The objective of an Asset Management System is to provide a systemic approach to maximising the value created from an asset – but when we discuss the principles of effective Asset Management (AM), what elements spring to mind? ISO 55001 provides a comprehensive view of the AM Lifecycle.
However, to really deliver maximum value from your asset, you need to fundamentally understand how it performs throughout its life in its environment. This level of understanding can only come from a progressive and proactive data-driven approach to AM. At Viper Innovations, we like to think of it as Total Asset Management (TAM) and manage it through our V-Assure Portal.
The benefits of applying TAM are manifold. For the existing asset: best-in-class safety, reduced capital expenditure, and reduced operational expenditure. For the new or replacement asset: having the fundamental knowledge and experience to specify the right asset type, procurement strategy, and method and conditions for installation at the time of renewal to deliver optimum performance. From the perspective of your day-to-day operations, applying TAM ensures that you understand and have control over all threats to optimum asset performance.
The problem is that delivering this level of performance requires your AM team to have comprehensive data to hand, the underpinning knowledge that drives competence and the systems, tools, methods, and practices to really sweat the asset and manage arising threats. This is a demanding set of requirements for an industry that is as large and complex as Great British Railways.
Network Rail has made great strides in recent years in moving to become an AM company. Strategies developed and deployed in Technical and Route Services covering Asset Management and Asset Information Services have served to move things forward with the delivery of infrastructure, processes, and support. RCM, RADAR, Decision Support Tools (DST), and Intelligent Infrastructure have created a step-change in Asset Management.
The Regions and Routes themselves have contributed to developing new systems and processes as well as machine learning. The practical experience gained combined with technical know-how and time invested in getting to know assets has resulted in a deep knowledge being shared across the network for key assets. The strength of this teamwork is now paying dividends – improving safety by taking boots-off-ballast, eliminating service affecting failures, and reducing delays.
The thread that holds this together is asset information. In order to create information, we need to collect data and combine it with know-how to derive value. This starts with doing your homework and analysing your assets, processes, and environment to get a base understanding of what parameters need to be measured, how, and where. Following this, you can then instrument your assets across a population that is representative of the whole, covering all weather, environment, installation, and asset types. From this, we can ensure that we have sufficient data to analyse to draw insights and knowledge and ensure that we are making decisions based on facts.
So, how does the Asset Manager extract maximum value from the asset whilst delivering safety and environmental performance to world-class levels? This starts with getting the right team and technology together to create information to provide insight to support action. To assist you with this, Viper Innovations works in partnership with clients the world over to support the push to Total Asset Management – providing tools, processes, services, and support across the whole lifecycle to enable the move to TAM.
For lineside signalling power systems, Viper Innovations has developed CableGuardian to provide a comprehensive monitoring, analysis and presentation package that is perfect for both current operations and future research and development. The system continually monitors and measures individual and system cables, switchgear and transformer winding insulation resistance and capacitance across a broad range sufficient to be able to act on immediate problems, identify emerging trends to predict and prevent failure, and set thresholds for alarms and events. It also has Spread-Spectrum Time-Domain Reflectometry (SSTDR) built-in that will accurately pinpoint cable damage to reduce the duration of an incident for your day-to-day operations.
Since its first installations on the UK network, Viper and Network Rail engineers have not only been able to identify problems affecting performance and safety for today’s railways, they have also identified new asset insights and trends from the analysis that has enabled safety improvements and added value beyond the original business case, all of which will assist in the move to TAM.
Our world-leading products have been designed and developed in collaboration with your Asset Management teams to ensure you have the information you need now and in the future. Add to this our product and service team who work with you to provide an outstanding collaborative service over the short, medium, and long term to extract every ounce of benefit from the lifecycle, and you have a winning combination of technology, service, insight, and information to assist you in delivering transformational Asset Management. A partnership that will enable you to take safety to world-class standards, minimise your CAPEX and OPEX costs to unprecedented levels and deliver truly outstanding total performance for your clients.