BY: DRAGAN VASILJEVIC
INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER – VOLUME 45 NUMBER 4
There is no doubt that in the last 15 years logistics engineering has been exposed to intense impacts from the development of information and communication technology. Those technologies have resulted in better data and knowledge sharing and coordination of logistics operations.
Life Cycle Integration (LCI) is a progressive concept of logistics engineering that can bring about a number of benefits to industry. It can increase the accuracy and consistency of technical and logistical data, facilitate data acquisition and provide quick access regardless of the user’s location. LCI represents a business strategy and concept that, through timely data access, provides all necessary computer and logistics support in every phase of the product’s life cycle. Such access increase quality and productivity, reduces costs during the product’s life cycle and increases the enterprise’s competiveness. LCI also reduces the life cycle cost of the technical system.
The structure of the LCI concept contains four main elements :
– Concurrent engineering is a team approach to the product design and support process during the product’s life cycle. With concurrent engineering, the process of creating a new product takes all influential factors into account, not just the ones related to customer demand, but the requirements related to the process of construction, quality, distribution, safety, maintenance and logistics support.
– The second cornerstone of the LCI concept is the contractor intergrated technical information service. This service enables various business partner to integrate information flow using automated procedures. The service establishes relation between supplier, shipping agencies, insurance companies, logistics providers, production and service enterprises, and other business partner.
– The third key element is the Electronic Data Interchage (EDI), that is defined as a service to exchange data from one computer system to another, but more specifically it is a data interchange between remote computer application in standardized interchange format and their processing without the need to retype data. The most common uses for EDI are placement offers, confirming customer orders, invoicing, financial transfers, and data on inventory and demand.
– The fourth element is Interactive Electronic technical Manual (IETM), the digital version of the technical manual is based on principles of interoperability and intra-operability, which combines the information necessary for the diagnostics and maintenance of technical systems.
There are a lot of advantages of implementing IETM and LCI and It is difficult to list all the advantages, but here are some :
– Easier and faster access to the required information
– Better work motivation and technical personnel productivity
– Easier preparation and training of maintenance technicians
– Data updating is much faster and less expensive than with paper technical manuals
– Electronic documents are stored easily and can be protected from loss or destruction
– Saving space via data storage
– Higher level of technical systems availability, or the degree to which the system is in a specified operable condition at the start of a mission
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