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Smart maintenance and human capital - S2R-OC-CCA-01-2017
Deadline: Mar 30, 2017  

 Human Resources
 Innovation & Research
 Urban transport
 Horizon Europe
 Industrial Engineering
 Digital Society

Specific Challenge: 

Smart Maintenance 

The current maintenance system is characterised by a combination of scheduled pre-emptive maintenance (predictive maintenance with service activities at defined intervals and replacement/reconditioning of parts before they fail) and unscheduled maintenance (corrective maintenance with repair/replacement of failed parts). 

In the future in many of the most important railway subsystems and components will implement Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) techniques and systems, expecting a reduction of maintenance costs and increase of components reliability and availability. 

CBM is pushed by digitalisation, in particular more and more modules of modern vehicles provide diagnostic data that can be used for CBM without the installation of additional sensors and there is a growing possibility of gathering and processing huge volumes of various data. However, up to now there is very little knowledge concerning data analysis applied to the prediction of maintenance activities required to prevent component failures. 

This topic aims at carrying out CBM research activities for the part related to passenger trains, while the others regarding infrastructure components will be covered within S2R-CFM-IP3-02-2016 and freight trains within S2R-OC-IP5-03-2015. 

CBM presents a significant value potential for: 

− Maintenance strategies, for faults prevention (i.e. early detection) and troubleshooting 

− Asset Management strategies, for adapting and optimising maintenance activities to diverse clusters of similar assets. 


Human Capital 

The challenge of this action is to cover the future needs of the railway sector in terms of human capital focusing on customer-oriented design of mobility, with an overall objective to bridge the gap between the massive changes in the railway and other industrial sectors imposed by rapid technological advances (e.g. automation and digitization, comprehending the use of planning apps by customers on their own devices) and the substantial demographic change expected in the near future. 

The specific challenge is manage these changes impacting on human capital. 

Another specific challenge is place the human rather than technology at the centre of the mobility design process (“human-centred design”, “design thinking”). In particular, digitization and automation should have a good potential of improving and simplifying the customer experience in the use of the railway system, which complexity poses challenges to many passengers and could be a reason not to choose the train for a trip. Passengers need information (e.g. about the next bus stop, alternatives in case of disruption, ticketing information, planning information, railway station access, platform information, interchange information) and a support to manage mobility while at their destination. In comparison with the use of one´s own car, this appears substantially more complex and complicated. From a customer´s perspective, the travel chain is not designed with respect to usability. 



Proposals should address all the following work streams, in line with the CCA Work Areas (WA) of the Shift2Rail Multi-Annual Action Plan (MAAP): 

Smart Maintenance (WA 3.3): 

The activities should focus on the development and application of CBM of 2 – 4 specific modules of 2 – 4 passenger trains classes (motor train sets, locomotives and coaches). The work has to be carried out in close cooperation with the complementary action stemming from the topic S2R-CFM-CCA-01-2017 “Improving railway services for users and operators”, as diagnostic and maintenance data of the trains mentioned above will be supported and integrated by the complementary action. The scope of this topic is therefore limited to data analysis and identification of statistical insights, clusters, trends and hidden patterns in huge sets of condition data. The work should be based on explicit experience of the applicant in reliability engineering in different industrial sectors. The proposal should address all the following elements: 

− Investigation of CBM applications that could be applicable to railways from other technical systems, e.g. moving stairways, elevators, airlines and aircraft industry, industrial machinery, wind turbines, power plant engineering 

− Statistical analysis of the failure mechanism of the modules incl. root-cause-analysis and fault clarification under operational conditions (in cooperation with vehicle, module and maintenance experts from the participants to the action stemming from the complementary topic S2R-CFM-CCA-01-2017) 

− Development of semantics for CBM 

− Identification of the parameters of the modules and their components that have an influence on reliability and maintenance 

− Testing existing and developing new methods of failure prediction, both in the Supervised as well as the Unsupervised Learning mode, i.e. with historical failures in a well-structured database as well as based on purely probabilistic reasoning evaluating the likelihood of a prevailing system state under the normality assumption. 

− Connecting the various methods of pattern recognition. 

− Development of a forecasting model for CBM for the defined modules and components (Required input data, output data, fault forecasting (time horizon, justified warning rate and overlooked events and faults), and description of the model) 

− Cooperation with maintenance and workshop experts from the participants to the action stemming from the complementary topic S2R-CFM-CCA-01-2017 concerning fault hypothesis generation and validation. 

− Application and validation of the CBM-model with real data of specific train modules. 


The smart maintenance activity is expected to request a contribution of indicatively € 0.47 million. 

Human Capital (WA 6): 

The work has to be carried out in close cooperation with the complementary action stemming from the topic S2R-CFM-CCA-01-2017 “Improving railway services for users and operators”. 95 


Customer-oriented design of mobility: successful systems and services are mostly linked to simple and intuitive solutions (e.g. anyone can use a device or service without reading an instruction manual). These systems and services are based on usability design, keeping things as simple as possible for the user. 

The activities should focus on analysing the complexity of each part of the passenger journey from door to door, comprehending knowledge about relevant bus stops, access information for journey planning and ticketing, behaviour options in the case of delays, interchange conditions. 

As a first step, an overview of the most critical factors (conscious and unconscious) negatively affecting the use of train from a customer perspective should be analysed. 

Then each critical/complex activity should be compared through diverse transport modes (rail and road, air, etc.) and related services, for all the journey phases. It has to be assessed if one activity could be simplified, combined with another activity or eliminated. 

The work should include surveys on a representative number of passengers to define the influence of each aforementioned factor on the choice of a transport mode, including railway. 

Finally the work proposals should address the simplification of the journey and consider how digitization, automation and technical evolution in combination with the customer focus could decrease the number of necessary customer activities and, hence, increase the physical and psychological comfort. 

In addressing the simplification of the journey, the work should in particular: 

− Specify all activities from thinking about a trip to the planning, preparation and travelling phases, the mobility at the destination and the way back. For each activity clarify where they would stand from an usability perspective (i.e. subconscious, very easy, easy, complicated, very complicated) regarding to railways and also to other means of transport in competition to trains (comprehending at least airlines, long distance buses and cars). 

− Describe the potential of customer tolerance/acceptance to their efforts to pass from one step of a journey to the next one (e.g. to get information about the next bus stop, to get information about options in the case of delays, to optimise travel costs). Develop a diagram with each of the steps of a journey and provide estimation on the level of possible customer resistance at each step related to personal attitudes for homogeneous group of target customers and on the percentage of customers lost in each step due to unfulfilled usability requirements (percentage of not retained customers). Provide an explanation on the main reasons of the diverse attitudes to public transport 

− Do as described above also for other means of transport in competition to trains (comprehending at least airlines and cars) and with respect to other services related to the travel journey (i.e. online shopping). 

− Provide conclusions and suggestions on what should be simplified and how. 


The S2R JU considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to € 0.23 million would allow this specific challenge, and all its elements, to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. 

The action that is expected to be funded under this topic will be complementary to the actions that are expected to be funded under the topic: 

 S2R-CFM-CCA-01-2017: Improving railway services for users and operators 

The action stemming from this topic will also be complementary to actions carried out within the following topics: 

 S2R-CFM-IP4-01-2015 – Shopping, booking and ticketing of multimodal travel solutions, 

 S2R-CFM-IP4-02-2015 – Travel companion and tracking services, 


As specified in section 2.3.1 of S2R AWP for 2017, in order to facilitate the contribution to the achievement of S2R objectives, the options regarding 'complementary grants' of the S2R Model Grant Agreement and the provisions therein, including with regard to additional access rights to background and results for the purposes of the complementary grant(s), will be enabled in the corresponding S2R Grant Agreements. 

Expected Impact: 

The activities are expected to have the following impacts: 

Smart Maintenance 

The activities are expected to contribute to: 

− increased availability and reliability of passenger vehicles and components and of infrastructure 

− reduced maintenance costs. 


Human Capital 

The work will develop a concept on how to achieve a number of benefits and overcome the challenges imposed by the introduction of radical technological innovations through the customer-oriented design of mobility, in particular defining specific possibilities to improve usability, in order to increase the attractiveness of the railway system. 

Specific metrics and methods to measure and achieve impacts should be included in the proposals, with the objective to achieve by the end of the S2R Programme the “Specific Achievements” quantitative and qualitative defined in the S2R MAAP related to the CCA Work Areas (WA) 3 Safety, Standardisation, Smart Maintenance, Smart Materials & Virtual certification and WA 6 Human capital in line with the related Planning and Budget. 

Type of Action: Research and innovation action 

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