In recent years, the growth of China's urban rail transit network has accelerated. By 2020, 223 lines were operating, spread over 44 of the nation's cities, and there are now more than 6000 km of metro or subway lines sprawling across the country's urban areas.
This rapid growth of the urban rail transit network in China poses significant challenges to the industry's traditional Operations and Maintenance (O&M) system. To address those challenges, Beijing Halosee partnered with Huawei, aiming to build all-round collaborative intelligent application systems that would support China's urban rail transport industry. Railway equipment is one of ten key industries in the nation's 'Made in China 2025' strategy, and rail transportation is crucial to both China's goal of establishing the country as an innovative manufacturing powerhouse and the success of its Belt and Road initiative.
In recent years, the scale of China's urban rail network has grown exponentially. Urban rail transport has become the main mode of transportation for people in urban and suburban areas, leading to a rapid increase in the number of trains in use. With huge numbers of trains and a tremendous transportation capacity, there's a need for constant and complex O&M and regular repairs. To ensure secure train operations and improve O&M efficiency, the urban rail transit industry urgently needs an intelligent O&M system and innovative service models.
Urban Rail Transport Calls for Intelligent O&M
To ensure a safe and comfortable passenger experience, there are increasingly stricter requirements on the operational quality, security, and reliability of urban rail trains, which in turn leads to higher demands on train O&M services.
Train O&M costs account for over 30% of urban rail systems' overall operational costs. Facing these enormous O&M costs, metro operators must continuously refine their processes.
Typically, train O&M systems focus on planned maintenance. The low train usage and high repair costs — because of either insufficient maintenance or the need for very frequent maintenance — mean that these systems no longer meet the service quality and efficient response needs of the vast numbers of trains now in use.
In the digital era, independent, controllable, secure, and trustworthy technologies have become critical for the digital transformation of enterprises. Integral to China's 'New Infrastructure' plan, the urban rail transit industry must be transformed and upgraded, using secure and trustworthy self-developed technologies.
As a leading rail transport solution provider in China, Beijing Halosee is committed to the research and development of technologies that are integral to that aim, such as 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data, Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing. The company focuses on providing solutions for the rail transport industry with independent, controllable, secure, and trustworthy products and technologies. To support the development of the urban rail transit industry, Halosee partnered with Huawei to develop an intelligent O&M system for the industry.
Working with Huawei to Build an Intelligent O&M System
With years of experience in train maintenance, Halosee has unique strengths in this area. Huawei, meanwhile, has the cloud-based Horizon platform, which optimizes and integrates new Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and data, enabling customers to achieve service collaboration and agile innovation.
Applying their respective strengths, Halosee and Huawei jointly built an integrated 'platform + service' solution. By innovating the train O&M model, the solution ensures secure operations, improves O&M efficiency, and has made breakthroughs in the following fields:
Intelligent trains: Based on the real-time collection of the status and running data of key components on trains using the IoT technology, Huawei's train-to-ground wireless communications solution transmits data in real time and uses AI algorithms to accurately determine train health status. This enables online fault diagnosis, fault prediction, and sub-health prediction — promoting train management to a new, intelligent level.
Intelligent monitoring: Based on the AI algorithm and real-time monitoring data from track-side detection devices, the solution can accurately determine the train's surface status, shape, and temperature. Information about the status of key train components can be used for real-time train monitoring and fault predication, effectively reducing the workload of manual inspection, improving the accuracy and real-time performance of train fault monitoring, and providing data support for efficient operations.
Intelligent overhaul:Traditional overhaul focuses on planned maintenance and repair and relies on the skills and experience of the maintenance personnel. The intelligent O&M platform uses nine-axis sensor inertial navigation and image-assisted identification and positioning technologies to locate and track maintenance personnel.
To monitor the operation process in real time, image recognition technology is applied. The solution can take photos of key overhaul positions and upload the pictures for image comparison and analysis, as well as supervising key overhaul phases to control the repair process and implement post-event tracing. This significantly improves the standardization and intelligence level of train overhaul operations.
Intelligent O&M system:There's an integrated support system for metro operators, covering passenger services, O&M services, operational management, and collaborative O&M. The system can comprehensively control the operational status of passenger services and enterprise operations, providing intelligent guidance for enterprise operational decision-making, and accelerating their digital transformation.
The extensive cooperation between Huawei and Halosee has led to the development of a scenario-based urban rail intelligent O&M solution, which has been deployed in a major Chinese city's metro network. The solution has helped the metro operator slash O&M costs by more than 60% and halve the number of frontline O&M workers.
Improved O&M for an Intelligent Future
The intelligent O&M system is an integrated train O&M service cloud platform that uses various new information technologies to support train operations, inspection, and repair. It integrates and processes multi-source heterogeneous data; monitors train operations; handles emergency faults; diagnoses and predicts faults; evaluates and manages train health; and performs key component life evaluation and management.
The intelligent O&M system — key to optimizing passenger experience as well as an effective way for train operators to reduce costs and improve efficiency — is an integrated O&M support platform built upon various technologies. It changes the traditional manual O&M mode from planned repair to status-based repair. This means that the train repair plans are more targeted, which improves train usage and reduces maintenance costs.
Intelligent O&M is also indispensable for urban rail operators to shift from a model that only focuses on operations to an 'operations + service' model, which puts equal emphasis on operations and providing additional and proactive services.
The shift toward an 'operations + service' model is integral to the transformation of the urban rail transit industry, and the intelligent O&M system is key to implementing this model.
Intelligent O&M is also critical for the digital transformation of urban rail operators. The integrated, intelligent O&M support system integrates multiple new technologies. It comprehensively monitors trains, passengers, and enterprise operations, and it provides powerful support for transparent management, data-based decision-making, and O&M automation — facilitating digital transformation for urban rail operators.
Halosee and Huawei will continue to collaborate on urban rail transit's supply chain, smart manufacturing chain, service chain, and technical chain. They will combine their services and technologies to build intelligent application systems for the urban rail transit industry.
In the digital era, independent, controllable, secure, and trustworthy technologies have become critical for the digital transformation of enterprises. As a core field in China' s 'New Infrastructure' plan, the urban rail transit industry must be transformed and upgraded using secure and trustworthy self-developed technologies.
— Wu Zhiqiang, General Manager of Beijing Halosee