Lean Smart Maintenance
Project Manager: Katharina Moitzi
Katharina Moitzi

Railway undertakings on the road to success: leading the way with Lean Smart Maintenance

Post from 28. January 2021

The pressure is on! In 2021, terms such as performance improvement and cost reduction are driving rail transport companies (RUs) forward. It is time to question traditional processes and methods, to explore new possibilities in the field of digitalization and to think outside the box. Boom Software supports asset operators and maintenance service providers in keeping an overview and identifying those digitalization options that the railways actually need. Lean Smart Maintenance (LSM) is about to become the industry standard in the rail sector as well. The question about the benefits is quickly answered: a maintenance strategy dynamically adaptable by LSM reduces costs and increases capacities. Let’s take a look at the key points together!

Why learning from others?

Let’s briefly recall the time before and around 2000: Rail had lost market share in both passenger and freight transport to road and also air transport. Its image lacked in attractiveness and innovativeness, and thus rail and local public transport (LPT) lost importance in the mobility mix.
If we compare this situation with the present, we see a completely different picture: rail has regained a great deal of importance in the last decade! The slow shift away from private cars, urbanization, climate protection and the ongoing modernization of the rail infrastructure have all contributed to this. New trends and increasing political tailwind are creating new opportunities. More and more passengers want to travel by public transportation and more goods are shipped by rail.
This means that more vehicles and more railway tracks are needed – and, of course, at the lowest possible cost!

The industry is currently undergoing a digital transformation process: vehicle networking, digital asset and maintenance management, and autonomous driving are key topics.
For the rail industry, it is essential not to neglect these new opportunities and trends. In order to not merely play a minor role in the mobility of the future, action must be taken now!

We at Boom Software consider it particularly important to have a look at other industries here! We proactively recruit innovative employees with diverse industry backgrounds and maintain intensive cooperation with research institutions in order to transfer know-how from a broad range of industries to the railroad industry.


Digitization = increased efficiency

Today, rail operators are facing the challenge of modernizing vehicles on the one hand and reducing costs in the area of service provision on the other. According to a study by the consulting firm Roland Berger, digitalization saves 20 percent of maintenance costs. This is an enormous economic effect, as the expenses for maintenance and servicing make up the majority of the operators’ costs. In this regard, digitization promises to deliver the same or even more performance with fewer vehicles.


Lean Smart Maintenance – a new approach for maintenance in the rail industry

Smart Maintenance describes the development of maintenance in times of digitalization and Industry 4.0.
Strategic and predictive management of industrial production facilities, e.g. workshops, maintenance facilities, etc. is the declared goal of these efforts.
Together with our customers, we raise awareness of how important this concept is for competitive success. Because with it, they take into account and optimize success factors such as time, costs and quality of their production systems. In this way, they create a secure basis for flexibility and innovation in any environment!

We at Boom Software are the leading partners for operators who want to successfully integrate Lean Smart Maintenance into their processes. This is because LSM enables them to perform intelligent and resource-optimized maintenance of all types of rail vehicles.

In order to be able to guarantee high vehicle availability, good planning capability for RUs and, above all, efficient maintenance, it is necessary for us to think beyond time- or performance-based maintenance.
Simply speaking, we no longer determine maintenance and repair work by operating hours alone or by means of mileage counters, but dynamically and based on data.
One of the key parameters here is the capacity in the workshop. This means that maintenance planning takes into account not only the needs of the vehicles but also personnel and plant capacities. In this way, operators can easily mitigate workload peaks by scheduling maintenance work ahead of time.


Data-driven maintenance enables dynamic adjustment of the maintenance strategy.

LSM stands for knowledge-based, data-driven maintenance. This means that we can make predictions based on experience and collected data. By using sensors and collecting data on influencing factors such as weather, seasons, but also weight and curve topologies, we make their effects and interrelationships visible. This allows us to model scenarios and learn from them.

The following graphic shows the wheelset wear curve of two identical trains. Due to different influencing factors during the operation of the vehicles (track topology, weight, speed), the curves are quite different. If both wheelsets are then maintained after the same period of operation, problems are practically pre-programmed: One wheelset will have an increased risk of breakage because it is maintained too late, while the other wheelset will incur unnecessary additional costs.

Wheelset's wearfunction

Lean Smart Maintenance as a business advantage

Lean Smart Maintenance not only increases the efficiency, reliability and availability of vehicles and workshops. It also clearly represents a business and strategic advantage for RUs!

“Lean Smart Maintenance bereits jetzt in einem Bahnunternehmen zu etablieren, stellt eine gigantische Chance dar. Wer jetzt reagiert, verschafft seinem EVU einen tatsächlichen und nachhaltigen Wettbewerbsvorteil.”
Dr. Kühnast-Benedikt

The secret is to put “lean” in front of “smart maintenance. But expanding the designation alone is not enough, of course. Success lies in actually implementing the well-tested methods of the Lean concept. Waste must be eliminated at all levels of the process landscape. In order to realize smart savings in the area of maintenance, extremely precise and comprehensive data models are required so as not to jeopardize fleet reliability or even safety in any way. These challenges can be mastered with the digital rail vehicle and the skillful handling of the available data. Boom’s software solutions bundle all data and functions necessary for establishing LSM. We are the competent partner with whom EVUs 2021 can take advantage of Lean Smart Maintenance and put their company on the road to success.

You want to take the step towards LSM and therefore you are looking for a partner who can support you with competence and experience? We have already accompanied several enterprises on this path and successfully implemented LSM. Contact us, we will be happy to help you:

Request per email
Tel: +43 3452 76 216 -0

Our strength lies in identifying potentials from other industries and transporting them to the railroad industry. We talk rail.

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