Soltel has begun to work in a new R&D project called OPTIRAIL. The goal of this project is to develop an intelligent assets management system for the conservation and preventive maintenance of railway infrastructure for both metro and tramrail, integrating auscultation techniques by means of on-board devices. This way, the railway elements will be monitored continuously during the train working hours, instead of being limited to scheduled inactivity times.

Data obtained by this system will be managed by an expert system, including predictive models and BPM technologies, to optimize maintenance activities complying the international norm ISO-55000, reducing costs and enhancing users’ security and comfort.

The project is financed by the CDTI and supported by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, with a grant from FEDER funds through the “Operative Program for Intelligent Growth 2014-2020”, in the framework of the program FEDER-Innterconecta.

Soltel participates in this project inside a consortium led by the company AZVI, along with AGC Market Services and Rovimática. The Association of research and Industrial Cooperation of Andalusia is also in the project as a research body.

The Metro maintenance intends to preserve the service in secure and fluent conditions, reducing as much as possible maintenance and operation costs. Despite this has a vital importance, there are also other aspects that an advanced management needs to include among its priorities: the social and public service dimension of the metro, including the user’s perception of the service, or the positive environmental impact that produces its use instead of combustion engine vehicles are two good examples. Current maintenance management models do not make these value aspects of the infrastructure visible. This project will use novel techniques to introduce so called externalities into maintenance management systems, such as social benefits, avoided emissions, time savings, etc.

We will develop techniques to make visible for the management those exploitation aspects that are not yet being considered. Among those techniques we highlight:

Condition monitoring: The improvement and integration of auscultation and control techniques, which will allow an exhaustive and low cost monitoring of the railway elements.

Intelligence and data analytics: The smart processing of massive data to get information and infer valuable relations for the management, using both historic data and current data provided by the auscultation system. This increases the capacity to make decisions and the very scope of these decisions. Additionally, massive data processing and management systems and inference generation systems will help add externalities to maintenance decision making, in a completely innovative way.