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RSET project paves the way for digitalization of rail transport maintenance

Digitalization is becoming an increasingly important topic at several Sitech services. New and innovative technologies are being implemented in a variety of fields and are having a positive effect on the safety, reliability and profitability of plants. Not only are we optimizing the plants on Chemelot, but we’re also looking at ways to improve the infrastructure of the site as a whole. That’s why we (in the Sitech Site Infrastructure department) will shortly be running a pilot project using real-time data relating to the on-site rail traffic. The aim of this study – the RSET project – is to enable us to identify deviations in rail traffic to and from Chemelot using a camera system and various sensors, and the initial results are very promising.

Each railway wagon that enters or leaves Chemelot must be checked by a wagon inspector beforehand. This inspector verifies the condition of the wheels and brake pads and checks that all wagon numbers are legible. “This is all still done manually,” explains Joep Lemmens, Improve manager Asset Management Chemelot at Sitech. “Wagon by wagon, rain or shine, despite the fact that we have identified opportunities to streamline these processes and support the wagon inspectors using digitalization. That’s why we got in touch with RailWatch, a German railway-IT company that has developed a module allowing the condition of freight wagons to be monitored digitally.”

Cameras and sensors collect data about wagon condition
RSET stands for Rolling Stock Evaluation Tool. This innovative system has already been tested and implemented on several freight rail lines in Germany, with very promising results. Eefje Linnartz, Site Infra project leader at Sitech, explains how the system works. “The system is installed at a convenient location near to the track and, when a freight train passes by, collects an enormous quantity of data using built-in cameras and a variety of sensors. This data is then sent to an online dashboard, where we can analyze the condition of the various vital parts of the rolling stock. The system allows us to communicate details of the condition of the wagons to site rail users quickly and to limit the effects, as far as possible, of any unexpected issues. It also means we can be sure that our rail users’ products are transported safely to customers from Chemelot.”

The pilot will get under way on Chemelot at the end of this year. “This project isn’t just about increasing reliability and uptime,” adds Joep. “It’s also about contributing towards Chemelot’s aim to become the safest, most sustainable and most competitive chemicals site in Western Europe.”

Would you like to know more about this project? Please contact Joep Lemmens,  joep.lemmens@sitech.nl.
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