Infrastructure Management

Condition-Based Predictive Maintenance

Due to the use of new sensor technologies and the targeted application of data analysis methods, the maintenance of the plants should be made more efficient and less expensive.

Ideally, maintenance is carried out at the interval after a fault has been detected and before the fault leads to a breakdown. Predictive condition-based maintenance should avoid unnecessary maintenance work as well as failures.

IAMS - »Intelligent Asset Management System«

There is a rethink in the railway industry all over Europe.  To monitor the condition of tracks, track bed or switches, more and more measuring systems are being developed to reduce the effort for manual inspections. This measurement data can also be used for condition-based maintenance, leading to an improvement and automation of the maintenance process.

In a European research initiative, various research institutes and railway maintenance companies are working together to develop an automated, condition-based and real-time maintenance management system (IAMS) for rail infrastructure.  In this framework, analysis and prediction algorithms are used to provide information on the current and forecasted status of the rail infrastructure. These predictions are always affected by uncertainties and are taken into account in the decision-making process as probabilistic information. Fraunhofer IVI develops robust optimization algorithms to simplify and automate the complex, multi-stage decision-making process of maintenance planning.

Decision Support on the Three Levels of Maintenance Planning

With respect to the time horizon, the maintenance planning process is usually divided into three levels. The first level is called strategic planning. Here, basic strategies for maintenance and renewal planning are defined. The second level is that of tactical planning, where a rough planning of the large maintenance tasks is performed in the medium term. The last level is that of operational planning. At this level, detailed work plans are developed to ensure that all tasks are carried out smoothly. Furthermore, it is necessary to be able to react dynamically to unexpected and unforeseen failures or changes during the execution of the plans.

The three planning levels are closely linked. On the one hand, strategic planning provides the strategies that form the framework for tactical planning, and the rough time planning at the tactical level is the basis for operational planning. On the other hand, the evaluation of the implementation of the operational plans provides new information for the first two planning levels, which should be taken into account.


Innovative Technologies for Rail Traffic

The Shift2Rail Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) aims at improveing the quality and efficiency of railway services through the incorporation of innovative technologies. In order to reach this goal, new technologies that comply with the highest safety standards are to be developed, implemented, demonstrated and validated.