HS2 has unveiled plans to build a digital twin of the railway, which engineers can explore through virtual reality (VR) headsets to better predict and prevent issues.
During HS2’s construction thousands of remote condition monitoring sensors will be built into the physical line’s infrastructure.
The data gathered by these sensors will be transmitted directly to HS2’s Birmingham-based Network Integrated Control Centre (NICC), and will both inform construction of HS2 and build the railway’s digital twin.
At NICC, engineers and maintenance teams will analyse data with the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to monitor asset performance trends across the network, said HS2 in an announcement yesterday.
Before going out on site engineers will use VR headsets to explore the digital twin and investigate issues remotely.
The benefit of operating this “predict and prevent” system on HS2 will enable parts to be repaired and replaced when the asset tells us – rather than relying on a rolling programme of maintenance and renewals, the company said.
David White, head of Strategic Planning and Asset Management, said: “With HS2’s digital twin-based predict and prevent approach to maintenance we have the ability to prevent failures and replace assets when the system indicates a decline in performance – as opposed to relying on a rolling programme of asset replacement.
“Harnessing the power of the digital twin and its predictive capability could see an asset’s operational life extended by months or even years.
“This will enable us to reduce cost, cut waste and shrink the environmental footprint of HS2’s maintenance operation and maintain a consistently high level of customer service.”
Image credit: TierneyMJ/Shutterstock
Are you a building professional? Sign up for a FREE MEMBERSHIP to upload news stories, post job vacancies, and connect with colleagues on our secure social feed.