The use and importance of CMMS software in the railway sector
Wednesday 30 june 2021
The railway sector needs constant time-consuming maintenance,as it consists of a lot of complex mechanical and electrical systems and numerous parts.to ensure an optimum performance,railway companies need to perform regular maintenance and replace defective pieces of equipment as early as possible.this proves to be quite hard as trains are constantly moving.For this reason maintenance technicians need a smart yet mobile solution to keep equipment in good working condition.Maintenance tasks are crucially important in this sector because of the catastrophic human consequences that it could have. In fact According to the European Railway Agency, 30% of all railway accidents in the European Union are related to level crossings
Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) are present in all Railway Operator operational activities today. These efficient systems contain all information regarding incidents or predictive maintenance. In the study of Wienker et al (2016), a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) allows effective communication, improves planning and scheduling, and accessibility to existing data and reports. These result in cost reduction with respect to maintenance activities.
Challenges of the railway sector
In modern day railway companies are facing three main challenges: integration, information sharing and knowledge management.
- integrating their CMMS within their own IT system Indeed, the maintenance activities are linked to hardware resources available by procurement and logistics systems.A CMMS will provide the human resources availability in accordance to the necessary competencies to realize a specific task.
- maintainers should be able to share information with CMMS systems of other companies as their clients require them to use their own CMMS. Thus, they must dedicate a team to manually replicate information from one system to the other. This methodology is outdated, and can lead to mistakes due to human error.
- Managers need to be able to make decisions based on all this information.The manager spends only 20% of her/his time where she/he has the most added value by really exerting her/his expertise. The time used for ‘crossing the information’ and applying basic business rules is both a decrease of productivity and a potential error source.
Why Should the Railway Sector Pay Attention to Maintenance
For a successful and well-maintained railway system, the most basic and necessary part is its maintenance. Everybody knows that a train contains thousands of moving parts. It is made up of complex mechanical and electrical systems.A whole new specific department would be required at various locations to keep track of the maintenance of trains, tracks, platforms, traffic light systems, etc. The equipment, assets, and inventories are also needed to be tracked, in order to perfect asset management of railways.
So if the railway administration wants to be reliable and secure for the customer then the equipment should always have to be in top condition. Regular maintenance is an essential part, for achieving this objective.However, maintenance is costly & it is also inevitable.And more importantly if maintenance is not done regularly then it can result in fatal consequences, such as unexpected breakdown, delayed trip, it can even jeopardize several lives, and cost a lot of money. And we all know that a negative impact can dilute the brand image.As a professional practice, one should emphasize maintenance rather than repair, especially in the railway industry. In simple words, to keep your equipment in good working condition, routine maintenance should be done on assets and equipment for their smooth functionality.
CMMS software provides numerous advantages and benefits to railway sector
- Preventive maintenance: Preventive maintenance (PM) is “a routine for periodically inspecting” with the goal of “noticing small problems and fixing them before major ones develop.” Ideally, “nothing breaks down.“The main aim of preventive maintenance is to make the next maintenance activity without any breakdown and failure of machines or equipment.Preventive maintenance helps the railway sector a lot especially in terms of saving money. It can save up to 20 to 30 percent of expenses on maintenance.
- Data analytics: CMMS Software offers a better way to gather, analyze, and apply equipment information to enhance efficiency and productivity. Through the data, managers can review, prioritize, assign, and track work orders from their desktop, mobile phone, or tablet. Technicians are notified of new maintenance work orders. CMMS Software provides crucial data & information which assists higher management to make decisions and make future plans. It also alerts the team about the recent work order.
- Maximize asset potential:By providing maintenance from time to time. In business, everybody has to stay updated or else you take the risk of getting outdated. So, when an updated version is launched to specific equipment, chances are you will also try to sell your old equipment for the new one. Therefore, one must perform the maintenance activity to get the maximum resale value.
- Increasing security:Security is one of the most important areas where the railway industry must pay attention to. An unmaintained asset or a sudden breakdown of an asset can lead to human injuries or accidents. Thankfully it can be avoided if correct precautions are taken.CMMS software tracks maintenance and lets you know when the last maintenance is done and when the next to be required. This software minimizes risk and maximizes security for your employees & travelers. It can also reduce insurance costs as you are taking precautions and being more responsible to avoid accidents & injuries.
In the railway industry, equipment failures can have fatal consequences. For this, there can be no surprises due unplanned downtimes or problems.So the entire sector is in constant search of improvements to deliver a better customer experience and maximize assets use potential. Sophisticated predictive maintenance combined with a modern CMMS might be the solution the industry has been looking for. In the end, we can say that CMMS Software is definitely important for the railway sector. The railways should definitely be equipped with maintenance software for their safe and smooth working.
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