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Webinar Highlights – The Internet of Rail: How to transform data into asset management improvements

On 15 February 2018, Global Railway Review hosted a webinar in association with Alstom, which explored how HealthHub, Alstom’s predictive maintenance offering, improves life-cycle costs, reliability and asset availability…

Here, the two Alstom speakers, Christophe Sanguina, Director of Marketing for Services and Pierre Dersin, Prognostics and Health Management Director, answer some key questions from the webinar.

What are the main advantages of HealthHub over other digital maintenance solutions in the rail market?

SANGUINA: It is important to define who offers a realistic and competitive solution for condition-based and predictive maintenance, as HealthHub does. It is not about being powerful in IT or in rail knowledge, but both simultaneously. The whole railway market is shifting towards remote monitoring of key assets. Data analysis and connectivity is gradually changing rail towards an on-condition and, eventually, predictive maintenance approach. Alstom’s HealthHub focuses on system behaviour and delivers asset availability and reliability.

Due to Alstom’s experience as a manufacturer and service provider for over 25 years, the company understands the rail systems as much as it understands data processing. With HealthHub, we put both worlds at the service of rail performance. Alstom’s business-oriented data capturing tools (TrainTracer, TrainScanner, CatenaryTracer, TrackTracer, and motes) combined with our approach to turning data into information for decision-making and improvements in rail operation, is greatly beneficial to enable assets to achieve their optimum useful life.

What are the main benefits of HealthHub?

 SANGUINA: HealthHub has been in use for over 12 years and we have more than 45 deployments all over the world in countries including Italy, France, USA, Poland, South Africa, Australia, Chile and many more. We can use this experience with HealthHub to guide our customers in their transition towards new and more efficient ways of managing their assets. The path from traditional maintenance to the new digital model is not easy but with the right partner on your side, the change will bring more benefits more quickly. With HealthHub we are increasing reliability and availability, reducing preventive and corrective maintenance labour, increasing staff productivity, reducing safety hazards, extending the life of components, reducing material consumption, reducing downtime of assets and improving the life-cycle cost altogether.

How will Alstom work to meet future data challenges to ensure rail performance can be improved in the coming years?

DERSIN: HealthHub’s future is very bright with respect to developments in machine learning, artificial intelligence and IoT. However, we are convinced that the right approach is to combine evolving data-driven methods with Alstom’s decades-old railway expertise and physics-based models; and also to build a closer link between Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) and more classical reliability engineering approaches. PHM algorithms will be able to automatically adjust to evolving environments, contexts and mission profiles.

Traditional fixed maintenance plans will give way to Dynamic Maintenance Planning whereby tasks and resources will be assigned dynamically according to operation’s needs.

 HealthHub will eventually enable the creation of resilient systems that self-heal by taking appropriate measures when detecting degradations. These breakthroughs will be made possible by drawing on an array of complementary disciplines including artificial intelligence, control theory and reliability engineering. In conclusion, HealthHub is an extremely powerful enabler to turn engineering excellence and data scientists’ creativity into tangible benefits for asset management, with no limitations other than those of our imagination.

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