One monitoring, multiple sites
Case study overview
- Market: Transport
- Application: infrastructure management and maintenance
- Solution: Monitoring for infrastructure with one single interface
- Customer: Major actor in European Railway
Problems And Needs
Railway operators aim at going from one point to another, avoiding unexpected interruption and delays, at the best cost possible.
When a problem occurs along the tracks, due to any internal or external cause, the train is automatically blocked for security reasons. A blocked train is costly (it can quickly rise to thousands of euros) and requires a team of technicians.
Therefore, Alpha Innovations’ customer was looking for a solution that would enable them to anticipate such situations and to reduce the time of breakdown as well as the intervention costs.
Alpha Innovations’ Solution
Preventive maintenance helps keeping equipment up and running by preventing unexpected downtime or failure. How? By collecting data from all the infrastructure, problems can be detected before they occur.
To go even further, predictive maintenance provides statistics and know-how based on what already happened in order to improve both the knowledge of the equipment and the maintenance organization.
How We Do It?
In collaboration with the customer’s team of specialists, who know the sensitive parameters of their equipment, the Alpha team translated this information into a customized software solution. Therefore, failures can be anticipated by monitoring the parameters identified.
Concretely, the information is sent from the controller inside the cabinet (Compas) to the control room through our monitoring solution (Armada). All in all, the combination of modules, controller and monitoring software should provide all the necessary tools and equipment to track any deviation due to alarm reports.
Receiver and transmitter
The module inside is receiver and transmitter. It can detect the presence of the train on the track. It is part of our customer’s audio frequency track-circuit solution. When it is down, the train is blocked. Therefore, predictive maintenance should be done on these modules.
The Universal Compas Controller (UCC) receives different types of signals from the modules. When this happens, the controller sends alarms via a secured communication bus to a server in the control panel room. From there, the data is collected and visualized into live reports thanks to the Armada software.
The solution Alpha Innovations proposed was to develop a specific monitoring system compatible with customer’s modules. The monitoring software, Armada, is able to analyze multiple types of signals and communicate them to an external controlling device. The monitoring equipment is able to prevent upcoming breakdowns. As a consequence, the time and costs of technical interventions are reduced.
Impacts For The Customer
Security Of Workers
As the solution provided enables to anticipate the interventions, they can be planed, outside of traffic hours. This results in a safer and more ergonomics way of working for maintenance workers, who are very exposed.
Depending on the type of alarm, one or more technicians go on-site to proceed with the maintenance. With our solution, the technician can go directly to the correct site and with the adapted tools. Indeed, he already knows precisely what needs to be done, in which cabinet and for which component. Moreover, he has access to all the documentation about the cabinet he has in front of him.
The solution is not only practical, it is also cost-effective.
One monitoring platform
Having one single platform for monitoring instead of multiple interfaces reduces costs. Indeed, the training takes less time, the information is quickly available and in case of maintenance or failure, the problem is quickly identified and therefore resolved.
Remote control of operations
The remote control of operations reduces the on-site intervention. As a consequence, the intervention costs are reduced. Moreover, the maintenance team is safer as they less often need to go on the sites along the tracks.
Replacing signaling equipment is very expensive and can’t be done frequently. The reliability of this solution has been proven through the years as there were few replacements.
Reliable And Long-Lasting Partnership
The collaboration between this major actor in European Railway and Alpha Innovations started many years ago. Through the years, the solution was upgraded to evolve with the customers changing needs.
The existing UCC was also customized according to the specific needs of the railway/subway industry. The hardware was adapted to withstand harsh environmental conditions (e.g. exposure to temperature fluctuation, moisture) and provided with the new Compas software card.
This partnership is long-lasting and evolutive. On-time deliveries, easy and direct contact, availability of the teams and mutual trust make this collaboration a success.