P&T Connected: turning data into actions

P&T Connected is the latest subsidiary established by Plasser & Theurer. Founded in January 2017, the company has taken on seven members of staff by now. Experts in computer science, physics, mathematics and statistics are part of the young team located at Campus Hagenberg of the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. In Austria’s “Silicon Valley”, the focus is placed on recording, preparing and analysing data to make predictive maintenance become a reality for track maintenance machines.

For years, Plasser & Theurer machines have been optionally equipped with the remote diagnosis system PlasserDatamatic. Depending on the machine model, the machine can be retrofitted with the system as a machine upgrade. PlasserDatamatic allows the live monitoring of important data on the GPS position, working direction, engine, filling levels and hydraulic pressures. This makes it possible to access the current status of entire machine fleets from the office, living up to condition-based monitoring.

Providing highly valuable information, the data is stored to enable later access. Once it has been analysed, the data can be decoded and translated into specific instructions for condition-based maintenance. With this innovation, P&T Connected is breaking new ground in the railway industry.

Renew wearing parts when it is the most economically viable

One of many opportunities created is to renew wearing parts when it is the most economically viable. This decision is based on data collected by sensors. They indicate how long wearing parts will continue to work flawlessly. This makes it possible to identify early on when certain parts will have to be exchanged. In addition, downtimes and machine failures can be minimised. This benefits both the machine operator and the infrastructure.

In the past, it was the service technicians who made such decisions based on their experience. Today, these decisions can be made on the basis of reliable data.

Enabling condition-based maintenance for entire machines

This methodology can also be applied to the maintenance of entire machines, making a decisive step towards condition-based maintenance and away from maintenance at intervals. P&T Connected provides data analysis and, on this basis, recommends further actions.

In addition to maintenance, the analysis of machine data benefits many other areas, ranging from improved reporting to contractors to the efficient operation of the machines. P&T Connected will continue to deal with these new approaches. The young team is convinced that they will provide solutions. Some of which will already be discussed at “Digitalisation - Harnessing Big Data in Rail“ conference.

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