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Life cycle analysis of technical equipment (VSS1999/292)

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Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project website
STRIA Roadmaps
Infrastructure (INF)
Transport mode
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Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

Under the management of road maintenance (MSE) electromechanical equipment systems are increasingly considered important and relevant. Various EMS projects (Equipment Management System) have been conducted or are under construction. It is now generally accepted that a systematic conservation action is necessary and useful to ensure adequate security, and system uptime street. The use of special methods and computer science-aids is well recognised and tested.

The application of this method and aids has, inter alia, aims to identify the economically and operationally optimal time to replace the systems.

The currently used methods, however, often take the "Experience shows expected life" of a plant as a basis. This topic is being researched adequately in various industries and known (eg electricity, industry) sectors, but not in the vicinity of roads or tunnels. Such EM systems have the special property of being widely networked, installed on systems kilometers, consisting of technologically very different parts.


The research project is to develop objective methods and procedures for the determination of "decay cycles" of EM systems. In focus of attention here is on especially in tunnels and associated facilities (factory farms, centers) encountered EM systems that are necessary for operating the road.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


The research project should establish basics to the system of life cycle and methodologies to deduct optimum using periods for technical systems in tunnels.  Many factors which have a relevant impact on the life cycle, they were discussed for selected systems. It is focused on typical aspects of tunnel systems only – taking into account an already profound general knowledge in the area of system life cycle analysis.

An empiric life cycle analysis was worked out on the basis of four cantons and a power distributor; the results showed average life periods between 15 and 25 years, the figures were deemed surprisingly low.

Further,  a  set of selected technical systems with less tunnel-specific life cycle data was scrutinised: illumination and monitoring systems, energy cabling systems and fibre optic cabling systems.

Recommendations and methodologies were described to define the useful life span of such equipment: Empiric life cycle matrices, to be used as a basic data collection tool, diagnostic methods for energy and fibre optic cabling systems, and the relevance of stress factors. It was clearly shown that to follow conservative temperature ranges in technical equipment centers is mandatory for such equipment and that high ambient temperature will enlarge the down-time risk dramatically.

This outcome is fairly new in relation to tunnel equipment and currently not  taken into account with the necessary attention.

Other results

Link to the document:


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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