We depend on a reliable infrastructure in the Netherlands, certainly now that the economy is running well again. I realise that personally: there’s nothing as irritating as a train that is held up by a points fault, for instance. Thanks to POSS (Preventive Maintenance and Breakdown Diagnosis System Strukton) we can avoid a large number of such disruptions. And we are continuing to improve POSS, thanks to all the rail data we collect. What’s unique about POSS is that we combine big data with our knowledge of rail maintenance. That’s why clients are so positive about Strukton: we are progressive while still keeping our feet firmly on the ground.
All data in the cloud
It’s not too difficult for me to explain to companies what makes POSS so good, for instance at trade shows, along with what it can do for them and why Strukton is the definitive organisation for optimising maintenance of their assets.
In September last year I joined 25 Strukton colleagues from home and abroad at Inno Trans in Berlin. We had a splendid stand and this proved its worth: there was a sea of interest right from the first morning. I was able to point out the advantages of our monitoring system to plenty of people. For instance that POSS is so accurate that we can even see whether the measurements have been taken on wooden or concrete sleepers. So everyone has immediate and overall insight. The system makes it clear when repairs to points are needed, for example, and also when they’re not needed. This saves money, and the rail section doesn’t have to be taken out of service unnecessarily.
Several organisations – I can’t name names – were extremely interested: several major rail managers, for example, and an electronics concern operating worldwide. We are working intensely with these companies on a range of pilot projects and workshops. What I think is so great about this is the shared goal: a reliable and available rail network. Not every man for himself, but together.
“The ultimate goal is that, thanks to POSS, we will be able to perform 100 percent predictable maintenance”
From diagnosis to prognosis
We have already achieved fantastic results worldwide with POSS. Not only in monitoring points, but also trains, crossings, bridges and locks. But we can still do much more. Monitoring fans, buildings and escalators, for instance. This last example arises from my own frustration. I think it’s extremely irritating if I have to walk up a stationary escalator in a station. Fortunately, with my colleagues I have the ability to do something about that.
We’re also constantly improving the actual operation of POSS. We are translating the knowledge of on-site technicians into algorithms to make POSS smarter. We’ve already been able to demonstrate this to several interested parties at Inno Trans in Berlin. The ultimate goal is that thanks to POSS, we will be able to perform 100 percent predictable maintenance. In other words: from diagnosis to prognosis. We’re already close to that, in collaboration with Anchormen’s big data analysts.
The product and the service
I’ll be at the Railtex show in Birmingham, England, from 9 to 11 May. There I’ll be telling anyone who will listen just how we are giving travellers an ever-better service, at declining cost, with POSS.
After all, POSS is not just the product itself, the box carrying out the measurements in the rails, but it’s also our service. This means our clients benefit from the knowledge of our data analysts in our brand-new Operation Control Center Rail in Maarssen. They can translate all that data into fault predictions and maintenance advice. This golden combination leads to 40 percent fewer faults, more availability and fewer costs. Without the knowledge of our experts in the Operation Control Center Rail, a client would be unable to extract the full benefits from POSS. Compare it to a Formula One car: if I drove it, I certainly wouldn’t go anywhere near as fast as Michael Schumacher. To each their own. For a reliable and available rail network at low maintenance costs, Strukton Rail are the people to approach.