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214 Implementation of condition monitoring of infrastructure

Published: 23 August 2019

In the project, 3 different systems are being tested to permit condition monitoring of railway vehicles in existing passenger traffic. The systems being tested are:

In this sub project, methods for condition monitoring of infrastructure from regular train services have been demonstrated and compared to see whether monitoring systems can provide more frequent monitoring, faster receipts that conducted maintenance action has given results, detect damage due to sudden events, and provide continuous information on the development, which facilitates planning. The mobile systems demonstrated are:

•    Damill's Track-Logger installed in SJ's night train to North Sweden
•    D-Rail's D-Rail system installed in Tågkompaniets passenger trains
•    Perpetuum installed in SJ's X2000 train.

As a reference, mainly Trafikverket's maintenance system have been applied, such as: Bessy (inspection system), Ophelia (fault handling system) and Optram (measuring car data).

eMaintenace365 has built up an infrastructure and a tool for retrieval, storage, quality assurance, analysis and visualisation that enables the comparison with Trafikverket´s systems. The project has not made its own comparisons of measurement results from the mobile measurement systems towards Trafikverket's systems, but this has been carried out by the respective measurement supplier by using eMaintenance365 analysis tools or proprietary analysis method. The sub project allows for a practical application of developed solution for condition assessment of track superstructure.

This solution is expected to contribute to:
•    Increased cost-effectiveness in operation and maintenance for both infrastructure and rolling stock through more condition based maintenance
•    Improved reliability through better functional safety, maintenance reliability and maintenance safety
•    Increased availability and robustness through reduced disruption, fewer acute errors and more efficient troubleshooting
•    Increased capacity through increased availability and robustness and improved availability
•    Better resource utilisation

Assessed benefit consists of:
•    Free capacity in tracks, i.e. more freight and passenger trains can be admitted to the track
•    Measuring in loaded tracks i.e. in the field of goods and passenger trains control the actual operating conditions
•    Faster control of the effect of the operation carried out and the permanent operation
•    Faster increase of the speed after stability-impacting work
•    Reduce the cost of the currently very expensive manual inspection and instead inspect more carefully via sensor indication
•    Stock all information per position to see related, consequential errors, recurring errors, driver comments and cost follow-up
•    Inspection personnel  can be better used in preventive maintenance
•    Give earlier warning about misdevelopment that enables better planning conditions for carrying out maintenance after inspection
•    Detecting damage in time and preventing accidents
•    Be a tool for transitioning from corrective to preventive maintenance.

With sensor monitoring on passing trains, a significantly better monitoring of changes and in the case of indications that can be supplemented by a manual inspection immediately to determine the cause and appropriate action. Being able to follow developments and to plan and act on time provides the conditions for a more proactive maintenance strategy that converts corrective maintenance into preventive condition-based maintenance.  

Mobile measurement systems have shown great potential to apply more frequent condition monitoring of rail infrastructure from regular services.  However, further development work is needed and several of the subsystems will be used in other sub projects.

In all projects, it is important that indications and alarms generated by the on-board systems can be verified by personnel in the infrastructure in addition to triangulation via multiple databases. However, in order to achieve a broader implementation in day-to-day operations, longer-term business deals between stakeholders need to be established and methods for innovation procurement developed.

A major goal for the railway today is to reduce all emergency errors that cause many train disruptions. The sub project has demonstrated the possibility of providing significantly better decision-making documents for appropriate measures through frequent and effective monitoring with new sensor technology. This measurement data should clearly prevent acute errors more effectively and also be able to carry out more preventive maintenance with the most cost-effective and lasting measures by gradually building an experience bank. The results should be complemented by all available information per position and, in addition, communicated and enriched with expertise through an appropriate information system.

Stakeholders: Trafikverket, SJ, Norrtåg, Tågkompaniet, Infranord, LTU, D-Rail, Damill och Omicold.

Project leader: Ulla Juntti, Omicold.