Our members Alstom specialise in innovative high speed rolling stock, including flagship new projects such as the Avelia Liberty for Amtrak, the world’s first tilting very high speed train. But innovation doesn’t stop with the design of the trains. High speed trains require careful maintenance, and here in the UK, Alstom has developed innovative new ‘predictive maintenance’ solutions to keep them running smoothly.
In 2014 Alstom installed the first ever TrainScanner in Manchester. Using technology soon to be exported all around the world, the diagnostic portal hosts laser scanners and cameras that enable real-time ‘health checks’ of the Pendolino trains as they glide through an arch at the depot on their way in to the facility.
The scanner has an ID reader that identifies the train as it approaches and will only let the laser shutters open if it detects a Pendolino. It then runs a scanner and high speed cameras to measure the components of the train. It is capable of complex automatic assessments of the wheel profile and dimensions, the brake pad thickness and the pantograph carbon profile.
This new TrainScanner is part of Alstom’s HealthHub solution. HealthHub integrates and analyses the data gathered TrainScanner and other monitoring systems to provide asset health information. Using advanced algorithms it can predict the remaining useful life of these components and a user-friendly interface provides actionable predictive maintenance and diagnostic information directly to depot staff. Before the train leaves the depot, the scanner can also run a final confidence check on the body and shell. It converts all the data into 2D and 3D images, which staff can easily understand, picking up any final problems before the train leaves the facility. High Speed 2 can look forward to proven innovations like TrainScanner delivering more reliable and more efficient trains. Increasingly, TrainScanner will allow component waste to be reduced, the efficiency of maintenance teams to increase and safety to be improved even further. This will mean fewer delays and problems for passengers, something everyone who uses the new railway will welcome.