Rapid technological advancement is a challenge for all industries, and rail is no exception. Here, Andrew Meier, Executive Director and CEO of the Australasian Centre for Rail Innovation, delves into how technological innovation characterises both the biggest obstacles and opportunities in rail asset management.

Ahead of his appearance on the Improving asset management in the rail industry panel at the Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure 2018 conference, running from 12-13 September in Sydney, Mr Meier explains how planning for and embracing new technology is critical for long-term success in rail.

Of all the challenges that rail organisations can expect to contend with in the foreseeable future, Mr Meier identifies two of particular importance: capacity — “hitting projected future usage targets for an asset years earlier than expected, and how to manage that” — and the swift advancement of technology.

“The speed of obsolescence of technologies utilised for monitoring assets is increasing at a rapid rate. There are challenges to managing and limiting replacement cycles of asset monitoring technologies to maximise cost benefit,” Mr Meier said.

While technological evolution can present significant hurdles, it also contains immense opportunities. According to Mr Meier, how managers utilise their asset frameworks to push boundaries and experiment with new concepts will be a key factor in their success.

“It’s critical to view existing and under-construction assets as test beds for innovation.”

Asset managers can best prepare themselves for new tech and industry disruption by taking a collaborative approach to innovation. Mr Meier advises to “work with industry partners to identify emerging trends and mutually assess asset management adaptability.”

How is your organisation preparing for the future?

Hear more from Andrew Meier about the latest asset management technologies and future trends in rail during his participation in the rail stream at Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure 2018, running from 12-13 September at the SwissĂ´tel in Sydney.

For more information or to register, visit assetmanagementevent.com.au.

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