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Using EAM to measure and improve asset performance

By Brett Koenig

For years, transit asset managers have been tasked with the challenge of maximizing fleet performance and availability while minimizing costs. Recent federal regulations will also soon require transit agencies to begin tracking data on asset condition (“state of good repair”). Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) systems have emerged as the central tool used by transit authorities to support these asset management efforts. The passage of new national laws (MAP-21) and international standards (ISO-55000) has resulted in a rapid evolution in EAM functionality, expanding them beyond their modest roots as the maintenance department’s work order system to being the go-to solution used by asset managers, planners and analysts for tracking the full lifecycle performance of all physical infrastructure across the enterprise (fleet, facilities, linear). The leading transit-focused EAM solutions also offer native integration with other transit enterprise systems (e.g., ITS and fixed route operations solutions), yielding many additional benefits: Automating the exchange of vital information between the maintenance and operations departments resulting in increased operational efficiencies and improved service.

“Minimizing revenue vehicle service interruption is a
key goal for any transit authority.”

Asset performance can be measured in a number of ways, and will vary by type of equipment (rolling stock performance is measured differently than facilities, for example). As the master repository of your agency’s asset data over their lifecycle, EAM systems are uniquely suited to support transit asset performance analysis. An EAM centralizes all of the vital signs of your infrastructure’s health into a single system. Modern systems quickly amass large volumes of data in support of the daily maintenance and materials management workflows at the agency. As maintenance events are performed by agency staff (e.g., vehicle inspections), those work activities are entered into the system. In parallel, the EAM system is automatically “fed” data from various point technologies via interfaces built among them (e.g., Fueling systems interface fuel quantity and odometer data to EAM). By consolidating information from a variety of sources, the EAM has become the “hub” database that tracks information ranging from the basic attributes (asset ID, age, manufacturer, serial number), to the indicators of daily usage (mileage and fuel/fluid consumption), to the dynamic health monitoring data that measure asset condition (telematic data, such as engine diagnostics). These data are the building blocks of the performance metric calculations used throughout the industry to monitor asset performance including:

• Mean distance between failure (MDBF)
• Mean time between failure (MTBF)
• Incident with Major Service Delays
• Fleet availability (Service status)
• Preventative maintenance compliance

Minimizing revenue vehicle service interruption is a key goal for any transit authority. Equally important is the effective managing of incidents when they do occur. Several key performance metrics (MDBF, MTBF, etc) are calculated from data tracked in an EAM related to failures and incidents. To further explore how an EAM supports the ongoing monitoring of these key metrics, let’s break down a specific example: what happens when a bus experiences a major component failure (e.g. transmission) in service. First, the bus operator will report the problem to dispatch. Dispatch will typically use a CAD-AVL system to view the location of the bus, while working with operations and maintenance staff to assist the situation. Detailed data about the incident is captured in CAD-AVL throughout this process (Vehicle ID, symptom, description, etc.).

An interface from CAD-AVL is triggered, transmitting the incident data to the EAM so that maintenance has a record of it. The EAM system alerts the appropriate maintenance staff to help expedite the response (e.g. emails the shop supervisor the Incident ID and details). Depending upon the severity and type of incident, the EAM can either automatically generate the work order or the supervisor can do it, so the two records are linked for later root-cause analysis. Often a maintenance technician is dispatched to the scene of the breakdown and the vehicle is towed into the shop. As the repair is performed, detailed information about the component failure is tracked on the work order, which in this case includes the specific transmission that failed, the diagnosis, and the reason for the failure. In addition, transit-focused EAM solutions offer the following operational benefit: As soon as the work order is created, the EAM updates the service status of the vehicle to “Out of service” and integrates that data back to the fixed-route scheduling solution, helping create alignment between maintenance and operations about which vehicles are available to make pull-out.

In sum, EAM systems are a central tool for modern transit asset optimization and performance monitoring. By consolidating incident, failure and usage data throughout the year, EAM systems give managers the ability to track how the agency is trending with regard to key performance metrics. Further, to help reduce the frequency and impact of major disruptive events, leading EAM systems can support failure reporting analysis and corrective action (FRACAS) that is performed by engineering as part of the agency’s Reliability Centered Maintenance program.

Brett Koenig is the industry solutions manager for Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) at Trapeze Group. Trapeze delivers solutions that consider the full 360 degrees of passenger transport, including integrated solutions spanning EAM, ITS, Operations and Scheduling, Paratransit, Traveler Information and Automated Fare Collection. Brett can be reached at:

Posted by on Sep 13 2015. Filed under Features. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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