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"Digitaler Mauerfall" as the railway challenge 2021: The fusion of ECM2 & ECM3

Post from 14. January 2021

For us at Boom Software, 2021 stands under the theme “Making efficiency of rolling stock programmable”. We want to identify challenges faced by rail operators at all levels of the ECM structure and provide solutions to them. A central role is played here by the linking and provision of all available data across all points in rail business. In the following, we will look at the potential that opens up when maintenance development (ECM2) and maintenance management (ECM3) move even closer together digitally. Combined with all the information made available by the digital rail vehicle, this will make it possible to be optimally prepared for rail traffic and rail competition in the next 20 years.

 

Digital transformation for the future’s rail business

Rail as a mode of transport has enabled the mobility of people and goods for almost 200 years. Megatrends such as urbanization, economic growth and climate change pose major challenges for society and the economy. However, these new framework conditions mean that rail is in greater demand than ever! Especially in the fight against climate change, it is impossible to imagine a growing transport and traffic system without it. The EU’s Green Deal and many national investments further strengthen the role of rail.

However, in order to enable long-term economic success for rail transport companies as well as a high level of customer satisfaction, efficiency is required in all aspects. Above all, the success of small and privately owned rail transport companies depends heavily on reliability and predictability. The associated process manageability ensures their competitiveness against large players and their structures, which benefit from large wagon reserves, workshops and international partners.

 

Innovative software solutions as the basis for efficient fleet management

Even the big players and state-owned companies are in the process of transformation, which is characterized by profitability, digitalization and competition. The opponents are not only automobiles and freight trucks, rather new, young and often more dynamic companies that are entering the rail transport market. In addition, we also have to rethink capacity utilization management in the rail sector.

The Austrian rail industry is an international competence center when it comes to future technologies in the rail sector. Boom Software AG is clearly the technology leader in this field. Our software solutions enable rail transport companies to offer their customers, both in passenger and freight transport, high quality and at the same time increase in productivity. The operation of special vehicles, such as track-laying machines or catenary renewal trains, can also be optimized and the efficiency of construction site operations increased.

“Our innovative software solutions form the basis for efficient fleet management and high availability of rail vehicles. Real-time data is available over the entire life cycle of the rolling stock. This enables both a live update on the status of the vehicles and an entrepreneurial as well as technical analysis of the vehicle, maintenance and operational process. This provides a starter kit for condition-based maintenance.”- Helmut Hohenbichler

 

Making efficiency programmable!

In the daily operation of rail vehicles, availability is the all-important parameter: the right vehicle at the right time in the right place and of the right quality! Efficient operation of rolling stock is indispensable for private as well as (partially) state-owned railway companies. Looking at availability from the perspective of maintenance development (ECM2), three major tasks have to be solved in order to be able to plan maintenance tasks in a target-oriented way:

  • early detection of abnormalities regarding wear and tear – vehicle monitoring
  • continuous improvement of maintenance with regard to the timing of measures
  • preparation and networking of maintenance-relevant data with other levels of the ECM structure – central rail data pool

 

 

“Predictive Asset Management” as the key to modern maintenance planning & fleet maintenance management.

First of all: In 2021, it will no longer be sufficient to carry out the maintenance of wagon equipment and its upkeep on the basis of traditional time-based systems. The requirements are now far too dynamic. Buzzwords such as interoperability and predictive asset management are the rule of the day.

However, these keywords conceal challenges that cannot be ignored with regard to the process landscape across all levels of the ECM structure.

The increasing digitization of rail vehicles and the high percentage of components monitored by sensors have laid the foundation for realizing potential for increasing efficiency in fleet management that was not yet imagined. In many cases, however, this potential is still unexploited. This may be due to a lack of digital data exchange or unused opportunities in machine data acquisition. To illustrate this, the following use case is intended to provide assistance:

Maintenance planning and fleet maintenance management must be precisely timed to the actual demands of each individual vehicle. This can only be achieved if all wear-relevant data is collected, processed and made available. The use of this information in damage vehicle management makes it possible to detect abnormalities at an early stage and to react to them.

 

Potential of the digital rail vehicle

In addition, wear-relevant data supplied by sensors on the vehicle must be linked with data relating to the entire fleet. The goal must be to answer the following questions in a well-founded manner and, if possible, in real time:

  • Is any part of my fleet operating on a particularly wear-intensive route?
  • Are there phases over a planning horizon where workshops have particularly high/low capacities?
  • Where could there be bottlenecks due to workshop availability and maintenance requirements for particularly large numbers of vehicles due to business needs?
  • How can workshop providers be utilized as evenly as possible while at the same time ensuring maximum availability of the fleet?

Reading these questions, it quickly becomes clear that an answer can hardly be given by one ECM level alone. Unfortunately, this is exactly the usual case so far.
Boom’s software solutions provide a remedy. By networking all relevant data across multiple locations, each relevant question can be answered with the help of a central and customizable dashboard. And this by every stakeholder.

 

Customized railway software for the maintenance development

Boom’s customized railway software solutions create long-term relief for the individual subdivisions. Redundant reporting becomes obsolete. Due to the process and information flow, every user, every stakeholder is able to quickly collect the desired key figures, to interpret them, to put them into context and, if necessary, to export summaries.

A significant side effect of this modern and sophisticated data preparation is the fulfillment of ECM-compliant documentation requirements. The management of the vehicle file can be mapped completely digitally. The same applies, for example, to the verification of workshop performance records and the maintenance history.

If you are looking for an end-to-end ECM-compliant software solution for your utility, or if you are looking for support in evaluating optimization potentials, please contact us:

Phone: +43 3452 76 216 -0

Boom Software is your competent partner for customized software solutions around the operation and management of rail vehicles. We talk rail.

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"Digitaler Mauerfall" as the railway challenge 2021: The fusion of ECM2 & ECM3
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