Resource Constrained Activity Network (RCAN)

Maintenance leaders at Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex were looking for ways to increase aircraft availability by decreasing depot flow days. MERC developed a simulation tool for analyzing how the makeup of a resource pool impacted the time in PDM.  A resource pool is the available number of personnel by skill code. 

MERC developed a software tool known as the Resource Constrained Activity Network (RCAN), comprised of an input file, simulation models, and output reports.  Two versions of RCAN have been developed; Fixed Manpower and Fixed Duration.  The Fixed Manpower version of RCAN determines the amount of time it takes to complete the work package for a given resource pool.  The Fixed Duration version determines how much manpower is needed to complete a specific work package in a desired period of time. Both versions of RCAN provide decision makers the ability to conduct PDM manpower planning before the aircraft arrives.

An RCAN simulation begins by reading an Excel® file containing information about an aircraft’s work package.  The input file includes the man hours by skill code required to perform a task; the minimum and maximum number of personnel that can perform the task; and the predecessor and successor relationships between each task.  Customized simulation models using Arena® are used to replicate current PDM work package procedures and determine how certain factors impact the efficiency of the process. RCAN’s automated analysis process is performed on critical bottlenecks – tasks awaiting resources on the critical path.  The user selects the iteration based on the trade off between cycle time, desired wait time, and resource capacity and runs selection to produce a variety of output reports using Microsoft® Excel and Microsoft® Project. These reports include the number of personnel, by skill code, used each week, day, and shift during an aircraft’s PDM work cycle and the total time in PDM.

RCAN can be used for any process which contains tasks with associated resources and network.  RCAN is not limited to aircraft or depot tasks. 

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Resource Pool Input
Automated Analysis Iteration Screen
Major Job Duration Report
Manpower Requirement Report
Facility Location Report