NextGen EAM systems built for transit, provide the opportunity to not only address the limitations of M3, but to fundamentally transform the way you do business. Modern EAM systems accomplish this by being hyper-integrated, with advanced user experiences that make it easy to capture high-quality data. At its core, NextGen EAM systems need to be exceptional at day-to-day maintenance functions, across all asset divisions: rail, bus, facilities, and rail infrastructure. Standard features should include: comprehensive asset registry (hierarchy), work management, materials management, time management, PM/Inspection scheduling, defect tracking, warranty, rebuild management, and more.
With a multitude of inputs and outputs, EAM tools are central to the collection and management of your infrastructure data. Using advanced integration and UI technologies, NextGen EAM will automate the capture of your various streams of asset inputs: your staff entries, on-board asset condition (telematic) technologies, and transit operations systems data. Its business intelligence features (data analytics/reporting/dashboard capabilities) will turn the data into up-to-the-minute “actionable intelligence” for your staff.
By consolidating user- and asset-generated data into a master asset performance repository, NextGen EAM systems offer you a deeper understanding of your infrastructure’s health patterns. Ultimately, this will allow you to optimize your maintenance programs, including shifting from the current reactive (fixed-interval) maintenance regime to condition-based and predictive approaches. Possible outcomes include switching certain inspections from a time/usage pattern to condition-based and refining the frequency of selected services (increase the intervals between component rebuilds, etc.).
From A to Z – Assets to Slow Zones
In this post-MAP21/FAST Act era, NextGen EAM solutions have expanded beyond their maintenance-only origins to provide a vital stream of up-to-the-minute asset information in support of cross-departmental coordination. Ultimately, they provide management with a "single line of sight" across your entire infrastructure in support of daily operations. For example, considering your planned service expansions in the coming years, the new EAM will be a critical tool to facilitate infrastructure planning across multiple divisions including Maintenance, Asset Management, and Capital Planning. They achieve this with advanced features including whole lifecycle planning, asset service status, real-time health (fault) monitoring, State of Good Repair analysis, capital project prioritization/work planning, and rail slow zone tracking.
NextGen Asset and Maintenance System: Summary
Bringing it All Together with GIS Data Layers: Maintenance of Way Example
Consider this maintenance "day in the life" example: How a NextGen EAM system’s powerful GIS/mapping layer features will transform the way Maintenance of Way/Track staff manage cross-tie defect work orders, capital replacement, and slow zone restrictions.
In this scenario, assume that the agency runs a tie machine scanning vehicle twice yearly to collect data on defective rail cross-ties. A recent run identified a cluster of defective ties along a section of the alignment with the original wood ties. Upon logging into his/her NextGen EAM system, the track manager screen displays a GIS map of the alignment and notices a "hot spot" highlighting the location of defective ties (the tie machine data output is automatically fed into EAM through an interface). With this information, he/she uses EAM to create a work order to dispatch an inspection crew who are outfitted with tablets running EAM. Once in the field, the team tracks their work in real-time using EAM's mobile apps. When they reach the site, they use the EAM tablet to take pictures of the defective ties and track their findings on the work order.
Meanwhile, back in the shop, the track manager can see the updated data in real-time (pictures of tie defects, and work orders from the field). On screen, the manager can toggle each data layer On/Off, to control which data to view at any given time. He/she checks a box for "Capital Projects" and sees the map update with a bright yellow band highlighting a capital project called "2019 Crosstie Replacement Campaign."
The mapping visualization makes it easy to see that a crosstie replacement project is planned for a ten segment section (five miles), while the recently-identified cluster of defective ties is occurring on only one of the ten segments (0.25 miles). Reading the notes from the field inspectors confirms the rapid deterioration of those wood ties. This prompts him/her to go into EAM to impose a slow zone along those segments, which triggers an automatic notification to the Operations division. The system notifies the Capital team, when he/she goes into EAM’s capital project screen to define a project that will start two years earlier (2017) to address the safety hazard posed by the damaged wooden ties.
By combining multiple data layers in a single map view (defects, work, capital projects, and slow zone), NextGen systems will be the “single source of truth” for your Maintenance, Capital, and Operations staff to manage the cross-departmental collaboration required to support your future rail expansion.
Marcelo Bravo has dedicated his entire career to rail and transit with over 25 years of experience in the industry. Previous responsibilities have included cradle to grave delivery of passenger rail cars, Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software, and management consulting to transit authorities and railroads, in both North America and abroad. As the Trapeze Group Director of Rail Solutions, Bravo is in charge of the rail market strategy for North America, which encompasses the Trapeze Rail Enterprise range of offerings.