Train reliability can jump 30% with predictive maintenance, claim Nokia and Altran
Telecoms vendor Nokia and engineering firm Altran have announced a predictive maintenance solution to streamline the upkeep of trains from all manufacturers.
Nokia said it will make trains up to 30 per cent more reliable in terms of their availability, and 20 per cent more reliable in terms of running to schedule. It said operators will save up to 10 per cent in man-hours on maintenance.
The solution incorporates smart sensors to gather and monitor data, wireless networking to aggregate and transmit data, and analytics engine and application to sort and render the relevant insights about rolling stock.
Nokia has provided the networking and data analytics; Altran has built the industry application. Nokia described the IoT management platform, for managing devices and data, as “scalable and adaptive”.
Maintenance represents the biggest single operational cost for railway operators, Nokia said, constituting roughly 50 per cent of total operational expenses. Operators have historically relied on maintenance applications for rolling stock from each manufacturer.
Jochen Apel, global transportation segment leader at Nokia, said: “Unexpected failures in rolling stock have a huge impact on the operational performance of rail operators. The traditional way of overcoming this is to perform heavy preventative maintenance.”
The solution from Altran and Nokia provides maintenance for trains from all manufacturers. Maintenance overheads are massively reduced as a result, it claimed. “The approach Nokia and Altran are taking can greatly reduce this effort and deliver significant cost savings to railway operators,” said Apel.
Mike Greenan, rail and transport director at Altran, added: “Predictive maintenance is an opportunity for new and for legacy trains. The combination of Nokia and Altran can help introduce and take advantage of modern technologies to increase the operational performance of the train.”
Nokia said the agreement builds on its existing work in the railway sector, and reinforces its strategy to move beyond its traditional telecoms market.
The digital transformation of railroads is gathering pace. At a high level, IoT is all about maximising asset availability, reliability and efficiency. This is highlighted in the railroad industry, where timelines have a direct impact on business profitability.
Both Deutsche Bahn in Germany and VR Group in Finland have put in place advanced monitoring and analytics tools to improve reliability.
Siemens announced a contract worth €800 million in April to modernise Norway’s entire railroad network. It will equip around 4,200 kilometres of track with level-two European Train Control System (ETCS) applications.