News

POSS® to reduce number of failures on HTM lightrail track

27 February 2018

Since january 1st 2017, Strukton Rail has been responsible for the daily maintenace of the lightrail infrastructure in the Haaglanden region (The Hague and surrounding area) (formerly known as the Randstad Rail), on behalf of HTM. A condition-based maintenance pilot will start this year to significantly reduce the number of failures in this area, increase availability and lower maintenance costs. During the pilot, Strukton Rail’s own preventive maintenance and fault diagnosis system POSS® will monitor 24 switches and guard the condition values of those switches 24/7. This will provide HTM with invaluable insight into performance, allowing for timely measures to guarantee availability.

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POSS® remotely monitors the condition of failure-sensitive components on a track, such as switches, making it possible to accurately analyse performance behaviour. To get a complete image of a switch’s behavior, the system monitors both the motor current, as well as the guidance and control circuit. This innovative solution fits seamlessy with HTM’s needs to prevent as many failures as possible for the short and medium term on the lightrail infrastructure between The Hague Central Station and the Zoetermeer / Rotterdam junction.

The twin-track section in question measures about 15 kilometres in length and is exploited by both HTM and the Rotterdam transportation company RET. Characteristic for this region is that the lightrail routes need to respond to a growing demand in mobiity. This is done by increasing availability where possible.

Availability

“By deploying POSS®, we want to give a boost to the availability on the lightrail infrastructure. A lightrail’s strength lies in its capacity to transport large numbers of passengers quickly and efficiently. You don’t want them to get stuck somewhere along their journey because of a poorly functioning switch. POSS® makes it possible to remotely monitor the switches on the track, so technicians are able to intervene before a failure even occurs. Using POSS®, we’re able to anticipate reported thresholds and quickly organize the correct integral maintenance activities.”

Pim Hamers, contract manager at Strukton Rail

Preventive maintenance

“It quickly became clear that POSS® was uniquely suitable to meet the challenges lightrail infrastructure in the Haaglanden region”, Hamers continues. The system itself is very flexible. In this particular case, it measures the motor current of a switch engine and point, as well as the guidance and control circuit. These data are then continuously compared to previously configures thresholds. POSS® automatically sends a notification to the maintenance team if a deviation is detected during a switch movement.”

Pim Hamers, contract manager at Strukton Rail

User friendly

POSS® uses a private cloud solution for its central processing software. This means that the client specific user environment is always available online. All the relevant information about the condition of switches can be accessed in the cloud by a variety of users, from asset managers to technicians in the field.

“POSS® is designed to be both powerful and user friendly, says Hamers. To allow the system to work to its fullest potential, we are going to train ten HTM staff members in using the provided data themselves.”

The POSS® pilot on the track between The Hague Central Station and the Zoetermeer / Rotterdam junction is expected to start in march 2018 and run for a year.