“Passenger Experience was the aim for new maintenance solutions”

For the fifth time in a row, a group of over 50 young professionals participated to the WCM Summer School, which took place from August 1-5. The program consisted of theoretical lessons compiled by professors from seven Dutch universities, a leadership training given by the Dutch Ministry of Defense and a case study, provided by Schiphol Airport. “I was genuinely surprised by the approach during the week; not the traditional maintenance solutions were central, but rather the passenger experience as a whole,” says Lars Wouters, manager client projects of Schiphol Airport.summerschool2016-397_web

Renovation of Pier C Schiphol

Schiphol Group is the company that offered the business case to WCM Summer School. The topic was focused on asset management, regarding a wide range of renovations, new constructions and maintenance of departure halls, piers, airstrips and offices. The main question and challenge for the participants of the Summer School WCM was how Schiphol can face the asset life cycle of its buildings and installations and how to optimize the process adopting a design phase approach?

The winning group had a number of unique features: an integrated approach where the land area is used optimally and even increased by adding an element on the sides of the pier. This feature ensures that sunlight can be better utilized or kept out. Wouters about this: “Climate is an important topic within the airport. Besides, we urgently need additional space at the gates, so therefore I voted for the winning group myself.”

Maintenance as a multidisciplinary subject

Henk Akkermans, WCM director, discussed the multidisciplinary aspect of maintenance which was presented by all groups: “It is hopeful to see groups of young professionals who are not dissuaded by the old ‘parochialism’. This case study provided by Schiphol contained several components, but instead of thinking from the different departments, such as finance, HR, operations, maintenance, marketing, energy or IT, the groups one by one have chosen to look at the case-assignment from an integrated approach. With the passenger and other Schiphol stakeholders Schiphol central.” Wouters adds to Akkermans: “Engineers are usually accustomed to look at the Schiphol passengers from a technical perspective, at the WCM Summer School the opposite happened: the young professionals started with the passenger experience, that was the aim for new maintenance solutions.”

Some innovative solutions

The groups presented various and innovative solutions: maintenance based on the user intensity by measuring crowds with heat sensors, physical stores exchanged for shopping systems with large screens and an innovative logistics approache, personal routing through using user data from the existing Schiphol app, specific floor lighting and floor games in the terminal that are able to generate energy by movement.

WCM Summer School

The WCM Summer School is jointly organized by the chair of maintenance and engineering of the University of Twente and World Class Maintenance, the case was provided by Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. This year the WCM Summer School took place this year from August 1-5. Knowledge about smart maintenance acquired through the seven major technical universities is made applicable to business young professionals in the WCM Summer School. That is important because smart maintenance ensures that assets are readily available and reliable: they last longer, investments are being prevented, safety and durability are ensured and yields increased. Moreover, with intelligent maintenance solutions we develop a new export product where the whole world is waiting for: Dutch World Class Maintenance.

Please click here to see the pictures.

51 highly motivated participants made fourth edition WCM Summer School a great success

Early august 2015, a group of over 50 young professionals followed the five-day program of the fourth edition of the WCM Summer School of which the program is composed by professors from seven Dutch universities. Glenn Ackermans, maintenance engineer at Sabic, looks back on an inspiring edition: “Participating in this summer school has taught me that maintenance is needed everywhere and is becoming increasingly important. Dutch installations are generally quite old and should last longer. Innovative maintenance involving multiple disciplines that work together is therefore a must.” 

Multidisciplinary character of maintenance

Ackermans says: “The first two days I thought I was in the wrong place. There were colleagues from different technical disciplines present, not all maintenance engineers. From the second day I worked with my group on the business case NedTrain had provided. I found out that we actually all had the same issues at work and that we could all make a valuable contribution to the solution. That was the moment I realized the value of the Summer School.” NedTrain provided a case on a smooth introduction of new trains. NS is working on large-scale modernization of the existing fleet. In the coming years the double-decker will be fully modernized, 118 new Sprinters will be introduced and also NS is working on new intercity trains. Cock Liefting, NedTrain: “We want to smoothly introduce all the new trains. So all phases of the journey between purchases until delivery and drive trains are to be seamlessly connected. We call this a smooth introduction.”

Mix of maintainability, data monitoring and communication

The group Ackermans wins the prize for the best case solution with an approach in which three teams are needed: a maintainability team, a data-monitoring team and a communications team. All three are evenly important for a smooth introduction of new trains according Ackermans. “When dealing with these three teams we see three important key points: communication and training, data management and the dedication and commitment of all levels within an organization. We were trying to look a lot broader than the technologic aspects such as having your spares in place. That makes maintenance as a profession really interesting, maintenance is always part of a greater whole. But very important, after all, an investment in an installation that cannot be maintained, it is a lost investment.” Leo van Dongen, NedTrain, adds to this: “In several cases solutions I see maintenance is not just about technology but also about processes, human factors and communications. That made the solutions very valuable to us. “ 

New Challenge for a next edition?

Young professional Ackermans thinks the aging of assets is the biggest challenge for the maintenance sector in the coming years. He is not talking about the knowledge in education, but “I mean the experience, the common sense that evolves in working years, I see this experience leaking away. There is not automatically room within organizations to handle this. While we as youths can learn a lot from experienced maintenance engineers. Maybe this is a good idea for the WCM Summer school next year?