Apps & Software

The Maintenance Context Based on CBM Condition: A Railway Sector’s Case

Condition based maintenance (CBM) is born in a context in which the maintenance culture commonly established at the global level is characterized by a combination of corrective and preventive tasks (based on experience), with low implementation of maintenance management of Predictive Maintenance. Due to this, the improvement challenges faced by companies are:

High maintenance cost caused by:
– High dedication hours / man;
– High frequency of tasks;
– Maintenance of the Manufacturer, of a highly conservative nature.
– Problems of availability of assets.
– Repetitive failures, due to lack of analysis and prediction of them.
– Lack of useful life and lack of information about their status.

The road to Excellence in Maintenance begins with a maintenance planning based on the Availability of the Assets, avoiding urgent corrective tasks. In this Maintenance Plan, the tasks of Preventive, Predictive and CBM (Condition Based Monitoring / Maintenance) must be highly involved.

The advantages acquired after the implementation of Predictive / CBM tasks are:

– Monitoring of certain variables that inform on the status of the equipment, being able to extend the maintenance periods until they are very close to the Functional Failure.
– Detection / Prediction of critical wear or possibility of ruptures.
– Reduction of maintenance costs (frequencies, hours / man, spare parts) and opportunity (greater availability of assets).

But … what is the difference between Predictive Maintenance and CBM?


Predictive maintenance and CBM

Predictive Maintenance combines maintenance and supervision tasks executed in “batch”, before the failure, with a frequency marked by sequence of time, quantity produced, hours of operation …

The purpose of a good Predictive Maintenance Plan includes avoiding breakdowns during operation; achieve, in the most efficient way, the theoretical useful life and / or detect critical wear or possibility of ruptures.

The CBM (Condition Based Monitoring / Maintenance) establishes a continuous control of defined parameters of the supervised equipment / systems. Having an uninterrupted monitoring implies the need for specific technological and computer tools, as well as a good definition of the sensor architecture.

The main advantages obtained after implementing CBM systems are the continuous monitoring of the mechanical condition of the critical equipment and the identification / prediction of problems. It should be pointed out that in a CBM you can include both continuous monitoring and batch tasks. The types of Analysis that can be implemented are:

– Continuous monitoring:
– Vibration analysis;
– Acoustic Analysis;
– Analysis of Temperatures and Pressures;
– Electrical monitoring;
– Fault Analysis;
– Analysis of operational dynamics;
– Discontinuous monitoring:
– Tribology;
– Visual Inspections.


Maintenance challenges in the railway sector

Globally, in the railway sector, failures and breakdowns of critical assets directly affect performance, cost of operations and profitability.

Benefits of the Predictive / CBM in the Railway Sector

Implementing online monitoring tools as a part of work order software for on-board assets entails a series of notable benefits:

– Achieve the “useful life” of the assets;
– Reduction of maintenance tasks and increase the availability of assets;
– Notifications in real time.
– Monitoring the performance of assets;
– Predictive monitoring:
– Early warning systems.
– Recognition of failure patterns

Work focus for CBM development

In order to develop a CBM software tool for maintenance monitoring by predicting failures and analyzing the useful life of on-board equipment, it is necessary to converge and master the following competencies:


Condition-based maintenance engineering

This competence is oriented towards the reach of the Maximum Reliability / Availability of the Equipment with the Lowest Cost (Greater Efficiency and Efficiency). It is important to control this competition in order to:


– Analyze the corrective ratios.
– Optimize Manufacturer or Experience Based Preventives, focusing on the Availability of Assets.
In the end, a combination of preventive and corrective actions is the key to a modern maintenance process.

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