Updated: Jun 11, 2020
One of the most time consuming and costly activities in the maintenance of Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) relates to manual surveys and inspections of electrical and power distribution assets.
Authentic Evidence worked with a specialist railway engineering consultancy to design and develop an advanced analytics solution for one of the largest railway asset managers in the United Kingdom. The client needed to integrate data between a 20-year-old enterprise asset management system and modern instrumentation systems installed on specialist trains, so that their electrical engineers could develop predictive maintenance capabilities for over 381,000 assets and components spread across 5,846 miles of railway infrastructure.
The client inherited a number of legacy systems with poor data quality and no consistent logic in recording the geographical location of assets, often switching between Latitude and Longitude, Eastings and Northings, and Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates. When it came to aggregating information across systems, we discovered that only 11% of all electrical and power distribution assets had geospatial coordinates that were accurate to within 10 metres. In addition 88% of assets did not have any geospatial coordinates, and 2% had the wrong geospatial coordinates.
The map with blue dots illustrates the problem engineers were facing in trying to extract intelligence from raw data within their existing systems and databases. The dots that you see randomly spread out across the world represent clusters of incorrect records of geospatial coordinates linked to assets that are physically in the UK. These errors combined with large amounts of missing data caused engineers to not trust the client's information systems. As a consequence, they resorted to historical ways of working, resulting in higher costs and reduced efficiency.
The picture below provides a simple "before and after" example of how our advanced analytics solution solved the data quality problems for our client by integrating data into a holistic solution, using their own enterprise asset management systems, third-party instrumentation systems, and an open-source geographical information system. The analytics solution was widely accepted by the senior management and front-line maintenance engineering teams and an extensive roll-out is now being managed across the UK.
In less than 5 weeks, our team delivered a complete solution that mapped over 381,000 assets and components spread across 5,846 miles of railway infrastructure. The direct impact of a 90% improvement in data quality resulted in a 94% increase the ability for maintenance engineers to assess the quality and condition of assets in specific locations within the railway network, helping the client generate over £783,000 per year in operational efficiency savings. This is helping engineers save time and money in their operations whilst improving the safety controls in their work environment.
If you would like to find out more about this project, or would like a demonstration of some of the advanced analytical tools that we build with open-source technologies, please get in touch with our Technical Director, Brian Greig.
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