One of the key challenges for network asset managers is to ascertain and optimise their total cost of ownership. By forecasting maintenance needs over several timeframes, they can build scenarios to inform their decision-making and asset strategies.
Tram network maintainers today have a clear, instantaneous vision of the condition of their network infrastructure, fixtures and rolling stock thanks to tools such as CMMS (computerized maintenance management systems) and wear monitoring solutions. But specialists generally lack an extensive operational vision to help them prepare their heavy maintenance strategies for the future: not just over five years for their concession budget but over 10 and 20-year periods for the financing, investment and development of the network.
Public transport authorities, meanwhile, need to plan renovation and replacement works on their networks built on the turn of the century that previously required little heavy maintenance. But in a context of tighter spending restrictions, knowing what needs changing and when is a critical challenge.
The aim, therefore, is to offer a configurable view of assets and generate scenarios for their maintenance with their associated costs and resource requirements.
A sequenced approach from inventory to decision
The first stage is to draw up an exhaustive inventory of all the assets across the network: these include track and accessories, signalling, power, rolling stock and buildings. Each item must be qualified by their age and wear characteristics in order to foresee their renovation and/or replacement.
Secondly, the maintenance milestones must be established for each component: at what point in time they need changing, what tools are needed, whether this requires taking the asset out of service, etc.
A third stage involves quantifying resources: the number of man hours, the cost of (day and night) labour, spare parts, new technology to replace obsolescent devices, etc. This quantification phase helps to build a range of possible scenarios according to operational priorities.
Finally, these scenarios will offer objective, configurable and reader-friendly data to support debate surrounding maintenance strategies, informing decision makers of their financial and operational consequences.
A web-based solution for transparent analysis
The French Riviera-based start-up Deligeo addresses these issues with its secure SaaS solution tcoTrees. The inventory phase described above is enhanced with a library of components characterised by typical wear periods and lifecycles. This provides an initial overview of the system that is accurate enough to form a basis for further investigation. The modelling can then be improved through field interviews with staff members who are the most familiar with these infrastructure components and their behaviour. The libraries can also be individually configured to factor in return on experience or the planned maintenance policies for even finer analysis. In addition, Deligeo offers assistance to users during their diagnostic and analysis phases to harness the full extent of the software’s capabilities. Furthermore, this collaborative solution can be interfaced with existing IT resources such as CMMS, and can be used to compare forecasts and actual data.
“tcoTrees allows decision-makers to view and adjust scenarios according to their operational priorities: team sizing, training and skill management, the choice between in-house or subcontracted maintenance, all interfacing with factors such as possible service interruptions. It makes all the issues understandable to a wide audience, so technical functions and finance, for example, can talk to each other in the same language,” says Frédéric Schneider, founder and director of Deligeo.
These asset management scenarios are therefore a complementary resource for O&M methods and engineering departments and offer new, informed insight to public transport authority technical departments. By sharing scenarios and their results, tcoTrees facilitates dialogue through evidence-based facts, leading to better-informed strategies and decisions.
To find out more about the tcoTrees packages offered by Deligeo on StationOne, click here