New on Railfleet: preventive maintenance scheduling, precise asset movement tracking, maintenance planning dashboard

Story by Jérémie Roy, Platform Team Leader at Railnova
Jan 30, 2018

We’ve been working hard the last couple of weeks to finish another update to our fleet and maintenance workflow management platform Raifleet. These updates will enable you to follow up on your assets, asset availability and your maintenance workflow with more ease and precision.

Let’s take a look at what’s new on Railfleet!

1. Track asset location and movement with greater precision

As an operator you might want to know when an asset enters and leaves a certain zone, such as a workshop, and display your assets on the map with the highest accuracy. We strive to offer you the highest GPS precision, even when your assets are moving at a very low speed, and/or travelling only small distances. To increase our precision even more, we rewrote our logic to take into account the indication of the dilution of precision given by the satellites. We then use machine learning techniques to find the ideal thresholds that determine with a 99% of confidence if a locomotive moved.

This allows us to determine if a locomotive moved with a greater precision and thus:

  • to display the locomotive on the map with a greater accuracy (with only a few meters …) and also register more movement, even for very small distances
  • to infer if a locomotive is in a zone or a workshop with greater precision, including the moment it enters or leaves that zone or workshop.

2. Preventive usage-based maintenance scheduler

Railfleet enables operators to manage their entire maintenance workflow on one central platform. This of course also includes preventive maintenance scheduling. Previously you could already schedule preventive maintenance based on counter readings, but you had to create preventive events manually on the Operational Dashboard. This was only the first phase: thanks to the latest Raifleet update the preventive maintenance due dates are now automatically computed based on the counter information that is provided by the telematics streams.

You can now set up your maintenance plans in the Railfleet admin, and assign the plan to your assets. Take a look at the following article to find out how setting up your preventive maintenance plans on Railfleet works: Preventive maintenance planning

3. Maintenance planning oriented page

On Railfleet operators are able to manage the availability and status of their entire fleet, while maintainers can see which interventions they have in the pipeline. Previously we already created the Intervention Dashboard where maintainers get a full overview of all planned interventions for a fleet. To make setting up and planning these interventions easier, we now also created a dashboard that gathers all corrective and preventive events of your fleet.

On this Maintenance Planning Dashboard you can easily filter the events and schedule new maintenance interventions based on the open events. You can find more information about managing your fleet and your maintenance planning in this blogpost: Planning preventive, usage-based and corrective maintenance on Railfleet

4. More control over the given rights when sharing data with third parties

On Railfleet you can easily share asset data with others, such as your clients, your maintainers etc. When doing so you can define which assets you want to share, and for how long. On top of that you can now also define which permissions the third party has, i.e. which information they can see and which actions they can take for the assets that are shared with them.

The current options allow you to define whether people are able to modify the operational status of your asset, and/or to add or close restrictions. These options will be expanded over time. Find out more about asset sharing here: Sharing your assets

5. Real time syncing of operational asset data

The modifications you make to your assets on the operational dashboard, such as adding new restrictions, changing the operational status and creating new events, are automatically shared with all the people who have access to the asset in question. With the new release, these modifications are shared with them in near real time: we went from a 60 second delay to a delay between 0,5 and 2 seconds before the operational dashboard is updated.

This is possible thanks to a new real time update mechanism using websocket technology. This WebSocket technology reduces the time needed to update your data, and the bandwidth usage for such updates. Thanks to this, the people you shared the assets with always have access to the real-time status and availability of your fleet.

6. Add custom email footers in notifications

Up till now, notification emails contained only the information related to the alert, e.g. the low battery voltage that triggered the alert on a certain asset, or the amount of fuel that was added to an asset. Now you can also add custom information to each notification, such as a reason why someone is receiving the alert, company information, or instructions on how to act on the alert. This information will appear at the bottom of the notification email. Learn how you can set up custom email footers in your email notifications in this article: Creating notification rules

7. Bugfixes and misc improvements

At Railnova we take a lean approach: as Railnova’s CEO Christian Sprauer mentions in this SmartRail World article, “we ship product features early, sometimes imperfect, to obtain early feedback from the client users”. Based on that feedback, we continuously improve our platform and fix bugs when they cross our paths. One bug that was fixed with the latest update was a flickering on your screen when using Railfleet in certain screen resolutions.

Another update is the WebSocket connection warning. If you are experiencing issues with your WebSocket connection, Railfleet will now display a yellow banner at the bottom of the page to inform you that you are not properly connected to Railfleet.

Railnova receives a warning as well each time this happens so we can resolve the issue as soon as possible, but if you are seeing the yellow banner for a longer period of time, please reach out to our Support team.

That’s it for this update! Discover the changes on Railfleet and do let us know what you think, or contact us if you have any questions. We’re happy to help!

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