In many respects, the Australian rail industry is journeying towards a safer and more efficient future for both passengers and professionals—but with no standardised approach to the way rail materials and assets are identified and marked, the industry has been at a stand-still. Bonnie Ryan, Senior Manager GS1 Australia, discusses the importance of the soon-to-be introduced GS1 standards.
Ahead of her appearance at Asset Management for Critical Infrastructure 2018, running from 12–13 September at Swissotel in Sydney, Bonnie Ryan’s key priority is to work towards implementing Project i-TRACE.
Project i-TRACE is a joint project between the Australasian Railway Association, GS1 and other participating organisations, aimed at reducing costs and improving the quality of materials management processes.
“Project iTRACE is being implemented to support the transformation of asset management in the Australian rail industry by setting the foundation for the way parts and components are identified, barcoded and/or tagged across the sector using GS1 global data standards,” Ms Ryan said.
In order to prepare the rail industry for the adoption of GS1 standards by 2019, Ms Ryan said an overhaul of out-dated inventory and supply chain management processes is vital to the industry’s progression.
“The industry is still hamstrung by manual and paper-based practices. This leads to the consequence of being unable to track and trace assets through their lifecycle, which is crucial to improving efficiency and safety,” Ms Ryan said.
“Project i-TRACE is focused on the long-term benefits of full lifecycle tracking and predictive maintenance for more effective asset management.”
GS1 data standards and new technologies are set to not only improve reliability and quality across the value chain in the industry, but also reduce costs and inventory, improve safety and eliminate unnecessary manual tasks by using automation.
“Using a common, standards-based approach for the identification and marking of materials, components, logistics units, locations and assets will simplify some fundamental processes in the Australian rail industry,” Ms Ryan said.
“The introduction of a common identification standard also provides the foundation layer to build up full digital traceability systems, helping the Australian rail industry to be more efficient and profitable by introducing data capture technologies to better control inventory and support more effective asset management.”