Christian Benk, Senior Product Manager
At KONUX, it is our mission to make rail the mobility choice of tomorrow. We want to drive meaningful change and help railways transform their operations. As it is our goal to increase the capacity, reliability, and cost-efficiency of rail transport, we are steadily and systematically pushing for new innovations in order to help our clients become more competitive. Every year, over €12 bn are spent on maintaining and replacing switches (S&Cs) globally. While the impact of maintenance actions has largely been hard to measure and compare, evidence from our clients shows that about 10% of maintenance actions have failed to achieve the desired impact. This quarter we are proudly introducing our brand new feature aimed at helping infrastructure managers gain more transparency over what works best for their assets – the KONUX Maintenance Quality Check.
The KONUX Maintenance Quality Check feature allows you to validate the impact of maintenance actions directly from the comfort of your office. Thus you avoid failures and delays, resulting from ineffective maintenance. You can also compare the impact of different types of maintenance or machines used to find best practices, which are both impactful and economical. Gathering these insights is a prerequisite for switching to prescriptive maintenance practices.
The KONUX Predictive Maintenance System continuously monitors and analyzes the health of key switch components and provides actionable recommendations. In addition to the current and forecasted asset health, the KONUX system can also automatically detect sudden and significant changes in the vertical displacement indicator. The system logs such events as maintenance actions and begins to evaluate them for effectiveness and sustainability.
This is an example of successful tamping: the vertical displacement indicator was improved and remained stable
This is an example of unsuccessful tamping: the vertical displacement indicator increase shortly after the maintenance was performed
This is an example of unnecessary manual tamping: this asset did not need to be maintained, and intervention worsened the condition
While having a bad trackbed condition alone is rarely singled out as the reason for failures and delay minutes, many experts believe that it is the underlying cause for a range of failures. Eventually, the trackbed fails to provide the required support, due to the gradual degradation of the ballast. The trackbed deterioration can be seen in undesired movements, such as the vertical displacement of the sleepers and the track itself. This movement can, in turn, lead to further damage to the critical components of the switch such as the driving and locking mechanism, the frog (common crossing), and the blades. The vertical displacement indicator is commonly used to measure the trackbed bearing capacity and inform about tamping actions.
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About the author
Christian Benk is a Senior Product Manager responsible for shaping and managing the continuously evolving KONUX Predictive Maintenance System for Rail Switches. Christian has over six years of product management experience in bringing game-changing solutions to life.
*Sources: KONUX Global Rail Market Analysis, 2018 *