Aurizon taps Trimble for analytics

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Aurizon, Australia's largest rail freight operator, has contracted with Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Trimble Rail Solutions for the company’s R2M remote diagnostic and P2M planning and performance management systems.

In addition, Aurizon and Trimble “are working together to pilot innovative solutions for enhanced infrastructure and rolling stock monitoring, data analytics and other technologies for rail,” Trimble said. “Aurizon has benefited from the use of wayside mounted non-contact measurement technologies from Beena Vision, a Trimble company, since 2017. With the addition of the Trimble R2M and Trimble P2M systems from Nexala, a Trimble company, Aurizon is expanding its technology deployment of rail asset lifecycle technologies as part of the company’s strategic, multi-year transformation program.”

The Trimble R2M system “provides a comprehensive view of fleet status, including specific faults, and identifies potential faults that may arise,” the company said. “Its customizable rules engine, with fully configurable warnings and alerts, mitigates in-service failures and improves reliability. The Trimble P2M system uses timetable vehicle location and real-time in-service performance diagnostic data, and will enable Aurizon to plan for optimal timetable adherence and fuel efficiency.”

Aurizon “has invested significantly in its transformation program and the technology that supports it,” Trimble noted. “This investment was a significant contributor to Aurizon achieving its three-year target (FY2016-2018) of a $277 million cost savings. Trimble and Aurizon are committing dedicated teams in the field of data science to address a range of rail freight industry problems such as asset utilization, cost minimization, infrastructure management and predictive maintenance.

“Aurizon’s condition-based and predictive rolling stock maintenance strategy seeks to improve our fleet reliability, availability and cost to operate while improving the safe operation of our trains,” said Aurizon Group Executive Technical Services & Planning Mike Carter. “We are committed to developing and implementing technologirs that deliver improved outcomes for our customers, shareholders and employees.”

“Trimble views Aurizon as a visionary rail operator whose adoption of technology has led to clear operational benefits,” said Trimble Rail Solutions General Manager Tomas Larsson. “Broadening our relationship with Aurizon will also enhance our ability to design and create next-generation solutions that transform the rail industry.”

Aurizon annually transports more than 250 million tonnes of Australian commodities, connecting miners, primary producers, and industry with international and domestic markets. The company also owns and operates one of the world’s largest coal rail networks, linking approximately 50 mines with three major ports in Queensland.

Trimble describes its Rail Solutions as “combining the latest in sensors and monitoring technologies with customized software and wireless communications to quickly and accurately capture the data needed to maintain and construct rail infrastructure or to manage rail transport assets. From the infrastructure planning, design, construction and maintenance phases to the operation, maintenance and repair of rail transport assets, the solutions streamline operations to keep rail projects on time and on budget. Trimble’s rail asset lifecycle management products manage the lifecycle of rail transport assets from operation through maintenance and repair.”

In 2014, Trimble acquired Nexala of Dublin, Ireland, providers of data aggregation and analytics tools for rolling stock engineering and operations. In 2017, Trimble acquired Beena Vision of Atlanta, Ga., a manufacturer of vision-based automatic wayside rail inspection systems. Among Trimble’s customers are BNSF, Aurizon, Norfolk Southern, CN, South Western Railway, Eurostar, SNCF, Irish Rail, the Go-Ahead group, Arriva and Greater Anglia.


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