hundreds of companies that look to ReliaSoft for the tools necessary to power their reliability programs

Press Releases
Read about the latest exciting ReliaSoft product releases and announcements

Print-Ready Publications and Media Links
Browse for publications and videos relating to ReliaSoft's products and services

Career Opportunities at ReliaSoft Corporation
Want to work for the leading provider of reliability engineering software tools and services? Check for openings today!

How to Contact ReliaSoft Corporation
ReliaSoft offers unparalleled phone, e-mail and live chat support at locations throughout the world

ReliaSoft Customer Testimonials
"Amazing," "User Friendly," "Cutting Edge..." See what people are saying about ReliaSoft's software!

Weibull.com
The most complete website devoted entirely to the topic of reliability engineering, theory, data analysis and modeling

ReliaSoft.tv
A multimedia resource portal for both users of our software tools as well as all reliability engineering professionals

Synthesis Applications eDocuments & ePublications Library
Access useful support documents for ReliaSoft's Synthesis Applications, including user's guides and reference books

ReliaWiki
A resource portal and a wiki for professionals in reliability engineering and related fields

Certified Reliability Professional (CRP)
Distinguishing reliability engineers who have gained and successfully demonstrated unquestionable expertise in the field

International Applied Reliability Symposium (ARS)
Sharing applications, success stories and lessons learned in reliability and maintainability engineering

Reliability Discussion Forum
Connect, discuss and share with the reliability engineering community

Reliability Edge Newsletter
In-depth articles on reliability engineering theories and principles, as well as ReliaSoft updates

Reliability HotWire
Your source of information and tips on how to improve your reliability practices

Volume 3, Issue 1

Reliability Edge Home

Creating Initial Scheduled Maintenance Plans

Using the MSG-3 Aircraft Systems and Powerplant Analysis Process to Develop an Initial Scheduled Maintenance Plan

The MSG-3 guidelines have been developed to provide the aircraft industry with a logical framework for creating initial scheduled maintenance plans that will be acceptable to regulatory authorities, operators and manufacturers. This article provides a general overview of MSG-3 and discusses the systems and powerplant portion of the analysis in more detail. Finally, we introduce ReliaSoft’s MPC 3 software, designed to assist MSG-3 working groups to accurately and efficiently complete such analyses.

Background

Prior to the development of MSG methods, the airline industry used “hard time” preventive maintenance programs, which set fixed intervals for the overhaul of specific portions of the aircraft. When serious questions began to be raised as to the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of these procedures, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the airline industry formed a Maintenance Steering Group to develop a new approach for establishing initial scheduled maintenance plans for aircraft.

In 1968, the MSG-1 guidelines were adopted for the Boeing 747 aircraft. New versions of these guidelines (MSG-2 and EMSG-2) were developed in the 1970s to cover different types of aircraft. Based on experience with MSG-1 and MSG-2 and with the multi-national cooperation of regulatory authorities, aircraft/engine manufacturers, airlines and the U.S. Navy, a revised approach was developed. The MSG-3 guidelines were adopted in 1980 and revised in 1987, 1993 and 2001. Currently, the Air Transport Association’s ATA Operator/Manufacturer Scheduled Maintenance Development (MSG-3) Revision 2001.1 document is accepted by the FAA (and similar regulatory authorities in other countries) as a guideline for scheduled maintenance program development.

MSG-3 Guidelines

The MSG-3 guidelines take a “top down” approach that looks at the potential effects of a functional failure and on the ability to detect the failure, as well as the costs of failure and of maintenance actions. Based on this analysis, inspections and other maintenance tasks are recommended to be performed at specified intervals. According to these guidelines, the objectives of an efficient scheduled maintenance program are:

  • To ensure realization of the inherent safety and reliability levels of the aircraft.
  • To restore safety and reliability to their inherent levels when deterioration has occurred.
  • To obtain the information necessary for design improvement of those items whose inherent reliability proves inadequate.
  • To accomplish these goals at a minimum total cost, including maintenance costs and the cost of resulting failures. 

There are several entities involved in the development of the aircraft maintenance program, including the Maintenance Review Board (MRB), Industry Steering Committee (ISC) and Industry Working Groups (IWGs). Each of these groups consists of representatives from the participating operators, the prime manufacturer and the regulatory authority. The IWGs perform the detailed analyses while the ISC and MRB provide various levels of oversight.

MSG-3 provides guidelines for systems and powerplant analysis, aircraft structural analysis, zonal analysis and lightning/high intensity radiated field (L/HIRF) analysis. The scheduled maintenance tasks that are identified in each type of analysis are combined to create the initial scheduled maintenance policy for the aircraft, which can then be adjusted by the operator as applicable based on operating experience. The systems and powerplant analysis, which requires a thorough analysis of maintenance significant items in the aircraft systems and powerplant, is the largest portion of the MSG-3 effort. An overview of the procedures for this analysis is presented next. Although the complementary processes for structural, zonal and L/HIRF analyses are not described here, the requirements are presented in the ATA documentation.

MSG-3 Systems and Powerplant Analysis: Defining Maintenance Significant Items (MSIs)

The first step in MSG-3 systems and powerplant analysis is to define the systems, subsystems, subsubsystems and parts that make up the aircraft. For each component, the analysts review the available technical data, such as reliability and maintainability characteristics and description and operation documentation. The analysts can then determine the “maintenance significant items” (MSIs) by answering the following questions:

  • Could failure affect safety on ground or in-flight?

  • Could failure be undetectable or not likely to be detected during normal operation?

  • Could failure have significant operational impact?

  • Could failure have significant economic impact?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then according to the MSG-3 guidelines, the item warrants specific analysis to determine the maintenance tasks, if any, that will be applicable and effective to detect and/or prevent failure. The analysis is performed at the lowest level of the system configuration above the individual part level (e.g., subsubsystem, subsystem, etc.).

Define the Functions, Failures, Effects and Causes for Each MSI

In order to determine the appropriate maintenance tasks for each MSI, the next step is to identify the functions that the item is intended to perform. Next, for each function, the analysts determine the possible failures that could occur to prevent the item from performing its intended function. Then, for each functional failure, the analysts determine the possible effects that could result from the failure.

The MSG-3 guidelines provide logic designed to assign each functional failure effect to one of five categories: Evident Safety, Evident Operational, Evident Economic, Hidden Safety, Hidden Non-Operational (or Hidden Economic). This is referred to as “level one analysis” and the decision-making logic is presented in Figure 1.

MSG-3 functional failure effects categorization

Figure 1: MSG-3 logic to categorize functional failure effects

For each functional failure effect, the next step is to identify any possible causes that would result in the occurrence of that effect. Once the functions, failures, effects and causes have been identified for each MSI and each functional failure effect has been categorized, the next step is to determine which maintenance tasks, if any, are applicable and effective to detect and/or prevent the causes of failure.

Task Selection and Assignment

For each potential failure cause, the MSG-3 guidelines provide logic, referred to as “level two analysis,” to determine the appropriate scheduled maintenance tasks. There are five types of tasks that can be performed: Lubrication/Servicing, Operational/Visual Check, Inspection/Functional Check, Restoration and Discard. Depending on the category of the functional failure effect that the cause belongs to, some or all of the following questions must be answered to identify the tasks that should be assigned:

  • Is a lubrication or servicing task applicable and effective?
  • Is a check to verify operation applicable and effective?
  • Is an inspection or functional check to detect degradation of the function applicable and effective?
  • Is a restoration task to reduce the failure rate applicable and effective?
  • Is a discard task to avoid failures or to reduce the failure rate applicable and effective?
  • Is there a task or combination of tasks that are applicable and effective?

The MSG-3 guidelines also provide definitions of the available task types as well as criteria to determine the applicability and effectiveness for each type of task.

The Systems and Powerplant Analysis Report

When the analysis for a particular MSI has been completed, the next step is to generate a systems and powerplant analysis report. The reports for all MSIs in the aircraft can be combined with the reports for structural analysis, L/HIRF analysis and zonal analysis to prepare the Maintenance Review Board (MRB) report that is submitted to regulatory authorities. For each MSI, the systems and powerplant analysis report contains the following elements:

  • A list of the items included in the analysis and documentation of the MSI selection decisions.
  • Detailed “description and operation” documentation, which includes functional description, design features, etc.
  • Maintainability and reliability data for each item included in the analysis.
  • A hierarchical list that contains each function, failure, effect and cause that has been identified for the MSI.
  • The failure effect categorization results for each functional failure effect that has been identified for the MSI.
  • The task selection results for each cause that has been identified for the MSI.
  • A summary of the maintenance tasks that have been assigned for the MSI. 

Using MPC to Automate the Process

ReliaSoft’s MPC 3 software has been designed to support the MSG-3 process for aircraft systems and powerplant analysis and to automatically generate a report of the analysis. The software was developed in conjunction with Honeywell Aircraft Engines and Systems and it is based on Honeywell’s MSG-3 Creator 2.0 software. The application is database driven and integrated with Microsoft Word for document output. The software facilitates the ability for multiple users and/or groups of users to work cooperatively on the analysis. The intuitive hierarchical structure of the interface makes it easy to define and manage the systems, subsystems, subsubsystems and parts included in the analysis as well as the functions, failures, effects and causes. MPC 3 includes built-in logic for determining the failure effect category and for selecting and assigning maintenance tasks. The software can then generate the systems and powerplant analysis report in a few seconds, ready-to-print from Microsoft Word. Figure 2 displays MPC 3’s system and function hierarchies, which are used to manage MSIs and their related functions, failures, effects, causes and tasks. Figure 3 displays the MPC 3 interfaces for failure effect categorization and for task selection and assignment.

MPC 3 system and function hierarchies

Figure 2: MPC 3 system and function hierarchies

MPC 3 failure effect categorization interface

MPC 3 task selection and assignment interface

Figure 3: MPC 3 failure effect categorization and task selection/assignment interfaces

References

Air Transport Association. ATA Operator/Manufacturer Scheduled Maintenance Development (MSG-3) Revision 2001.1. ATA Publications, 2001.

Benoff, Dave. “MSG-3: The Maintenance Enhancer,” Business & Commercial Aviation, October 2000.

“Applying MSG-3 to Out of Production Aircraft,” Aircraft Technology Engineering & Maintenance, Issue 50, February-March 2001.

 

ReliaSoft.com Footer

Copyright © 1992 - 2015 ReliaSoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved
Privacy Statement | Terms of Use | Site Map | Contact | About Us    ReliaSoft on Facebook  ReliaSoft on Twitter  ReliaSoft on LinkedIn  ReliaSoft on Google+