Scheduling crew, and their workload, is very complicated. The same crew is responsible for both operating and maintaining the vessel - so maintenance management is closely intertwined with crew management.
There are complex interdependencies between maintenance, operational tasks and crew management, which need to be taken into account. There can be unforeseen changes in the equipment's condition, which means that the 'maintenance intervals' - time periods between maintenance work - need to be updated. Crew are either doing maintenance they don’t need to do, or doing too much ‘unplanned’ maintenance (fixing something which has broken). The maintenance workload needs to be distributed through the vessel's voyage.
Condition based maintenance, systems which continuously monitoring equipment and suggest when maintenance work needs to be done, adds to the complexity of scheduling. So do the shorter port stays and increased port visits of today's maritime operations.
Fraunhofer is developing a software tool called SCEDAS which can integrate maintenance scheduling into crew and voyage planning systems, and other software packages, so shipping companies can get the right number of crew members onboard, get the necessary work done on time, and do it all with minimum costs.
The software computes an optimised work schedule, mapping operational and maintenance work to available crew time, taking into account crew qualifications, voyage specific dependencies and rest hour regulations. When decisions need to be made, the software provides the data which can inform the decision making.
In this webinar, Anisa Rizvanolli of Fraunhofer will present SCEDAS and a real-world use case for decision support.