The aim of product lifecycle management is to maximise product efficiency by integrating, analysing and evaluating all relevant information about its life phases. The knowledge gained is either fed back into the design process to assist in decision-making or used directly as recommendations for optimising the product’s utilisation strategy.
To this end, the department develops solutions that map the lifecycle using computer-aided models and approaches, such as agent-based and discrete event-based simulations. The models range from concept phase to design, construction and manufacturing, operation, including maintenance, and end-of-life. The aim is to capture and analyse the primary and secondary effects of different product modifications, as well as maintenance concepts and technologies, taking into account criteria such as reliability, availability, economy and ecology. Uncertainties in the model prognosis, as well as those regarding future product deployment scenarios, are recorded systematically and quantified using specific mathematical models. The mapping of interactions between the stakeholders involved in maintenance also forms part of our integrated approach. With the aim of deriving efficiency-optimised maintenance strategies, this method is used to analyse and evaluate new aircraft concepts (e.g. hybrid-electric aircraft) as well as conventional and disruptive maintenance concepts. The latter also includes prescriptive maintenance, which serves as decision support for the holistic optimisation of upcoming maintenance processes.
This holistic approach lays the foundation for integrated product development, in which the short, medium and long-term critical elements, as well as those in need of optimisation, are identified and fed back into the design in terms of Design for X (e.g. Lifecycle Cost, Maintenance, Availability).
The department’s research portfolio is augmented through the use of innovation and technology management methods. The aim is to identify disruptive technologies from other industries (e.g. from the medical field) at an early stage and to investigate their use and potential benefits in aviation maintenance.