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Sustainable Design and Management of Industrial Assets through Total Value and Cost of Ownership

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Sustain-Owner (Sustainable Design and Management of Industrial Assets through Total Value and Cost of Ownership)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2018-12-31

The project investigates the potential of Total Value and Cost of Ownership (TVO, TCO) for supporting the design and through-life management of industrial assets. Nowadays, TCO models are still poorly practiced in industry, in spite of their advantages. Further on, the flavor of the day in the industrial and academic world is to encourage innovative thinking to extract the maximum value from the assets, instead of thinking only about cost. Although the importance of value maximization in physical asset management is currently accepted, there are few works clarifying what value means, how to identify and quantify value, how to base decisions on it.
The purpose of this project was to study the evolution of TVO and TCO as used in industry and understood by academics. The Sustainowner framework is an innovative output of the project. In fact, it is the result of an integrated work that led to the synthetization of knowledge under a unique framework. Collaboration and information exchanges were possible thanks to the secondments done among the researchers involved in the project. The aim of Sustainowner project is to be a platform that can be used to define the Body of Knowledge on Asset Management.
The case studies indicated that the integration of AM is appreciated by organizations but its practical implementation is not fully supported by empirical evidence from the considered entities. Moreover, we found out that mechanisms have to be introduced so that the decision-making process within such system is faced through a life cycle perspective and through alignment among the strategic, tactic and operative control levels within an organization, involving the different stakeholders, towards the value creation from physical assets. Only by adopting these measures, sustainable value creation from assets can be ensured. The business cases resulted to be an important occasion of meeting with the industrial stakeholders and disseminate the project contents and objectives.
The implementation of workshops during the project show-cased innovative results. On one side, the workshops enabled to outline a number of evidence that confirmed the main findings from WP2 (business cases) and enabled enlarging the perspective. On the other hand, the workshops resulted in a successful mechanism to involve a high number of different industrial companies, most of them of relevant importance both for the local and global industries. One of the main impacts of the workshops was establishing networking of industrial companies around the project's field of study.
The research activities done thanks to the collaborations and exchanges among the project’s participants during the project brought to the following measurable outputs:
- 16 articles in scientific journals;
- 4 Chapter in a Book;
- 7 publications in Conference Proceedings;
- 2 books, among which 1 Project Book is under editing process. It will sum up the results of the project.
Title of the book is: “Value-based and Intelligent Asset Management, Capturing the learnings of the Sustainowner Project”, Editors: Adolfo Crespo Márquez, Marco Macchi, Ajith Kumar Parlikad, Springer Edition, Expected publishing date: March 2019
Several events originated under Sustainowner activities’ scope, such as:
- Three physical progress meeting among the beneficiary institutions,
- 43 Scientific and Technical workshops involving more than 100 companies and professional institutions coming from different industrial sectors
- 18 different exploratory business cases have been carried out through face-to-face semi-structured interviews and 10 application case studies (context-dependent cases) actively involving more than 30 industrial actors in the project activities.
Overall, more than 200 companies were from different industrial sectors and of different dimensions (big companies and SMEs) were reached in the context of dissemination and communication activities. More than 500 scholars from the scientific community and 100 people from the general public have also been reached thanks to the participation to 16 national and international scientific conferences and thanks to the dissemination of project’s related events and publications through the social networks (Facebook page and researchers individual LinkedIn profiles).
At the end of the project, the Sustainowner framework was defined based on data collected from the industry through a shared interview protocol and the implementation of business cases during the whole project period. Moreover, the technical and scientific workshops allowed to disseminate the project’s results and to collect feedback from the industrial stakeholders that allowed strengthening the formulation process of the final version of the framework.
Overall, we aimed at studying how asset life cycle management is possible thanks to TVO / TCO, providing the asset owner the capability to develop a sustainable factory according to the economic, social and environmental requirements of the local industry. Cross-fertilization of research and industry was achieved through knowledge sharing between academics and industrial experts involved through interviews and workshops. Publications provide tangible outputs to promote knowledge sharing. The project's impact is tangible and proved by several initiatives related to new research collaborations and built relationships with companies and transference of knowledge and research initiatives.
Moreover, SUSTAIN-OWNER impacted on the researchers’ personal knowledge on the topic of Total Value and Cost of Ownership (TVO, TCO), both from a theoretical, academic and a practical, industrial perspective. From this point of view, the partnership proved to be a source of experience and opportunities, both at local and international level. In fact, researchers benefited from such an intersectoral and an international partnership, which gave them plenty of opportunities to improve their skills and visibilities by taking part in theoretical discussions needed for the framework development, business cases analysis, workshops with industry and events in other countries. The mobility among institutions was also a good potential for individuals to enlarge their professional network and open up potential future career perspectives.
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