Acquiring assets that can be serviced cost effectively is a fundamental goal during large acquisition projects at NS, the largest railway company in the Netherlands. Buying passenger trains and providing their required services requires important strategic decisions involving both the trains and their technical service system. This thesis studies how serviceability is considered during acquisition projects in practice, and explores means to support decisions that intend to improve serviceability during such projects. During acquisition of passenger trains, managers must specify requirements and make design decisions for both the trains and their service system. Trains are expensive, they are bought in large quantities, and have long life cycles. The service system requires investments in facilities, equipment and people. Design of passenger trains determines the service system needed. Design of the service system in turn determines the operational performance of the train. For a company such as NedTrain, the maintenance service provider of NS, it is the relationship with the supplier that creates success. Collaboration and partnerships are more important than the predictability of performance to produce a successful acquisition project. Before contracting, a dialog with the technical system owner and the system integrator, including the subsystem suppliers, helps NedTrain to mitigate risks and uncertainties. After contracting, close cooperation and communication are fundamental for the successful completion of a project. This PhD research developed two approaches to support practice. Firstly, we developed and tested The Logistic Support Game to improve the service design process, and its associated decisions. This serious game is a tool that supports exploration of the design space of technical services at an early stage in the acquisition process. During early stages of acquisitions, more effort is needed for service concept development. Secondly, we developed a model to support experts in the definition of line replaceable units (LRUs). We identified this important problem and called it the LRU-definition problem. This is the problem of selecting which items to replace upon failure within the indenture structure of the asset. Our model leads to better LRU-definitions, and can lead to important cost savings when compared to heuristics found in practice.
|Award date||10 Jun 2015|
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 10 Jun 2015|