Industrial systems are becoming more sophisticated, and their failure can result in significant losses for the company in terms of production loss, maintenance costs, fines, image loss, etc. Conventional approaches to modeling and evaluating the failure mechanisms of these systems do not consider certain important aspects, such as the interdependencies between failure modes (FMs) with information and data containing uncertainties as they are generally collected from experts’ judgments. These restrictions may lead to improper decision-making. The use of more advanced techniques to model and assess the interdependencies among components’ failures under uncertainties seems to be more than necessary to overcome these deficiencies.
It is in this context that the proposed approach fits. It consists of proposing a hybrid multicriteria decision-aking (MCDM) approach that combines several techniques for a better selection of maintenance strategies. Using the failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) technique, the potential FMs of components, along with their causes and effects, are identified. The relative importance (or weight) of these FMs is determined using the fuzzy simple additive weighing (FSAW) method based on how they affect the system’s goals. The causal relationships between FMs and their final weights are determined by the fuzzy cognitive maps (FCM) method and the nonlinear Hebbian learning and differential evolution (NHL-DE) algorithm. Finally, based on the final FM weights provided by the FCM, the simple additive weighing (SAW) method is used to select the optimal maintenance strategies. The results of applying the proposed approach to an operating compressor lubrication and sealing oil system demonstrate its importance and usefulness in assisting system operators to efficiently allocate the optimal maintenance strategies, considering the strong correlation between FMs and their effects on system performance while accounting for the uncertainties associated with experts’ judgments. These correlation effects have led to changes in the assigned weights of the selected FMs. Specifically, the FM related to the low output of the lube/seal oil pump, which was initially assigned a lower priority, and with the correlation effects has become the first critical FM. This shift in prioritization emphasizes the need to address this particular FM promptly. By focusing on addressing these high-priority FMs, maintenance efforts can be optimized to prevent or mitigate more severe consequences. Among the various maintenance strategies evaluated, it was determined that the combination of condition-based maintenance (CBM) and precision maintenance (PrM) yields the most favorable outcome in terms of mitigating the impact of accidental failures and undesired events on the selected system.