Irish Rail Implement Nexala Real-Time Diagnostics System
Irish Rail has significantly improved the performance, reliability and customer environment of its Hyundai DMU 22000 fleet of trains by developing and fitting the Nexala R2M Remote Diagnostic System and NCU (Nexala on board Control Unit communications and software) to its fleet. This initiative was the first in the Irish Rail industry where a comprehensive real-time data, transmission and analysis system has been retro-fitted to a complete fleet of trains, delivering real-time information to the Irish Rail control centre. Although the original objective for using the Nexala diagnostic system was to improve operational efficiencies and fleet performance, as the project progressed it has also delivered much wider benefits in areas such as fleet safety, driver performance, timetabling data, infrastructure and energy analysis, thereby becoming a cross departmental project with more benefits across the business.
Irish Rail began their exploration for a real-time diagnostic technology system back in 2007. High maintenance costs and reduced operational efficiencies prompted Irish Rail to seek a system that would streamline their maintenance costs and provide efficiencies across their unreliable fleet and also automate some manual tasks. The company was conscious of the fact that there was a lot of data that could be extracted from the train but they were unsure of the breath of data that could be gathered. These issues prompted Irish Rail to issue a Request for Information (RFI) for a technology system that was able to extract this data and provide it in a structured way. This is where Nexala came into the equation. After a detailed evaluation of system providers from all corners of the world, Irish Rail chose Nexala to undertake this project as they believed Nexala proved to be the most innovative and technologically advanced provider.
This project took nine months to implement and consisted of three concept phases, all of which were delivered on time and in budget. The first phase of the project was for Nexala to prove that they could collate the data from the train in real time. The second phase consisted of Nexala showing Irish Rail the benefits of implementing the system. The third and final phase was implementing the system and training the engineers to use the train’s data that was being extracted from the system.
One of Irish Rail’s main issues was a technical obstacle in accessing the data on the train and Nexala was able to facilitate this with their R2M Remote Diagnostic System. Irish Rail have been very impressed with the Nexala system which has been rolled out across the Hyundai DMU 22000 fleet that they will be rolling it out across more of their fleets in time.
Irish Rail’s Chief Mechanical Engineer states that;
“Nexala’s real-time remote diagnostic system has been successfully rolled out across our intercity railcar fleet. This has resulted in significant maintenance savings, incident prevention and recovery and improved operational efficiencies.”
The Nexala R2M Remote Diagnostic System provides the following benefits to Irish Rail:
– Reduced maintenance costs
– Reduced maintenance intervals
– Reduced break-down costs
– Reduced incident recovery
The system provides Irish Rail with the ability to plan for maintenance by automating manual tasks such as counting and recording the hours until engine maintenance is required. This reduces man hours as previously the mileage had to be manually counted. Reports are generated daily from the Nexala systems such as air conditioning reports from the trains. This reduces the maintenance costs as workmen no longer need to inspect each carriage on a daily basis. Reports can be configured to the customers own specifications and the type of data extracted from the train can also be configured.