A framework to estimate the cost of No-Fault Found events

J. Erkoyuncu, Samir Khan, S. Hussain, R. Roy

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    19 Citations (Scopus)
    57 Downloads (Pure)


    The article investigates a generic framework to estimate maintenance costs attributed to the No Fault Found (NFF) phenomenon. Such overhead costs are particularly difficult to quantify due to potentially serviceable equipment being returned for repair. Other factors, such as a reduction in the availability of the system, compromising reliability of high value assets, and logistical factors, can all contribute to the cost of resolving an unknown fault. Here we apply the soft systems methodology to capture the critical cost drivers of NFF across the supply chain and build a framework to estimate the cost of NFF. We use a multi-method design including an online survey, workshops and semi-structured interviews to study NFF related cost practices based on information from 12 key participants across 7 UK organisations. The study identifies the major NFF cost drivers across the supply chain (e.g. transportation), the OEM (e.g. inventory) and the customer (e.g. lost man hours). An agent based model is used to evaluate the impact of these cost drivers on the overall NFF cost. The analysis shows how the most appropriate drivers can be selected to represent the cumulative costs due to NFF events and their impacts across the supply network. From the academic perspective, the generic framework for NFF cost estimation demonstrates how qualitative and quantitative information can be used together to achieve maintenance objectives. From a practical perspective, by applying the framework on one component, an organisation has the liberty to analyse the cost of NFF for that particular unit only.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)207-222
    Number of pages16
    JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
    Early online date29 Dec 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

    Bibliographical note

    NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Journal of Production Economics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in International Journal of Production Economics, [173, (2015)] DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2015.12.013

    © 2015, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/


    Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


    • No Fault Found
    • cost driver selection
    • agent based modelling
    • cost analysis
    • supply chain


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