Dimensioning of Product Support : Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities
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- PhD theses (TN-IØRP) 
Original versionDimensioning of Product Support : Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities by Tore Markeset. Stavanger Universiy College, 2003.
The research study examines issues related to dimensioning of product support strategies for advanced industrial products on the basis of a case study conducted in a manufacturing company that produces automated production line systems. The focus is mainly on investigating engineering factors/parameters that influence product support. Product support can be defined as any form of assistance that companies offer their customers to gain maximum value from manufactured products. In general, it creates additional value/profit for the product owner as well as for the manufacturer. It can be broadly classified into two, namely, services to support product and services to support customers. Services to support the product are mainly dependent on the product’s designed-in characteristics, operational environment, as well as on owner’s operational, maintenance, and support strategies. Services to support the customer are influenced by customer characteristics related to operational and maintenance skills and capabilities. Dimensioning of product support is influenced by the product’s designed-in characteristics – especially those characteristics related to RAMS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Supportability). Within the scope of the case study, various approaches and methods to integrate RAMS in combination with LCC (Life Cycle Costs) in design work processes to arrive at the most cost effective product support strategy for industrial systems and components is examined. Often a considerable amount of information and data about product failures/weaknesses and product RAMS characteristics is available in various databases. Unfortunately, these information sources/databases are not usually integrated with work processes in design, and thus these cannot be used for dimensioning of product support effectively. An approach for integrating RAMS information into design processes is suggested. Furthermore, various aspects of product support strategies for functional products where the customer buys only the performance, not the physical product is studied and analyzed. In the conventional product scenario, the manufacturer benefits from selling support services, whilst this profit generating process becomes a cost and liability in the functional product scenario. Based on this study it is concluded that the product support strategy for functional products will differ considerably compared to that for the conventional product. Moreover, it is shown that the service delivery strategy of the manufacturer or service provider must be in line with the service reception strategy of users/customers. The study also provides a critical view on the role of the negotiation process in the development of cost effective and competitive service delivery strategies. In addition, there exists a need to involve personnel who are involved in the support services as well as in manufacturing, assembly, and quality assurance, etc. processes in the design process to arrive at the best strategy for product support. The scope of the thesis is limited to studying the relationship between a manufacturer of advanced industrial products and customers using those products in production lines. Furthermore, this thesis is limited to investigating engineering aspects of support services. Implications of the research open up research areas related to product support strategies, functional products, as well as to development of methods for integrating RAMS information in design work processes.
PhD thesis in Offshore Technology
Has partsMarkeset, T. and Kumar, U. (2001). “R&M and Risk Analysis Tools in Product Design to Reduce Life-Cycle Cost and Improve Product Attractiveness”, In: Proceedings of The Annual Reliability & Maintainability Symposium, Jan 22-25, Philadelphia, USA: 116-122.
Markeset, T. and Kumar, U. (2003). “Integration of RAMS and Risk Analysis in Product Design & Development Work Processes”. Accepted for publication in Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering (2003).
Markeset, T. and Kumar, U. (2003). “Integration of RAMS Information in Design Processes – A Case Study”, In: Proceedings of The Annual Reliability & Maintainability Symposium, Jan 27-31, Tampa, Florida, USA: 220-225.
Markeset, T and Kumar, U. (2003). “Design and Development of Product Support & Maintenance Concepts for Industrial Systems”. Accepted for publication in Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering (2003).
Markeset, T, and Kumar, U. (2003). “Study of Product Support Strategy: Conventional versus Functional Products”. Accepted for publication in Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering (2003).
Kumar, R., Markeset, T. and Kumar, U. (2003). “Negotiation of Product Support and Service Delivery Agreements in a Multinational Environment”.