How to make the right decisions of replacing or repairing rail assets
“Quality data helps to make better decisions about rail infrastructure, and this role will only become bigger“, says Bert Verplancke, Regional Sales Director Northern Europe for HxGN EAM at Hexagon. He will give a free workshop at RailTech Europe about asset management in rail.
For a reliable railway or public transport network, there are many elements that need to work correctly. “The failure of one small element in the railway system, such as one electric motor of a switch, can have enormous consequences, for both operators and passengers or transport companies”, says Bert Verplancke.
Assets can be traffic lights, trains, and everything around transportation. The New York Metro (MTA) for example has been using the asset management system of Hexagon for many years. They have quite some old bridges and tunnels, for which information about the state of these assets is crucial.
The best steps to take
“Only then can you make a well-founded decision on what to do, to continue repairing it or to fully replace the asset. Whether it is buying a new train, revamp a section of the infrastructure, or replace an entire bridge or tunnel. We call this Asset Investment Planning”
Using data from the infrastructure manager, such as visual data from cameras on trains from rail operators to the tracks or sensors on the infrastructure, the IT system checks the data using algorithms. Hexagon brings all the available data together into the dashboard of the infrastructure manager, and advises on the best steps to take. The decision is then up to the owner of the assets.
Higher infrastructure availability
It can also automatically generate a work order to alert people by a mobile push message, so someone goes to the site to repair it. “The fast response leads to a higher up-time availability of the infrastructure, which in the end is the greatest benefit for rail operators and end users.”
In the future, this kind of software will only become more important, sees Verplancke. “The plans for automated driving of trains are advancing, and there are many sensors involved to be the eyes of the driver for safe transport. For this, keeping track of the status and life cycle of these elements is essential.”
Bert Verplancke of Hexagon is giving a workshop at RailTech Europe on 21 June, with a live demo of what the system can do. To join Hexagon’s workshop, register for free at the website.