April 29, 2009

IBM equips Taiwan with high-speed rail software

The Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. (THSRC) is using IBM software to manage maintenance and logistics for its high-speed rail network that runs along the west coast of Taiwan. IBM is providing vital support to the management and maintenance systems that make sure hundreds of trains carrying passengers between the south and the north are safe and on time.

The express trains are capable of traveling at up to 186 miles per hour meaning travel between Taipei City and Kaohsiung City is only roughly 90 minutes as opposed to the 4.5 hours by conventional rail. The efficiency of the THSRC's transportation system is heavily dependent on the proper maintenance and repair of thousands of components, from stations to tracks, rail cars, signals and communications.

Cumulative passenger numbers have reached 4.65 million, with THSRC operating a total of 70,915 trains in its two-year history. Using IBM software for insight into assets, their conditions and work processes, and for better planning and control, has helped THSRC maintain an average punctuality rate of 99.15 percent, according to the company.

Currently there are eight stations in service with THSRC, with another four stations along the western corridor planning to tap into the system in the near future. Coordinated and integrated maintenance and logistics management is paramount to deploying proper resources in a timely manner to prevent travel disruptions and risks to passenger safety.

THSRC uses IBM Maximo software for its Maintenance Management Information System includes asset management, work order scheduling, project management, inventory management, resources management, purchase management and application interface.

"Passenger safety is our top priority," said Ming-Der Lee, manager, maintenance management information system, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. "IBM's software helps us build an intelligent transportation system designed to meet the growing demand for safe, high-speed travel."

THSRC reports that in each of the last three months, more than 10,000 work orders and more than 95 percent of the maintenance man-hours had been filed through the system. The IBM software helps ensure the accuracy of information within the system. This interface allows the management system to receive alarm messages and maintenance data. When the alarm messages are received, the management system automatically processes work requests.

The THSRC Maintenance Management Information System uses IBM software to manage more than 300,000 entries from communication systems, driving simulators, passenger trains to railway systems and signal control. The information is aligned with inventory and asset management to help THSRC determine priority and timing of repairs and maintenance. Some assets, for example the large substations, must be maintained at specific times of operation, making the efficient management of the collective sum of maintenance requirements crucial.

The work order component of the IBM software is the core of the management system with functions such as work order filing, man-hour statistics, materials consumption status and working procedure permission. The software provides three types of work orders -- preventative maintenance, corrective maintenance and emergent repair. The work orders are integrated with scheduling and further integrated with updates on status and maintenance progress to ensure the utmost efficiency of parts and labor for maintaining the rail system.

 

 

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