Accessing Better Outcomes: Bridging the Compliance Gap to Deliver Safety, Performance and Efficiency for Signalling Power Supplies
Today’s railway is under significant pressure, and consequently, so are railway operators and contractors. The railway needs to modernise to deliver a changed service and must balance safety, operations, efficiency and compliance with less money, fewer people and less access.
One key area of change is the move to prohibit red zone working. This is to be welcomed in ensuring one of the most obvious risks to staff is managed. However, this undoubtedly challenges the maintenance delivery unit to find new and innovative ways to achieve compliance and deliver the work bank. Add to these the financial, business and operational pressures placed on the railway from inflation, industrial action and budget cuts, and there is the perfect storm brewing for the close-out of CP6 and the springboard into CP7.
So, how will the industry weather this storm?
First, the obvious starting point is to ensure that every opportunity to deliver work is maximised, every pound spent delivers more than before, and every minute spent on track wins two back. Easy to say – but more complex to turn into tangible actions.
Also, what if your interest lies in delivery? From the contractor’s perspective, it is necessary to maintain a competitive edge in this ever-changing and challenging environment. However, what are the key characteristics to drive future growth? Without a doubt, open collaboration across the industry will be critical to ensure favourable outcomes for both the rail operators or contractors and the client, but the pressure to ensure every task delivers more for less is not going away. Instead, a new perspective is required on maintaining a competitive edge by delivering what the client needs both now and, in the future, finding efficiencies that maintain margins, retaining flexibility and being agile in an environment of output-based specifications and financial restraint.
There’s also no doubt that track access is at an absolute premium for all parties. Competing departmental work banks, project work, emergency interventions, innovation activity and service changes all eat up the slots available to deliver work on the railway. Also, the difficulty in planning and executing overlapping work, particularly ensuring safe and effective outcomes when one task may confound another, is challenging. So how do you ensure you get sixty seconds’ worth of distance run into each minute of access?
The win for all parties lies in collaborating to successfully bring technology onto the network to bridge the compliance gap between delivering manual inspections, maintenance and testing – as standards challenges and changes progress. This is where innovative partnerships between the maintenance engineer, delivery teams and contractors can pay dividends, ensuring that all parties have an eye on developing the right mindset to identify, take and exploit opportunities that maximise the amount delivered per available slot – safely and efficiently.
So, where is the supply chain in this conundrum?
The development and delivery of effective technological innovation is vital to business outcomes for both the asset owner/maintainer and the contract company supporting project and maintenance delivery. The route to success, however, runs through getting the right tech from the right company at the right time, one who will work across interfaces to deliver malleable systems and find efficient designs, delivery mechanisms and deployment strategies that work for everyone in the chain.
Technology deployed on the railway often misses the mark, which leads to wasted time and effort. One can explore many reasons for this; however, the railway no longer has the luxury of spending time on what can become lost causes. Instead, what’s required is technology and service that can be moulded and shaped to deliver what the client needs when they need it. Thus, to square the circle of maximising the outputs for any given possession, choosing the technology and a partner with the lowest risk and highest benefit is essential.
Viper Innovations is one such company, and their innovative system for managing signalling power supplies, CableGuardian, is the right technology at the right time. The system has been developed collaboratively with Network Rail, design and delivery organisations to provide all the necessary attributes to link the requirements of maintenance, project, owner, contractor and deliverer now and in the future. Most importantly, Viper Innovations makes the ideal partner to deliver the improvements needed in a changing railway, allowing operators and contractors to take advantage of every opportunity.
As expected from a system developed with ongoing input from the whole spectrum of the railway family, CableGuardian’s performance in the field has been exemplary. The CableGuardian technology has already saved millions in penalty payments, tens of thousands of delay minutes and hundreds of thousands in opex savings – and that’s just getting started. Best practice collected from experience in the field also shows that CableGuardian technology can be easily integrated into OEM equipment and deployed rapidly, either in totality and with very little disturbance or in stages both at the field and system level to eliminate disruption. It can be installed at the same time as planned cable testing or in place of it – using the same staff and competencies that cable testing requires. It can also be deployed in stages, without affecting operations, in a white period or other work within a possession, thus maximising the opportunities to gain access whilst simultaneously minimising planning and execution costs.
Viper Innovations have already partnered with OEMs, contractors, infrastructure engineers and project delivery organisations to ensure effective integrated designs, seamless delivery and lowest-cost deployment and operation. Therefore, Viper is providing operators with a future model of railway operation across the business lifecycle.
So, to make a move to safer, more profitable and more efficient working practices – without having to go through the pain barrier, CableGuardian from Viper Innovations provides proven technology and collaborative service to maximise signalling power supplies, now and in the future.
This article was originally published by Viper Innovations.
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