Title: Obsolescence management in rail signalling systems: concept and Markovian modelling

Authors: Kouroush Jenab; Kourosh Noori; Philip D. Weinsier

Addresses: Society of Reliability Engineering-Ottawa Chapter, 812-761 Bay Street, Toronto, ON, M5G 2R2, Canada ' Society of Reliability Engineering-Ottawa Chapter, 812-761 Bay Street, Toronto, ON, M5G 2R2, Canada ' Department of Electrical/Electronic Engineering Technology, Bowling Green State University Firelands, USA

Abstract: Obsolescence is one of the most common reasons for the premature replacement of signalling systems. One of the major reasons for obsolescence is the short lifespan of hardware/software components, which seem to be replaced with newer technologies almost on a daily basis. As a result, it is critical that line replaceable units (LRUs) or lowest level replaceable units (LLRUs) be available over the lifetime of the system and be monitored systematically. Obsolescence monitoring and detection is currently done through linear methods which have many issues due to the non-linear nature of the parameters as well as the inter-dependency of elements. The purpose of this paper is to describe the obsolescence concept in rail signalling and introduce a Markovian obsolescence detection model to avoid early system obsolescence. Normally, suppliers support their customers worldwide with obsolescence monitoring in order to obtain early information on equipment obsolescence issues. Nevertheless, to sustain effective obsolescence management, agencies should allocate adequate resources such as personnel, budget and tools. An obsolescence plan/strategy is discussed in this paper and can be applied across a system's lifecycle. Such an obsolescence plan should be backed up by supply chain strategy during the system lifecycle in conjunction with asset management.

Keywords: obsolescence management; rail signalling systems; Markovian modelling; technology maturity; rail transit systems; transport systems; line replaceable units; lowest level replaceable units; obsolescence monitoring; obsolescence detection; supply chain management; SCM; asset management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPQM.2014.063162

International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 2014 Vol.14 No.1, pp.21 - 35

Published online: 04 Jul 2014 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article