Easter Wishes & Greetings


Stand up and cheer, for Easter is here. Happy Easter!

The whole IDEA Team wishes you fulfilling, joyful and relaxing Easter holidays with your family and friends.

We are using the Easter weekend to prepare for the first event of the Mediterranean season: the 36th Palma Superyacht Show in Palma de Mallorca, from 27. April until 1. May 2019.

IDEA will join the ranks of exclusive exhibitors in the city harbor of Moll Vell in the center of Palma to be part of this special event and its energetic atmosphere.
We will seize the opportunity to introduce the latest version of IDEA Yacht, which increases the user friendliness by optimizing input screens and window scalability. We also worked hard to reduce loading times to provide you with a better user experience.

You can expect more innovations from us in 2019!

Please visit us at our booth YS07 to receive more information on IDEA YACHT, to test our software and to discuss future developments with one of our team members.

Please do not hesitate to contact us (info@idea-data.com) if you want to schedule a meeting.

I am looking forward to seeing you in Palma!

Best regards,
Felix Menges (Sales Manager)

Yacht Management Software

Newsletter April

New IDEA Yacht update 2019.1

In the past months we received a lot of feedback from our clients. This feedback is very valuable to us as a company as it shows what we do well and where we have to improve. For our first update in 2019, we decided making it “your version” by concentrating on your improvement and feature requests and implementing as many as we can. The results can be seen in IDEA Yacht version 2019.1.

Please find some of the highlights of this update

Horizontal layout

The two pictures below illustrate the difference between a vertical layout and a horizontal layout:

(Img 1: Vertical layout / version 2018.4)

(Img 2: Horizontal layout / version 2019.1)

The change has many benefits for you as a user. A lot of whitespace between the lines is eliminated which means that more information can be displayed in the same amount of space. This results in a better overview and less scrolling.

Improved input screens

Until now, the input screens within IDEA yacht were still based on the old IDEA.NET user interface which was replaced last year. As a result, they were hard to navigate and it was even harder to grasp all the information presented in this screen. We designed new input screens throughout the program that are more structured and easier to handle.

(Img 3: Ticking of a maintenance task)

New permission manager

The permission manager received a complete overhaul. The old version did not go along with the new design and was difficult to use. All permissions were on a single page which resulted in a lot of scrolling. This new version creates a simpler overview and a new toggle feature enhances the usability of this module.

(Img 4: Permission Manager)

Some other improvements include:

– Improved scalability of windows through removal of iframes and implementing responsive design, resulting in better viewing from tablets.
– Spare parts can be defined for “One-Time Tasks”
– Entries in the rotation log of the Crew & Guest Database can now be edited to correct false entries.
– and many more…

You can find the complete list of changes in this update here.

In the next update, we will continue to implement your ideas to make IDEA Yacht an even better software. We rely on your feedback, good and bad. Please let us know your thoughts and ideas by sending an email to feedback@idea-data.com.

Introduction to Maintenance Methodologies

Maintenance is a widely used concept in all industries today. In the yachting industry, most vessels use preventive maintenance as their method of choice. However, there are more methodologies in use than just preventive maintenance. In our latest article, we would like to introduce you to the history of maintenance and give you an overview of the most common maintenance methodologies. You can read the full article here.

So stay tuned!
Carolin Eidecker & Daniel Wolthausen


To computer based maintenance over time

The history and current state of maintenance

Tools and machines have been used for a long time by humans to simplify daily routines. Think about spears for hunting in the bronze age or using simple cranes to construct monumental buildings like the Colosseum in ancient Rome. During all this time these tools were only repaired when they broke. Maintenance was non-existent. Over time this changed.
Maintenance is now an important part of daily routines in all industries and modes of transport. Companies today are aware of the fact that proper maintenance of machinery reduces costs and increases longevity. In the long run, adequate maintenance ensures quality production and transport.
Over the years, maintenance methods have evolved in virtually all industries. Modern methods have been tailor made to the specific needs of each industry. At the same time, if you take a step back and look the bigger picture of many maintenance systems, it becomes clear that most of the systems in use are based on similar principles. The following paragraphs briefly outline these basic maintenance strategies, how they evolved over time and what changes you can expect in the future.

Maintenance before the 1950s

The initial turning point in maintenance history was marked by the end of the second World War. This war triggered a lot of technological advancements such as the jet engine which forced engineers to reconsider their maintenance approaches.
Before World War II, machinery was quite simple and carefully engineered which made it very reliable. Consequently, there was no need for daily maintenance. Maintenance was only performed when a failure was detected. This maintenance approach was called Break-Down-Maintenance (BDM) or Corrective Maintenance (CM). Due to the nature of this maintenance method, no factory personnel were dedicated specifically to equipment maintenance. Defective parts were often replaced by workers only when dysfunction appeared. As a result, long production delays due to missing spare parts were quite common yet unpredictable, disturbing production and delivery schedules. This maintenance approach was very simple and cheap, but in the long run, highly ineffective as it caused unexpected production delays and cost companies a lot of money.
In the mid 40s, machinery became more complex. Driven by the war, there were many technological advancements in a very short time. The aviation industry in particular saw many changes caused by the development of the jet engine. Based on this new technology, a whole new generation of airplanes was developed for commercial aviation. These new airplanes were far more complex than those being used before the war. With the increasing complexity of equipment, more and more malfunctions occurred and more repair work had to be done.
The industry reacted and introduced new forms of maintenance methods that rendered BDM nearly obsolete. Today, BDM is hardly used anymore.

Maintenance from the 1950s to present

Confronted with more complex machinery, engineers had to develop new methods to maintain the equipment and make it more reliable. This led to the development of a process called Preventive Maintenance (PM) which is still used by many industries today.
PM is probably the most common maintenance method today. With preventive maintenance, all maintenance jobs follow a fixed schedule, typically created by the equipment manufacturer. Suggested maintenance intervals are usually based on time (e.g. every two weeks) or running hours (e.g. every 50 hours). Intervals based on fuel consumption, for example, are far less common.
Following a fixed maintenance schedule greatly extends the equipment lifespan, minimizes unexpected malfunctions and reduces production delays.
The downsides of preventive maintenance are high. Sometimes this includes unnecessary costs and large amounts of time that must be invested to cover all maintenance work. Parts such as gaskets are often exchanged during routine maintenance even if they are not worn.
Despite these disadvantages, PM helps to keep machinery (yachts included) in good and safe condition and outweighs the invested time and costs by far compared to doing no PM at all.
The disadvantages mentioned above regarding added labor time and costs involved were the reasons why the aviation industry started searching for different way to perform maintenance in the 1950s.

Maintenance driven by the aviation industry

Shortly after preventive maintenance was introduced to the aviation industry, airplane manufacturers realized that this maintenance method was not sufficient. The industry had high hopes to reduce equipment failure by a large margin using this new process. However, in contrast to other industries where preventive maintenance had a big impact, aviation companies did not observe a significant decrease of equipment failure, even though they spent much more time on maintenance and exchanging parts which resulted in higher costs for airplane maintenance. As a result, aviation companies, frustrated by ongoing equipment failures, analysed maintenance records in the 1960s to find reasons for this. The results were astonishing. Contrary to the assumption that more failures occur with greater age of parts, researchers found that failures appeared randomly over time. They realized that they had to change their maintenance approach to reduce equipment failure. They developed a methodology based on several equipment factors e.g. reliability characteristics, impact of failure and operating environment to name a few. That is why this method was called Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM).
Measures were taken on the basis of this data analysis resulting in a massively reduced number of maintenance jobs without increasing risk of failure of equipment. The impact of this new maintenance approach can be illustrated by the comparison of the Boeing DC-8 and 747-100. The old Boeing DC-8 being maintained following traditional PM needed roughly 4.000.000 labour hours before reaching 20.000 operating hours. The more complex 747-100 following RCM only needed 66.000 labour hours to reach the same operating hours (maintenance white paper).
As you can see the impact of this new approach in preventive maintenance in the aviation industry was immense, along with its methodology regarding maintenance schedules, reducing failure rates and maintenance costs drastically. That is why the US Department of Defense’s attention was drawn to this methodology. The DoD helped to improve and standardize RCM in the following years and started to use it in all divisions of the armed forces. Today the term RCM is protected and owned by the Aladon Network.
Closely related to RCM is Risk Based Inspection (RBI). This method is very similar to RCM. It combines the concept of failure identification and risk evaluation to create a maintenance program suitable for a complete system such as a ship or an oil rig.
Although being very effective maintenance methods, both RCM and RBI need a lot of data and initial work to turn them into an effective preventive maintenance program for a technical system such as an airplane or a navy vessel. During the setup process, a dedicated team will have to work full time on this topic and follow a standardized process. This is why both concepts are most commonly used in complex environments with high safety standards.
The methods described above, PM, RCM and RBI, are the current state of modern maintenance, but new maintenance methods are already being introduced and used.

The future of maintenance

In recent years there were several technological advancements that introduced the opportunity to develop new kinds of maintenance approaches. First of all, processing power in modern computers has increased greatly in the last 10 to 15 years. This progress made it possible to introduce new technologies such as machine learning to the broad mass of users. Other important drivers for new maintenance systems are the miniaturization and price reduction of sensors and the possibility of sensors to communicate with other sensors and systems (Internet of Things, IoT).
Based on these new technologies, Condition Monitoring (CM) / Predictive Maintenance find their way into all kinds of different industries, e.g. commercial shipping and aviation).
CM is constantly monitoring the condition of machinery with the goal of finding defects and identifying the root cause of failure. The collected data is compared to reference values for the equipment, for example, an optimal working temperature range for an engine. If the system detects deviations from this specified range, it triggers pre-defined maintenance tasks (e.g. visual inspections, part changes etc.) best fitted to the collected values. Machine learning helps to make this process more accurate and reliable over time. The more data that is collected, the better the maintenance.

The role of PMS systems in modern maintenance

Modern PMS systems like IDEA Yacht support users to maintain equipment in several ways and help to keep a vessel safe at all times.
Maintenance information can be put into the PMS system and tasks can be triggered when certain time based intervals, hour counter based intervals and/or certain conditions are being reached. Crew members are informed about the upcoming tasks and all the work that has been done is documented to help later on in potential investigations or audits.
The constant improvement of PMS systems ensures that a variety of maintenance methodologies including CM can be used on board.

For further information, please refer to the following links:
Reliability Centered Maintenance: Aladon Network
Navy RCM Handbook
Future Technologies in shipping

Stay Interested!
Daniel Wolthausen (Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing.(FH) & MSc)
IDEA Product Manager