Harnessing the power of data to execute the connected passenger journey
Data has the ability to revolutionise how operations and maintenance affect the rail industry – but only if it is utilised effectively. Nomad Digital sat down with Pedro Conceicao to discuss this further and to consider how collecting the correct data can impact the passenger experience.
In an industry where large amounts of data are collected from multiple sources, it is important that it is being utilised effectively. Nomad Digital works with rail operators to ensure that they have the key tools to enhance data efficiently and execute the connected journey.
For this article, Nomad Digital sat down with Pedro Conceicao (CBM Technical Sales Consultant) to understand how collecting the correct data can impact the rail operator and the passenger experience.
How is data evolving and influencing the rail industry?
Data is used to improve the efficiency of the railway system. It is all about balancing the investment and the benefits in operations, maintenance and asset monitoring. For example, over-maintaining trains could effectively be replacing or fixing a piece of equipment or system which doesn’t require attention for another few months or thousands of miles. This will help to reduce the cost of maintenance. It is also allowing operators to better understand the real status of the assets, delivering information that enables better planning and, with it, improves the performance, availability and reliability of rail assets – further reducing cost and generating more revenue. Data is influencing the rail operator’s decision making, as it provides an insight into how they can improve and increase passenger satisfaction.
What data do rail operators need?
It varies depending on what the rail operator’s core business is, as there are multiple factors which need to be considered – i.e., future business goals, priorities and performance requirements, in addition to operational, environmental and legal constraints.
For a passenger service operator, high priority data sources will, for example, be the functionality of the doors, air conditioning and toilets etc, and if any of these systems were to fail, it would have a greater impact on the passenger experience.
To give an example, let’s say that the same train type is deployed in Portugal and Finland. The heating system performance is almost irrelevant on the train that runs in Portugal; however, for the same train, the heating is extremely important in Finland, where temperatures reach below -40 degrees. The national and environmental constraints in Finland require that heating is a high priority for the safety of the passengers. There is not a ‘one size fits all solution’.
Data is just as important to freight. Ensuring the availability of assets is critical, and understanding the user’s needs and problems help operators to understand which systems might have a higher impact and likelihood on the train operation and maintenance and/ or cancellation of the service. Having the correct tailored data and analysing it effectively can be crucial.
How is Remote Online Condition Monitoring (ROCM) revolutionising rail maintenance and operations?
There are many ways that the data made available by ROCM can be used as relevant information to leverage maintenance and operations performance, and these two key areas of activity work hand in hand with each other. Operations and maintenance’s performance are central to the business. For that reason, asset usage optimisation is key: do better and do more with the assets that you have. Proper use of asset data can help to identify inefficiencies and improvement opportunities and drive the performance delivered.