The National Academies

Transit IDEA J-04/IDEA 69 [Completed (IDEA)]

Predictive Failure Mode Characterization System for Rail Transit Car Equipment
[ TCRP J-04 (Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis--The Transit IDEA Program) ]

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Jon M. Williams
Research Agency: Dayton T. Brown
Principal Investigator: Richard Harned
Fiscal Year: 2010

This project has been discontinuted.

This project will develop and test a predictive failure mode characterization system (PFMCS) for rail transit car equipment. The purpose is to improve safety and reliability and reduce life cycle costs.

The PFMCS would be designed to identify impending failures of a piece of equipment. As a result, it could provide for more reliable service by avoiding failures before they happen. This system would be designed to facilitate advances in planning for maintenance, parts availability and turnaround time for repairs. The impending failure would be known in advance and maintenance personnel could schedule the maintenance action, have the parts ready and efficiently perform a specific maintenance action, rather than require an inspection first to determine what is wrong and then figure out exactly what to do about it and then work it into the maintenance schedule. This system could also reduce maintenance costs since the maintenance would only be “on condition” maintenance and would address issues that are impending.

This also could improve safety, since failures would be able to be handled before they occur, instead of occurring when the rail transit car is in operation. This system could help to improve operating efficiency, operational reliability, and safety.

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