Maintenance Strategy Optimisation

January 30, 2018

Bluefield was engaged by an above rail operator and asset owner to evaluate the maintenance of its infrastructure support and freight wagon fleet. Our client was concerned they were over maintaining an aging fleet travelling limited kilometres and were not maximising the value of the assets.


Our client was in a position where they were overspending on their above rail asset maintenance. Maintenance was occurring on a fixed time basis and standard criteria were adopted for each asset that did not incorporate any condition monitoring information. Asset availability was being reduced due to the downtime associated with executing scheduled maintenance. Asset duty had decreased however the maintenance regime and maintenance practices had not been altered to reflect this.


Bluefield believes that knowing the assets condition, duty, current and future operating conditions is critical when reviewing an asset’s maintenance regime and practices. We believe this when combined with good preventative maintenance practices, allows for a tailor-made maintenance regime to achieve maximum asset value. We reviewed each asset, taking this approach, and worked with the client to risk assess the implications of any changes that were made to maximise asset value.

We mitigated any risks to the client's operation of any changes by maintaining and improving their preventative maintenance practices. We used the information captured from frontline preventative maintenance, as a baseline for changes to the maintenance regime and made changes by working with maintenance staff to utilise their hands-on knowledge and experience.

The Results

Bluefield’s back to basics approach where we take the time to understand both the asset and how it is utilised by our client, allowed us to make significant changes to the maintenance regime that ensured maximum asset value through both improved availability and reduced maintenance spending.

We reduced the quantity and scope of the major maintenance activities to better reflect the assets condition while ensuring preventative maintenance and inspections remained in place. This maintenance spend, original and revised, is represented graphically as follows:

The original maintenance spending and frequency are shown in red and the revised spending and frequency are shown in green.

The original net present value (NPV) for the original maintenance regime was $170,000 over a 16 year period. The revised maintenance regime resulted in an NPV of $107,000, a saving of $63,000 for each asset. With over 200 assets this saved the client over $800,000 each year.

Our client provided this testimonial as a result of their satisfaction with these outcomes.

Bluefield specialities include:

  • Project management of above rail improvement projects
  • Managing big data and ensuring the data provides value to the client
  • Equipment performance improvement
  • Reliability improvement and Reliability Centred Maintenance
  • Equipment performance benchmarking
  • Maintenance management and optimisation
  • Reliability engineering
  • Fleet optimisation
  • Operational readiness

Bluefield AMS has an experienced and dedicated team that is passionate about ensuring our clients are getting maximum value from their assets. Contact us to discuss further.

Below is a testimonial from our client for this case study.

"Bluefield were engaged to review our infrastructure wagon maintenance strategy and tasks to improve efficiency, without compromising safety or reliability. Bluefield’s experience in rolling stock maintenance enabled cost savings to be identified by extending periods between major maintenance tasks, backed up by risk assessments and suitable documentation. Bluefield delivered quality work, with little supervision – a plus in our busy maintenance team."