Master thesis assignment at the Royal Netherlands Navy: “Pro-active service for electrical components”

A maintenance improvement project in the Maritime sector

Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN)

This project is involved with the supply chain of the RNLN and Alewijnse. Alewijnse designs, delivers and integrates electrical systems and components for the entire maritime sector. The RNLN is the maritime division of the Netherlands armed forces. In order to provide peace and security in international waters they have to be flexible and therefore they have to maximize the availability of their fleet. This requires intensive management of the maintenance of their ships while minimizing the required expenditures to be able to operate within the available budget. The RNLN will act as homebase for this project.

Context of the master thesis assignment

This master thesis assignment is part of the Integrated Maintenance and Service Logistics Concepts for Maritime Assets (MaSelMa) project. In the maritime sector, service logistics support and maintenance of systems constitute a significant fraction of the exploitation costs. This is on the one hand due to the complexity and high capital value of the assets used in this sector and on the other hand due to the highly variable and mostly severe operating conditions encountered by ships and their subsystems. Moreover, since these assets are often operated at remote locations around the world, unplanned maintenance requires significant logistic effort and hence is very costly. This reveals that an important reason for the high costs for service logistics in the maritime sector is the uncertainty in demand.

The MaSelMa project focuses on developing innovative concepts to improve the predictability of maintenance and service logistics demand. The project also includes a supply chain focus geared towards the maritime sector (navy, offshore) that complements and integrates with service logistics (e.g. bundling deliveries to ships or offshore equipment crews). In that way, the project aims at increasing the service logistics efficiency for these maritime assets, following three approaches:

  1. Increase the predictability of maintenance (i.e. prevent failures / reduce unnecessary maintenance).
  2. Design service logistics plans that generate optimal maintenance actions, with a specification of resources and materials requirements.
  3. Improve and extend cooperation for service logistics and supply chain management

Master thesis assignment

The focus of this project is the pro-active maintenance/logistics strategy for electrical components. New technologies and insights in service logistics make it possible to apply (more) pro-active service strategies. The aim of this project is to study the current service strategies and investigate the possibilities of a more pro-active service policy, e.g. investigate the predictability of maintenance of electrical components on board naval ships. The suggested policies are to be tested based on real life data where the impact of the policies in practice should be taken into account. Besides the RNLN Alewijnse is also involved in this assignment.

Point of contact

Universiteit: Prof. dr. W.H.M. Zijm (; dr. M.C. van der Heijden (