In addition to the daily inspection, the system tracks how the busoperated while on the road. This allows technicians to asses any variations that occurred during service as well as the vehicle’s average miles per gallon. The added feature alerts maintenance employees to possible issues that could pose a larger problem and added expense down the line.
OCTA began migrating to the Health Monitoring System when the fleet of 40-foot buses was replaced with clean burning fuel. Today, all 40-foot buses are powered by CNG or LNG. And with fuel costs approximately 60 percent less than diesel, the transition to alternative fuel saves the agency millions of dollars each year.
Making the best use of the limited dollars available for our transit system through more efficient maintenance operations has allowed OCTA to reinvest the savings and provide more revenue service hours for customers.
Director of sales and business development, services
Bombardier Transportation North America
Today’s passenger rail vehicles are extremely complex and require advanced tools and techniques in order to maintain them properly, efficiently and cost-effectively. It is vitally important that the right information is available to the right personnel at the right time in order to ensure that maintenance and repair activities are performed correctly, safely, on-time and within budget. Of all the tools available, one stands out as the clear game-changer for maintenance operations — handhelds.
In today’s world, it’s difficult for many to imagine living without one of these intelligent, Web-enabled, wireless hand-held devices. Never before has so much information been available to so many, and literally at their fingertips. And this amazing power can be leveraged to bring incredible efficiencies to the task of passenger rail vehicle maintenance. Handhelds may have started out primarily as consumer items, good mostly for browsing the Web, chatting with friends or playing games. But with the proper set of applications and effective information system integration, these devices can now be put to use as powerful productivity tools in the hands of rail vehicle maintenance technicians.
At Bombardier we are doing precisely that. Following the success of our Sentio kiosks, whose primary purpose was to provide on-demand access to troubleshooting knowledge to maintenance technicians on the shop floor, the introduction of handhelds takes this approach many steps beyond. Handhelds provide a totally integrated solution for the shop floor, directly in the palm of the technician’s hand. Literally at their fingertips, our maintenance technicians will now have the ability to access volumes of information that are essential for the completion of their tasks.
For instance, technicians can access electronic fault finding guides and standardized work instructions directly on their handheld without having to leave their work location, saving valuable time.
In addition, they can also have direct access to maintenance instructions, alerts and even schematics and drawings.
Finally, some of the other benefits of deploying this handheld technology in rail maintenance are reduction of paperwork and the time this takes to prepare, improvement in the accuracy of data capture, real-time reporting and direct access to parts inventory information.
The possibilities are nearly endless and one thing’s for certain — the use of handhelds in rail vehicle maintenance operations is here to stay!
Using handhelds in rail vehicle maintenance activities — a day in the life
Imagine this scenario if you will: our technician (let’s call him John) has just begun his shift. He logs in to his handheld, which clocks him into the payroll system while simultaneously alerting the operations center that he is available to begin his assigned tasks.
Once he’s logged in, John receives a message which directs him to his first work order for the day — he clicks on the task name and is invited to review the training material, should he need to, in order to be sure he understands the steps to be performed.
There, along with the step-by-step procedure, he finds an interactive video which demonstrates the removal and replacement of the part he’ll be working on whilehighlighting important safety information. Satisfied that he understands the task, he clicks the link to the drawing and confirms that the revision level of the part called out in the work order matches the latest drawing level.