Railway Maintenance Must Become Smarter
One of the conclusions of Arjen Zoeteman, who will defend his thesis on 22 November at TU Delft, is that significant amounts of money could be saved on the maintenance of European railway systems, including the Netherlands. Through a carefully structured schedule and a detailed analysis of maintenance work, he was able to achieve a cost reduction of 10 percent for the Dutch railway system.
The operators of the rail networks, such as NS, are continuously increasing the demands on the administrators, such as Prorail (in the Netherlands). The type of maintenance work is therefore shifting from craftsmanship based on individual knowledge to an engineering discipline in which quantitative calculations play an important role. According to Zoeteman, most European railway administrators fall short in their analysis and scheduling of maintenance. This shows in, among other things, the lack of detailed information systems for the analysis of maintenance performance. Another aspect that Zoeteman states should be strongly developed is a ‘life-cycle’ way of thinking, in which long term cost-effectiveness is taken into account.
One of the underlying problems, according to Zoeteman, is the division of the maintenance work into separate disciplines and maintenance regions (the Netherlands, for example, has four regions). At the moment, budgets are generally granted based on requests that come from the ‘bottom up’, in other words, from the various disciplines and regions. Zoeteman thinks that a centrally managed process of quality guarantee, based on an overview of the total situation will deliver better results.
Zoeteman has tested his ideas for improvement in a number of practical situations. One of those was a study conducted at Prorail. The goal was to, for the first time, come up with a number of national guidelines for railway system renewal. The project resulted in a predicted saving of 10 percent in the costs of the renewal of the superstructure. Based on his research, Zoeteman is going to work with Prorail on a damage catalogue for large scale maintenance and renewal. Eventually this could be used in a so-called Decision Support System (DSS). A DSS is a computer system that assists administrators in making the best choices for a particular purpose, in this case the upkeep of the railway system.
Maarten van der Sanden | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...