Master thesis assignment at the Royal Netherlands Navy: “Obsolescence Management for Electrical Components”
A maintenance improvement project in the Maritime sector
This project is involved with the supply chain of the RNLN and Alewijnse. Alewijnse designs, delivers, integrates and maintains 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.
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:
- Increase the predictability of maintenance (i.e. prevent failures / reduce unnecessary maintenance).
- Design service logistics plans that generate optimal maintenance actions, with a specification of resources and materials requirements.
- Improve and extend cooperation for service logistics and supply chain management
The focus of this project is the obsolescence of spare parts for Electrical Components. Obsolesence of parts in this context refers to low availability of parts at the suppliers of the parts. Currently many parts become obsolete a.o. due to fast developments in technology. The aim of this assignment is to determine the assortment of parts subject to obsolescence, to investigate what possible causes are underlying the obsolescence and to determine adequate obsolescence strategies. These obsolescence strategies should contribute to lower life cycle costs and higher availability of the electrical installations and therefore of that of the ships of the RNLN. The student should evaluate the obsolescence strategies based on real life data. Besides the RNLN Alewijnse is also involved in this assignment.