SIGNAL+DRAHT | Issue 11/2008

New diagnostics systems reduce maintenance costs

November 2008 | Kurt Seidl

The tendency to higher speeds and axle loads and the increasing density of railway traffic lead to problems in the field of maintenance and servicing of facilities and systems. The project “Diagnostics of Way Side Assets” of VAE Eisenbahnsysteme GmbH has the major objective to increase the availability of railway infrastructure and its external systems. On the one hand, the rate of prevention of imminent malfunctions and failures is to be increased. On the other hand, the quality of maintenance of turnouts and their facility components is to be made reviewable and verifiable. The VAE Roadmaster 2000, in different system designs, serves as a planning tool. Thanks to its structure, the flexible, open and future-oriented product can assume a so-called “protecting function” by enabling “Diagnostics of Way Side Assets” encompassing the overall network. This makes it possible to integrate external products and system interfaces in rail platforms and establish database systems with maximum reliability and functionality. The objective of “Diagnostics of Way Side Assets” is to largely avoid malfunctions and failures on the monitored parts of the facilities or turnouts (e. g. hard running) by means of preventive maintenance (anticipating malfunctions and failures). Thanks to “ Diagnostics of Way Side Assets”, defective elements can be detected precisely and rapidly even before there is a malfunction or failure relevant to operation. The frequency of the technical failures occurring on the monitored components is to be reduced significantly by the introduction of these diagnostics systems.