In my research group, we focus on the maintenance and reliability of all kinds of assets, like machines in factories, medical equipment, and railway and road infrastructure. Owners of such assets are interested in high system availabilities against a low Total Cost of Ownership. High system availabilities are needed to have a smooth operation. Long downtimes of assets may lead to reduced output of a factory, undesired long delays in the treatment of patients, and strongly disturbed traffic streams.
In our research, we look at preventing failures by predicting upcoming failures via degradation modelling, a pure data analysis method (including AI), or a combination of them. These predictions can be used in a predictive maintenance concept for systems. We also look at service supply chains aimed at a fast recovery of an asset after the occurrence of a failure. Especially failures with a large impact for the user(s) require a fast recovery. For fast recoveries it is key to position service engineers, spare parts, and service tools in the right quantities at the right places. Further, we study how to include system availability and Total Cost of Ownership in the design phase of assets. In almost all research projects, we collaborate with the industry, with companies such as ASML, Canon, Dutch Railways, Lely, Philips, Marel, the Royal Dutch Airforce, the Royal Dutch Navy, Thales, and Vanderlande.
Resilience engineering is an important topic in our current society. It requires that systems are studied from different angles and by multidisciplinary teams. We like to be part of these studies and of the community that has been created by the 4TU Centre for Resilience Engineering.