Infrastructure Management by Means of a Asset Management System in Regional Rail and Public Transport

A holistic asset management is part of the methodical and strategic orientation of a transport operating company in the regional rail and public transport market. One of the most important topics here is securing long-term infrastructure financing.

Asset management comprises different aspects and forms a basis for maintenance and investment activities. Most importantly, it must ensure a consistent and valid database which must be up-to-date at all times. This is supplemented by a tailor-made IT solution which comprises all digital maintenance processes, a targeted reporting as well as suitable maintenance planning, implementation and documentation.

In addition, the assets’ conditions are documented and evaluated and the ideal points of renewal are determined. The overall maintenance strategy of the transport company must be matched accordingly. It is necessary to fully document actual service and cost figures in order to (further) improve planning and asset knowledge. Information derived from this data can later be used for the overall alignment.

Functioning and components of asset management tools

BSL Transportation has developed a methodical approach for different points of the above aspects using an Excel-based tool-set which is designed particularly for the requirements in the regional rail and public transport sector. Figure 1 shows the tool-set’s schematic layout and its links between individual modules.

Figure 1: Asset management tool with modules and interfaces

BSL’s tool-set comprises three modules (data pool, interdependencies, planning tool), each of which is providing different functions. Data is being transmitted via defined interfaces using virtually any source system (e.g. SAP PM, Zedas, Excel, Access). It is important, however, that the interface definition is met and a data set is generated from the source system accordingly.

The data pool files pre-processed and aggregated source data. User-defined data compilation allows to develop various data scenarios used for simulations. Interdependencies are shown in the tool’s configuration file in which calculation parameters and asset affecting functions (e.g. dependencies regarding age or changes in the intensity of use of the transport infrastructure) are stored. Results are generated in the planning tool and exported to Excel as a standardised report. Those reports may then be used for further processing.

Extensive reporting for controlling and planning purposes

The tool is able to process any data regarding the company’s asset infrastructure (e.g. tracks, signalling, building equipment) as well as vehicle data. It focuses on need-oriented planning presumptions regarding maintenance expenditures, derivation of personnel requirements and funding needs for the asset’s renewal.

Starting point forms the evaluation of the asset’s condition in the course of the maintenance activities as well as e.g. the determination of utilisation-dependant parameters concerning the asset’s renewal. Thereby, a prognosis is possible for e.g. age-related developments, age and utilisation-dependant impacts on the point of renewal as well as maintenance expenditures of the assets evaluated. All maintenance activities should be supported by digital processes in order to enable mobile data collection.

Thus, the tool is able to generate different outputs, e.g. a very precise renewal planning with necessary renewal rates of the transport infrastructure and its resulting age-related developments (see figure 2).

Figure 2: Example assessment regarding the renewal planning and resulting age-related developments

Other reports show e.g. the investment requirements resulting from the renewal planning, the personnel requirements based on planned maintenance activities or component-related key figures like average age or useful life (see figure 3).

08. March 2019