Smart maintenance uses smart technology
We maintain over 15,000 kilometres of track in various countries, including the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden. In addition, we manage 500 kilometres of industrial track in the Netherlands. Increasingly more people depend on rail transport. This increases pressure on the public transport system. As a result, increasingly higher demands are placed on the availability of modern railway systems. Furthermore, there is increasingly less room and time for maintenance activities. Yet, we are succeeding in guaranteeing the availability of the railway and in making working conditions increasingly safer. We do this with smart technologies.
Meet our smart maintenance concept
Our maintenance concept complies with a number of standards, including the ISO 55001. We have organised our company such that high capacity networks have a high availability due to our smart maintenance process. We do this on the basis of the following step-by-step plan:
1. Maintenance revolves around risks and the optimal allocation of the available budget. We balance these two facets within the maintenance concept on the basis of the wishes of our users.
2. To effectively and efficiently manage risks, we deploy various measuring and monitoring instruments. We have developed all of these instruments ourselves, with and without partners. Examples include: POSS, Video Track Inspector and Train Bound Data Capturing. This way they all optimally respond to the wishes and expectations of our customers, and we have complete control over the data collection process.
3. We convert all of the collected data into information. For example how to deal with localisation when the inspection train is driving through a tunnel. Or by superimposing different inspection campaigns on one another.
4. We analyse and interpret data with the help of professional knowledge, which may or may not be incorporated into algorithms. Algorithms detect deviations and defects much faster than a human being can and have a predictive capability so that the right time for maintenance can be accurately determined, as well as the needed activities.
5. On the basis of the analysis, we prioritise, organise and plan the maintenance work. Thanks to our multidisciplinary, educated and experienced maintenance technicians, we are able to cleverly combine various activities. As a result, and by planning the object’s maintenance at exactly the right time, the efficiency and effectiveness of the actual maintenance of the rails has significantly risen in recent years.
6. While they are performing their work, technicians immediately digitally record their findings. This way they feed the system with their information and experiences, making the maintenance concept increasingly ‘smarter’ over time. View it as a SMART version of the Plan Do Check Act methodology, a more efficient and less fallible version, resulting in a reliable system.
"Our users extract significantly more value from their assets"
The Control Centre is its heart
The heart of our smart maintenance process is the Control Centre. This is where all of the data arrives and from where the maintenance team is remotely provided with information. Multidisciplinary maintenance teams use this information provided by the Control Centre to efficiently plan maintenance moments and to deploy available resources as effectively as possible. As a rule, we plan our maintenance moments at least 11 weeks in advance. The teams continue to be responsible, the Control Centre is a smart assistant.
The benefits of smart maintenance
Smart maintenance yields a lot of benefits. Our users extract significantly more value from their assets through a decrease in the number of malfunctions, a network availability of almost one hundred percent and the replacement of objects at just the right moment. All of this can result in a total cost saving of twenty percent.