Innovative software developed by Sheffield’s Zonegreen is keeping operations at Italy’s most advanced rail depot running smoothly and efficiently. Alstom has installed the South Yorkshire rail safety specialist’s Operator Planning Suite (OPS) to oversee all of the daily functions in its maintenance centre near Nola.
A whiteboard for the 21st century
The web-based planning application replaces traditional whiteboards, which are still used in many depot control rooms across Europe. It has been implemented at the new Nola facility to manage the maintenance of high speed trains on the Turin-Salerno and Rome-Venice lines.
Christian Fletcher, Zonegreen’s technical director, said: "Instead of being handwritten on a communal board, OPS allows all maintenance information to be added to a multi-user system that provides a bird’s eye view of the depot. As changes occur at Nola they are now recorded automatically and the updates transmitted immediately, reducing the likelihood of communication failures."
Zonegreen has developed OPS specifically for the rail sector. It uses cloud technology to share task planning information, including the arrival and departure times of trains and the type of work required. Using a tabular or graphical layout of the depot, operators can plot train positions and synchronise maintenance information. Data can also be shared to capture activities, create reports and reduce the number of manual tasks required.
Francesco Fidanza, Alstom’s fleet operations manager at Nola, added: "Several plasma screens around the depot display the OPS system so everyone can visualise train locations and update information accurately. It is important for us to share and disseminate maintenance data to different locations in a convenient way and the Zonegreen system enables users with various levels of access to log in from anywhere."
NTV invested 90 million euro in the construction of the new Nola depot, which is dedicated to the maintenance of .italo AGV fleet – the first high speed trains of their kind in the world. The 140,000 square metre facility has 12,000 metres of track and employs 200 people on long and short route maintenance."