RAMS – FuSi – LCC: The Basic Idea

Until recently, the pure procu­re­ment costs of capital goods, such as plant, machinery, vehicles, etc., were still regarded as an essential purchase criterion alongside the speci­fi­ca­tions but without conside­ring other future influen­cing parame­ters as well as conse­quen­tial costs. In recent years, however, the conside­ra­tion has gained ground – especi­ally regarding long-lived products – that the availa­bi­lity, maintaina­bi­lity and, last but not least, safety of systems essen­ti­ally determine their total or life cycle costs. This is often also referred to as Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). In the case of rail vehicles, for example, these cumula­tive expen­dit­ures exceed the acqui­si­tion costs many times over, which has led to the use of special models to predict these costs as accura­tely as possible and incor­po­rate them into the purchase decision.

RAMS – Just a Fad?

Especi­ally with high invest­ment volumes of durable goods, knowledge of system availa­bi­lity, mainten­ance overhead, safety and the resulting costs are essential before making a purchase decision. Conse­quently, RAMS (Relia­bi­lity, Availa­bi­lity, Maintaina­bi­lity, Safety) manage­ment according to CENELEC EN 50126 has become well estab­lished for some time, especi­ally in the railway industry. Within certain limits, this method allows quanti­ta­tive rates or proba­bi­li­ties of relia­bi­lity, availa­bi­lity and maintaina­bi­lity to be deter­mined during the planning phase in order to be able to estimate in advance which product will meet the specific (quality) requi­re­ments.

High system availa­bi­lity with long service intervals and easy mainten­ance combined with a high level of safety guaran­tees high effici­ency at low (mainten­ance) costs on the one hand and generates a high level of accep­tance among operators and ultim­ately customers at the same time. Conclu­sion: A profes­sional RAMS manage­ment of your products guaran­tees a decisive advantage over the compe­ti­tion and is far more than just a fad – talk to us, our experts will be happy to advise you!

FuSi – Every­thing Safe or Secure?

As a subarea of the RAMS metho­do­logy, the security of a system can be deter­mined indepen­dent of industry and appli­ca­tion. This means that as many defects, faults or failures as possible are recorded and their proba­bi­lity of occur­rence and effects are deter­mined. As a tendency, failures with a low (harmful) effect may occur more frequently than those with a higher negative effect. A distinc­tion must be made between opera­tional (safe) and infor­ma­tion techno­logy (secure) security. The former describes the protec­tion of humans in relation to the system, e.g. a dead man’s switch on a circular saw, the latter describes the protec­tion of the system in relation to humans, e.g. a firewall in front of an intranet server.

Functional safety (FuSi), which is anchored in ISO 26262 for vehicles among other things, is in turn classi­fied as opera­tional safety and also aims to ensure that the system functions without problems or hazards and that risk-mitiga­ting measures are used. Examples include speed monito­ring or active brake assis­tance in vehicles. Our motiva­tion is the safety of your products!

LCC – Do you Know your Total Costs?

Once the availa­bi­lity, maintaina­bi­lity and safety have been deter­mined within the scope of RAMS manage­ment, the life cycle costs can be appro­xi­m­ately derived. These are essen­ti­ally composed of procu­re­ment, operation, mainten­ance, repair, insurance, disposal and other costs, such as personnel or logistics. All these costs can be calcu­lated and accumu­lated through qualified LCC (Life Cycle Cost) manage­ment. These costs, together with the speci­fi­ca­tions, serve the purcha­sing depart­ment as well as the specia­list depart­ment as a basis for deciding for or against a parti­cular solution. Do you need a cost overview? We would be happy to ascertain it for your system as well!

How about a Tool that Provides an Overview – the Opus Suite?

In order to calculate all costs over the entire life cycle, especi­ally for complex systems compri­sing several subsys­tems, a large number of more or less known parame­ters must be taken into account in advance. These include availa­bi­lity, failure rates and costs of the indivi­dual modules. Even with just a few variables, deter­mi­ning the optimal stocking levels and locations of spare parts is extremely complex, which results in an unneces­sary amount of time, personnel capacity and, ultim­ately, money. With Opus Suite we have the solution – let us inform, advise and convince you!