Maintenance inspection

Data-driven maintenance: A major leap in rail fleet maintenance – VR FleetCare and EKE-Electronics to launch cooperation

8. October 2019
Bogies are the most significant components of the rail fleet in terms of lifecycle costs and traffic safety. VR FleetCare, which invests in data-driven and preventive rail fleet maintenance, and EKE-Electronics specialising in train information systems have agreed on a product development project concerning the bogie condition monitoring. The new analysis and optimisation methods developed as a result of this agreed cooperation will significantly improve the rail fleet maintenance.

Data-driven maintenance will, in addition to creating significant cost savings for the rail fleet owners, increase safety and enhance the usability of the rolling stock. Trains keep on moving and serving the customers when they are directed to maintenance only when necessary. Furthermore, train traffic will operate more reliably when it is possible to predict rolling stock malfunctions before they cause disruptions in traffic.

“The interest in condition-based and data-driven maintenance is strong in the rail industry. This cooperation with EKE provides us with new ways to carry out bogie condition monitoring and serve our customers. Our aim is to generate savings of approximately 10–15% with this new method,” says Mikko Alanko, Director, Digital Services at VR FleetCare."
Telien kunnonvalvonta kuva 2.

A technical solution that is innovative even on a global scale 

The cooperation is based on VR FleetCare’s technical rail fleet expertise as well as fleet maintenance optimisation and EKE-Electronics’ experience in train automation systems and remote condition monitoring.

EKE’s SmartVision™ remote monitoring system and data analytics of the British company Humaware that was acquired by EKE in early 2019 are utilised in this solution. The aim is to develop a system providing data that predicts the maintenance need of bogies by using sensor technology and a smart combination of cloud and edge computing.

Sensors and data transmission systems will be installed in VR Group’s locomotives and electric trains during this year. More extensive results of the development work can be expected next year.

“Both VR and we have great expectations concerning our cooperation. The SmartVision™ software and sensor technology expertise combined with the analytics of our British subsidiary Humaware will make us forerunners in bogie condition monitoring,” says Karl Lönngren, Director, Digital Services at EKE-Electronics. “Our systems related to remote monitoring of trains are currently being deployed in Australia and on the London Underground. We believe that the cooperation with VR FleetCare will strengthen the position of both parties on the international market.”

Further information: 

Media Contact Information:

VR Group Communications, media desk, Tel +358 (0)307 0123

 

Mikko Alanko, Director, Digital Services, VR FleetCare

mikko.alanko@vr.fi

Karl Lönngren, Director, Digital Services EKE Electronics

karl.lonngren@eke.com

 

VR FLEETCARE

A multiple-brand rail fleet service-provider, VR FleetCare is a subsidiary of the Finnish railway operator VR Group. We provide our customers with quality railway traffic equipment repair, maintenance and lifecycle services as well as technical fleet expert services in the Nordic and Baltic countries. With an annual turnover of approximately EUR 200 million, VR FleetCare employs more than 1,000 employees.

www.vrfleetcare.com

 

EKE-ELECTRONICS

EKE-Electronics is a division of the EKE Group, a privately held Finnish company with diversified international operations. EKE-Electronics Ltd. is a leading global supplier of intelligent train automation and management systems. Based in Finland, the company has operated in the railway business for over 30 years, executing complex projects across the world and currently focusing on Australia, Europe and China. 

News

VR FleetCare started measuring customer satisfaction systematically in the last quarter of 2019. Compared to the starting level survey that was completed at the turn of the year, customer satisfaction towards the company improved in all areas. The survey was implemented in April as the coronavirus situation was at its most severe, and the restrictions were at their strictest in Finland and the neighbouring areas in Europe. However, this did not really seem to impact VR FleetCare’s operations.
The development of the train fleet’s maintenance programme and the management of the lifecycle are some of the key content for the new contract period. During the contract period, the co-operation will be utilized in which the service branch of Stadler, the Swiss manufacturer of the FLIRT trains used by HSL, provides material and expert services to VR FleetCare.
Switches play a key role in ensuring smooth railway operations. A switch is used at a railway junction to steer trains from one track to another. Last year, switch failures caused over 5,000 disruptions to traffic in Finland. To enhance the monitoring of the condition of switches, VR FleetCare, a company offering railway fleet management, and the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency (FTIA), which is in charge of Finnish railways and their development, have launched a joint pilot project focused on collecting and analysing data to obtain real-time information about the condition of switches.
Watch the video and find out how we have built up the modern data platform around AWS -services. And how data-driven maintenance will, in addition to creating significant cost savings for the rail fleet owners, increase safety and enhance the usability of the rolling stock.