You Can Only Manage What You Can Measure?

A colleague of mine gave me this great quote

“You can only manage what you can measure!”

What a wonderful soundbite, I thought, but the more I reflected on this the more it began to bother me.

The decreasing costs of storage solutions and the sensors means that the rail industry is able to collect more data than ever before. But does just measuring something mean that you can automatically manage it? I think we can all agree that the obvious answer is no!

The true value of measurements comes from the analysis that is applied to them and combining it with additional environmental data such as location, in order to provide actionable information that enables the user to achieve the following:

For SmartVision Track Condition Monitoring, this involves taking the raw signal data and linking this data stored in the Rail Asset Database. A key enabler for the condition monitoring of track assets is the SmartVision Rail Asset Database. This records the type and location of track assets so that the degradation of the asset’s condition can be followed. Linking measurement data to actual track assets or fragments of tracks provides the real value for the customer.

Monitoring the degradation of an asset’s condition requires the calculation of condition indicators. A condition indicator is a feature of system data whose behaviour changes in a predictable way as the system degrades or operates in different operational modes. This requires a good understanding of the asset and its failure mode but also how other factors affect the signal. Examples of these factors include:

  1. Operational profile e.g. train speed, number or passengers train travelling on a bend or braking.
  2. Environment: e.g. different weather types, seasons

It is the analysis of different measures combined with location data that enables us to provide actionable data to truly effectively manage track and track assets.

You Can Only Manage What You Can Measure Once You Understand It.

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