Predict and Prevent Switch and other Asset Failures

SWIX remotely monitors track substructure and critical components to extend asset life, eliminate service affecting failures, reduce downtime and optimise maintenance activities.

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“Switches & Crossings are one of our most critical, complex and troublesome infrastructure assets” – Network Rail*

Switches & Crossings (S&Cs) are used to guide trains from one track to another. They are one of the most troublesome asset classes, accounting for 20-30% of infrastructure related delays. During CP5, S&C failures on Network Rail infrastructure caused 24M delay minutes and amassed £364M in delay minute costs. Globally, £11B spent is spent annually on S&C maintenance and replacement.

Reference to NR challenge statement – resilient S&Cs

SWIX to Predict & Prevent Switch Failures

SWIX is an end-to-end remote condition monitoring solution for predicting and preventing switch and other asset failure. The solution features sensor nodes placed at critical areas of the switch to dynamically characterise the switch component health and substructure condition as rolling stock passes the site.

Information captured by the device is periodically transferred to our Smart Cloud where it is analysed and processed to generate key metrics. All of which may be viewed by Infrastructure Managers. The solution ultimately enables asset owners to predict failures and conduct preventative maintenance, offering a step-change in the cost efficiency and reliability of assets such as S&Cs.

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Remote Switch Monitoring

A dashboard provides remote access to real-time asset health data, 24/7, 365 days a year.

A route overview provides section managers with an indication of the health of all their assets, allowing them to instantly identify any existing or impending issues. This ensures the highest priority maintenance activities can be conducted during engineering hours.

In depth Asset Health Data

Need to focus on a particularly troublesome asset? The Smart Cloud enables Infrastructure Managers to remotely assess the condition of their most critical assets outside of engineering hours without having to conduct site visits. This reduces the time, cost and health & safety risks associated with maintaining the most critical assets on the network.

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Predicting and Preventing Failures

SWIX combines historic and real-time asset health data to predict track quality. This provides Infrastructure Managers with sufficient forewarning of any impending issues, enabling them to plan preventative maintenance several weeks in advance.

Optimising Tamping

Tamping and ballast renewals are highly disruptive and expensive activities, costing up to £5M/km. As a result of the costs involved and the limited opportunities to conduct tamping, it must be carried out at the optimal time. 

Through SWIX’s historic, real-time and predictive asset monitoring capabilities, Infrastructure Managers can identify the optimal time to tamp a site.

Post tamping, SWIX delivers detailed data to validate successful tamping operations.

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Is vertical displacement the same as voiding?

The vertical displacement of the track is formed of two parts; the air gap between the sleeper and ballast (void) and the displacement of the ballast substructure due to its spring stiffness. Quantifying the two sources which make up the vertical displacement is needed to identify the optimal intervention.

Where to monitor?

Although S&Cs can be over 100 metres long, 90% of S&C failures occur at the crossing nose and the toe of the switch. Therefore, a typical installation features two SWIX sensors, one at the toe of the switch, and another at the crossing nose. With devices installed at these locations, the Infrastructure Manager can monitor the most critical and troublesome components of the S&Cs.

The SWIX system can also be fitted at transition zones or on plain lines.

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Installation

Maintenance windows are short and working on track presents several Health & Safety risks. SWIX has specifically been designed to minimise time on site. The typical installation time is less than 10 minutes per device.

For concrete bearers and sleepers, SWIX features a proprietary adhesive mounting solution which does not require drilling and does not weaken the bearer or sleepers in critical areas.

An alternative mounting arrangement is available for timber sleepers and bearers.

Contact us to find out how our solutions can improve efficiency and reduce the cost of your infrastructure.