£680,000 project is designed to transform the maintenance of rail vehicles
Experts are working on a ‘Smart Maintenance and the Rail Traveller Experience’ project (SMaRTE) with the target to improve rolling stock and increase the number of rail passengers…
Experts at the University of Huddersfield are a central role in the £680,000 EU-funded, Shift2Rail SMaRTE project which is expected to transform the maintenance of rail vehicles.
The University is home to the Institute of Railway Research (IRR), where Dr Adam Bevan and Dr Xiaocheng Ge are contributing to the project. Focusing on using information to improve decision making, the project has two main aims – to research how to make rolling stock maintenance more effective and what human factors persuade passengers to choose rail transportation.
The basic approach to rolling stock maintenance is scheduled, interval-based maintenance which includes visual inspections to check the component conditions. However new technologies that are becoming available enable operators to continuously monitor the condition of their systems. This technology provides data that predicts problems, allowing earlier intervention and more effective maintenance.
The new approach to maintenance reduces costs and increases vehicle availability as the vehicles spend less time out of servicing. Consequently this means that the capacity of the rail service could be increased, and with continuous monitoring the passenger satisfaction is also improved.
The Institute’s researchers will develop new condition-based maintenance (CBM) techniques and produce a prototype system that will be applied to a range of vehicles using real data from fleets operated by London Underground, a partner in SMaRTE. The conclusions from this study will be used to identify the benefits of applying the CBM techniques compared to the current interval-based maintenance strategy.
SMaRTE is a two-year project that receives €769,958 under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. It has partners in countries that include Portugal, Belgium, Italy and Sweden.