Sponsor: MTAB, Banverket
Researcher: Robert Lagnebäck
Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB (LKAB) is an iron ore mining company in Sweden that strives to be one of the leading suppliers of iron ore products. In the chain from mining to end customers, transportation efficiency plays a mayor role in the outcome of the company's total financial result. The transportation of the ore from the LKAB mines in Kiruna and Malmberget is made by trains to the harbors in Narvik and Luleå. The railway transportations are made by LKAB subsidiaries Malmtrafik i Kiruna AB (MTAB) on the Swedish side and Malmtrafikk AS (MTAS) on the Norwegian side. The efficiency of the railway transportation is therefore a key function in the LKAB mining operations. In a benchmarking, comparing the total operating efficiency, with other heavy haul railways around the world it became evident that the efficiency of the railway transportations at LKAB had potential for improvement. One of the factors with potential for improved efficiency was the maintenance strategy. There is an indication that a change from a time-based maintenance strategy to a condition-based maintenance strategy would increase the efficiency of the train operations. The purpose of this thesis is to study and analyze wayside condition monitoring equipment for railway vehicles, in order to support the implementation of a condition-based maintenance strategy. To fulfill the stated purpose, five case studies, supported by a literature study, have been performed. The five case studies have been conducted to increase the knowledge of the abilities of available wayside condition monitoring equipment as a support for condition-based maintenance of railway vehicles. The literature study focused on railway operations around the world with a particular focus on the development, deployment and use of wayside condition monitoring equipment. The literature study indicates that there is an increasing implementation and use of equipment for wayside condition monitoring of railway vehicles. Through the studies it has become evident that the direct interaction in the wheel and rail interface also creates a huge potential for savings on the infrastructure due to an implementation of wayside condition monitoring equipment for railway vehicles. The case studies highlight the need for different systems that complement each other by measuring different parameters. It is also important that the systems are integrated with existing systems and practices in order to exploit the potential benefits of the new technology. Furthermore, it is important to have a joint approach between both infrastructure owners and train operators in the deployment and use of wayside condition monitoring equipment, since the technology can support a condition-based maintenance strategy on both sides that could have a great impact on the efficiency of railway operations.