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Huawei Railway Agile Depot Solution Visualizes Production

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Huawei Railway Agile Depot Solution Visualizes Production

2017/4/22 0:00:00

Background

Chongqing West Locomotive Depot, established in November 2011, occupies an area of around 120 hectares. The depot has 20 tracks, with a total length of 50 kilometers. Train maintenance and repair are of great significance to rail operators. About 20,000 freight trains and 22,000 wheel sets receive repair and maintenance operations at the depot.

To increase the productivity of their maintenance and repair operations and implement refined management at the rolling stock depot, rail operators needed to combine mechanical automation with Information and Communications Technology (ICT). The major buildings in the depot include train garages and a combined workshop. Six storage tracks with a total length of 3 kilometers are available for various train repair and maintenance operations, including wheel removal, painting, shot blasting, beam adjustment, tank washing and pull-out.

As the largest freight train maintenance base in western China, Chongqing West Locomotive Depot hoped to introduce ICT technologies to achieve more intelligent repair and maintenance operations, which would be paperless, visualized, and mobile.

Challenges

With its steady economic growth, China experiences continuous increases in its railway mileage and freight volume, which contributes to an annual increase of 5 percent in the number of freight trains. Accordingly, the repair and maintenance workloads at locomotive depots are also increasing. With a goal of transforming from a conventional assembly line and mechanical operations to ICT-based intelligent operations, Chongqing West Locomotive Depot faces the following challenges:

  • Difficulties sharing production data prevents effective utilization of valuable data

Repair and maintenance operations at the depot involve quite a number of systems, including the Health Management Information (HMI), 5T, Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI), and material management systems. These systems, however, are isolated, which hinders data-sharing among them.

  • Information identification methods are outdated and inefficient

Information identification during repair and maintenance operations relies primarily on humans, with manual transfer of repair and maintenance information. As information about faults is recorded on paper, it is highly likely for errors to occur.

  • Work progress, personnel, and materials are difficult to track and supervise

Using existing systems, the depot management personnel are unable to obtain the information they need in time for prompt action, such as repair and maintenance progress of spare parts and trains. Without timely acquisition and understanding of the latest progress, it is difficult to track and supervise both personnel and materials, hindering efficient command and dispatching.

  • Lack of effective risk control measures made safety responsibility tracking difficult
No picture database is available to record repair and maintenance operations. Key repair and maintenance tasks, such as bogie operations, are merely recorded by workers through text records and there are no effective risk control measures. In the event of an accident involving repaired articles, it is difficult to determine which process or person is to be held responsible. In addition, there are no monitoring measures or warning information about risky operations, making it difficult to identify the responsible person when production accidents occur.

Solution

To help Chongqing West Locomotive Depot improve its overall productivity, Huawei designed a customized Railway Agile Depot solution that combines automation and ICT technologies. The solution supports visualized management and various other measures to improve repair and maintenance capabilities. The Railway Agile Depot solution combines advanced ICT technologies with existing customer’s information systems and services specific to rolling stock maintenance and repair, such as component data collection, maintenance state and production progress monitoring.

  • Wireless positioning: Combining the positioning server, TAG and HD video surveillance, the system supports a positioning precision of 3 meters, full-process visibility into production activities in stations and complete track records on operations. These measures facilitate the ability to trace risk control and ensure safety for production activities. The wireless controller is implemented by a redundant native Access Controller (AC) that simplifies deployment and delivers broadband access, using dual-frequency Access Points (APs).
  • Enhanced mobility: To achieve enhanced mobility for repair and maintenance operations, APs in the depot are structured in a wireless mesh network that features extensive wireless coverage, high reliability and easy management. With Huawei’s Anyoffice client, MDM server, policy server and security gateway, the devices are securely connected to the depot network, the services are securely isolated, and the data is securely transmitted. While ensuring security for production activities, these measures also improve operational efficiency.
  • Agile network: With the Huawei S12708 Agile Switch, three networks are combined to form an agile depot network: Production safety monitoring network, station intranet for production and office activities, and the Internet data query network. This agile network carries production safety monitoring video, HMIS/5T data and voice/video data for video conferences. A 5-level Hierarchical Quality of Service (HQoS)  mechanism is used to ensure the quality of the data carried over the agile network. A series of security measures, such as network border security protection for stations, network access security protection, and network transmission security protection are implemented using Huawei ASG2200 and USG5530 secure gateways, building an impenetrable depot network.
  • Unified platform: The combination of Huawei FusionCube appliance and FusionSphere cloud platform software integrates various application systems (including HMIS, AEI, and 5T) deployed in the depot. This scheme supports deep integration of eSDK and application systems which facilitates rapid service development. Huawei cloud desktop management software (FusionAccess) helps realize the segregation of data and terminals, allowing on-demand resource allocation and enhanced data security.

Benefits

With the customized Railway Agile Depot solution provided by Huawei, Chongqing West Locomotive Depot builds an ICT-enabled information system that uniformly carries its train repair and maintenance operations and office systems. With Huawei’s solution, Chongqing West Locomotive Depot succeeds in utilizing its information system to facilitate internal information sharing of production data across the different stages and work units, maintaining a panoramic picture of the whole production process, thereby improving productivity enhancing risk control and work security.

  • Risk control measures improve maintenance quality and ensure production safety

The wireless positioning system and the production safety monitoring measures enable the global real-time visualized tracking of repair and maintenance operations. This improves train repair and maintenance quality, enhances personnel safety at work, and reduces the omission rate by 30 percent.

  • Enhanced mobility at work improves productivity

Handheld Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) devices replace traditional paper-based manual data maintenance. Productivity significantly improves, shortening repair and maintenance time by 20 percent.

  • Uniform network planning reduces Operations and Maintenance (O&M)

The innovative agile network architecture combines the three networks that are traditionally constructed separately, reducing the number of devices by two thirds. The use of cloud-based IT facilities helps to integrate the service platforms at the depot, allowing uniform resource allocation and monitoring. Information sharing is easier with lower network O&M and less Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

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