Vehicle downtime 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's health state and to minimise maintenance time.
Research in the field of condition monitoring and prediction of the remaining life time of vehicle components, will give an accurate view of the vehicle health status. This information can result in a dynamic maintenance planning, maintenance on the fly and repair on the fly. Research activities in the field of capturing work loads and operational constraints will be used to analyse vehicle configuration, operating conditions and vehicle usage.
The MODE project aims to increase transport competitiveness by increasing the vehicle uptime. Proposing a global uptime based transport solution will help to maintain vehicles at their optimal condition. It will contribute to CO2 emission reduction thanks to a more relevant monitoring of vehicle components health status and remaining life time. This obviously includes some important engine and transmission items.
Vehicle uptime depends on the ability to decrease 'failure' time. Even if part of this failure time is dedicated to servicing done by technicians, the other part mainly concerns wasted time (waiting for diagnostic technician, waiting for parts, waiting for payment procedures, etc).
Providing the right information (i.e. description of failure cause, vehicle location) will suppress the major part of this wasted time. Moreover, indirect consequences could be the reduction of congestion and accidents (by avoiding long period of immobilisation on the roadside).
The general requirements and system requirements have been defined and business scenario concepts have been investigated for various aspects of a maintenance-on-demand concept.
Regarding sensor technologies, sensors for chassis control and oil quality have been investigated. An in-depth analysis was performed on an acceleration sensor and a level sensor mounted in a passenger vehicle (C-class Mercedes), to detect degradations and failures of the damper system. The analysis included testing in laboratory conditions as well as measurements under real driving conditions.
With both sensors, changes in the dynamic behaviour of a damaged damper could be detected compared to an undamaged one. The use of acceleration sensors is recommended. To qualify the degradation, further analysis under laboratory and real driving conditions has been performed using additional implemented accelerometers.
With respect to the wireless sensor network, the project focused on the development of a low-power sensor interface platform and a reconfigurable sensor node. Both are needed to connect the on-board existing sensors to the communication network implemented for the data handling. Both components were developed (prototype) and their feasibility and functionality proven. Also, concepts have been developed for the self-monitoring of the sensor nodes and for robust communication ensuring the required quality of the data. In parallel, the on-board system data management has been defined taking into account the newly developed sensor nodes and platforms.
Another aspect concerned the estimation and prediction of the remaining lifetime. For the damper system, a failure mode and effects analysis ('FMEA') was performed to analyse the impact of different failures of the expected lifetime. In parallel, different numerical models were developed.
From the logistic and business scenario point of view, different strategies for dynamic maintenance planning, maintenance-on-the-fly and repair-on-the-fly have been investigated. Based on this, a process has been defined to follow-up the current vehicle usage and concepts for 'uptime-based' mobility services derived. This includes the development of new service planning algorithms.
An increase of transport competitiveness due to an increase of vehicle uptime, optimised maintenance service time, as well as reduced failure time.
The remaining lifetime information allows extension of the service interval. And the service time will decrease due to optimized maintenance planning. Furthermore, scheduling maintenance operations based on actual component degradation will reduce spare parts consumption.
Indirect results can be the reduction of congestion and/or accidents, as immobilisation time on the roadside will be reduced. The MODE project will impact on a market for new business products and maintenance offers. It enhances the capability to provide an uptime oriented offer, targeting a 15 to 30% increase in efficiency. On a warranty cost reduction perspective, this can lead to a 10 to 15% reduction of warranty costs by early damage detection on vehicles.
- An efficient and integrated mobility system: Service quality and reliability
- Innovating for the future (technology and behaviour): Promoting more sustainable development