Condition monitoring offers nearly unlimited possibilities to the railway sector in terms of improvement availability through real time data access and streamline maintenance costs thanks to condition based methods implementation. This sounds very positive but, on the opposite, the large list of potential benefits can complicate the implementation of a monitoring project.

It is a provider’s responsibility to show and to clarify to costumers the benefits of this cultural change. For many operators this is a crucial aspect, as it has been shown in the workshops organized by the SBB CFF FFS last Friday in Zurich. A big representation of Swiss companies and from other European countries presented their reflections and experiences regarding this topic, specially regarding the key specifications called to be the foundations of future solutions in this field.

Intelis, our Swiss partner, and smart motors® suggested as a key task prior to any project, to settle an accepted level of expectations. This means to clearly separate the proved performance of the tool shown in previous implementations (its maturity) and other expected capabilities. As partners, operator and provider have to define a realistic strategy to ensure quick wins but also long term wins. From our experience, it is also important to emphasize the role of Reporting and support service in the service chain.

We strongly recommend initiatives like this one to lead the evolution of solutions on Digitization. We must work so that Condition monitoring, Big Data and statistical event prediction are as beneficial as in the industrial sectors more advanced in their use, in which today it would be unimaginable work without them.

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