Nomad Digital has created a joint venture with EMEF, the primary Portuguese operator in the railway maintenance sector, to meet the great rise in demand for “Telemanagement” solutions such as condition based monitoring (CBM) and energy efficiency in the rail sector.
Telemanagement solutions provide rail operators with a real-time fleet-wide view of how the many on-board systems and isolated components are performing in the field. This enhanced and in-depth information allows operators to be more proactive on their operational and maintenance regimes.
The joint venture, to be named “Nomad Tech,” will further develop the combination of Nomad’s existing market-leading fleet connectivity and EMEF’s innovative Telemanagement solutions, to address the significant increase in global demand from the passenger trains, metro and freight markets for improvements in operational efficiency, vehicle availability and reduced life cycle costs (LCC).
Nomad Tech will not only provide remote connectivity to previously off-line digital and analogue legacy systems via Nomad’s high-availability communication solution, but also bring the know-how and tools to extract critical operational data, perform real-time analysis on-board, automatically issue alerts and feed the relevant information in real-time to the operator’s and maintenance depots.
Nomad Tech will merge CBM tools with a Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) strategy to help operators build new business-oriented maintenance processes - where maintenance is based on the condition of equipment and not performing remote maintenance at pre-determined intervals - or to improve existing maintenance management systems.
Nomad Tech will also provide a suite of Energy Efficiency tools, including the accurate and continuous monitoring of energy consumption, such as drivers’ styles and fuel levels. This information is then incorporated into train driver training programmes, to implement eco-driving techniques. Using the real-time links, operators can also more accurately schedule refuelling and even remotely alert control centres of suspected fuel thefts in progress. Energy Efficiency can be improved further via Nomad Tech’s innovative and highly cost-effective power traction converter technology upgrades.
These solutions have been proven to deliver significant improvements in energy consumption, availability of trains during peak times, a reduction in new train purchases, a reduction in maintenance costs, less downtime from fewer faults or repairs, providing a very rapid business pay-back. Applying these results to the global market for rail vehicle operations and maintenance, indicates potential savings of over £5 billion a year that could be realised if rail operators fully embrace the benefits of Telemanagement solutions.
Some of the early adopters of Telemanagement solutions from EMEF and Nomad, already benefiting from such improvements, include the likes of Comboios de Portugal (CP), Northern Rail, Southeastern, Siemens, Alstom and Hitachi, along with a number of other large projects in the pipeline.
Having worked with EMEF since the launch of Nomad’s ‘NDMaintain’ solution in 2011, Nomad claims the partnership will strengthen the combination of their market leading capabilities, with hopes of driving an international standard for how rail vehicles are connected and remotely-monitored to directly benefit operations and maintenance practices.