A key factor for the successful migration of innovation in freight wagons is its cost-effectiveness.
A key factor for the successful migration of innovation in freight wagons is its cost-effectiveness. This must apply, not just from the perspective of the wagon keeper who has invested in the fleet and respective innovations, but also from that of the rail companies, as users of the innovative product. The benefits for third parties (such as the environment) must also be evaluated and, where necessary, monetized.
The cost-effectiveness of the installation of innovative components in a freight wagon must therefore be measured across the entire life-cycle of the product and from three different perspectives, whereby both the component level and system level (i.e. the entire freight wagon/the interaction of its components) and its effects on the environment must be taken into account.
This layered view ensures that the feasibility study does not just take the cost-effectiveness of the components alone into account, but also their effect within the rail system and the advantages they offer the environment (e.g. through reduced energy consumption, lower noise emissions, etc.).
As only innovations that generate benefits for one or more of the aforementioned parties are marketable, the feasibility study within the framework of this research project plays a crucial role – only innovations that have a positive economic impact can be successfully brought to market.
From the perspective of the wagon keeper and the rail companies, the following variables are crucial for the cost-effectiveness of the technologies/innovations under investigation:
- Technical product characteristics (availability and performance)
- Investment costs
- Life-cycle costs
These influences must be at the heart of the LCC analysis.