In the commercial vehicle industry, service contract are of prime importance both for dealers and customers. Selling service contract impose to the dealers to guarantee the best level of services when it comes to maintain customer vehicles. Dealers must avoid, as far as possible, unplanned stop to happen and consequently guarantee to the customer an optimal availability of his vehicles. On a customer perspective, the service contract is a guarantee he will keep a constant level of performance when using his vehicle in his day-by-day business. Moreover, it also represents an important source of expenses. For the vehicle manufactures to ensure a certain level of vehicle uptime, it is necessary to have precise knowledge of the vehicle health state and to minimize the immobilization time in case of a breakdown. New researches results in the field of condition monitoring and prediction of remaining life time of vehicle components will give an accurate image of the vehicle health status. This information can result in a dynamic maintenance planning, Maintenance-on-the-Fly and repair on the fly.
The vehicle aftermarket sales are one of the major sources of revenue for the vehicle manufactures today. For the transport sector (the users of the vehicle) is the equitation the inverse, vehicle downtime (when the vehicle can’t operate) is a huge cost. The projects vision is to provide the enablers to maximize the vehicle uptime during the complete life-cycle.
Currently, many concepts for a “Condition Monitoring” are being develop and validated for the detection and diagnosis of premature damage in a structure or failures in electronic components and for the prevention of hazardous failures in the case of damage.
These methods, indicated as “health” monitoring methods, aim at controlling and reducing the life-cycle costs in safety-critical components of cars, commercial vehicles, trains (such as wheels, brakes, power trains), and civil structures (such as cable-stayed bridges). Improvement of the life-cycle costs is achieved by reducing product maintenance costs and improving product availability and reliability.
Basis for the development of such systems are integrated sensor and partly actuator systems which are also being developed for smart structure technologies. At the same time, methods and procedures from the structural durability point of view are currently being developed allowing an even more accurate prediction of the remaining life-time of damaged or aged structures. Combining these fields would allow Maintenance-on-Demand bringing down the overall life-cycle costs of a product.
Innovative technologies will be implemented in MoDe in order to increase the competitiveness of commercial vehicles’ users. With a better knowledge of the component’s lifetime, it will be possible to follow-up its useful life in order to replace component at the “optimal” time which is costly but also to obviate a wrong use which causes some environmental damages (i.e. more CO2 emission when engine oil is used which does not follow the specifications).
MoDe promotes the use of wireless sensor networks. It aims to increase competitiveness and vehicle status follow-up whatever its life-cycle is. That will allow optimized and tailored customer offers based on an uptime perspective.
Finally, MoDe aims also to demonstrate an efficient repair process in case of sudden events. Mobile workshops functionality deals with decreasing downtime. If a component needs to be repaired, the mobile workshop and the vehicle will meet each other at the optimal location to replace the failed component. In this case, condition monitoring and remaining life time assessment algorithms play important roles in getting a relevant overview (incriminated parts and vehicle remaining driving distance) of the event. Telematic systems shall finally communicate the relevant information to a central system available to concerned stakeholders to increase decision process accuracy while decrease global time needed for vehicle to be back on the road.