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Asset Management Considerations for Ageing Electrical Assets

Presenter: Josh Kanyemba
Lead Assessor, Network Rail
Dean Chauke
Route Asset Manager, Network Rail UK
The U.K. railway network dates back to 1825 and is the oldest railway in the world. Several electrical assets on the network such as track power cables, switchgears, overhead line isolators, circuit breakers, and insulators are beyond their design life and the business must decide whether to renew or replace them—even though they're still operating at the optimum performance level. These assets are still being maintained at the original regimes; the challenge to the business is to understand the degradation models and change them to achieve different maintenance regimes for the aging assets. The work we're currently undertaking is intended to influence and change our asset policies—in particular, the assignment of asset regimes for assets that remain in service at the end of their design life and beyond. The philosophy behind the maintenance regimes is that they're based on degradation models, which are algorithms that consider various factors such as the environment, the loading, the utilization, the reliability, and the cost for interventions. The approach we pursued was to review the parameters of the degradation models for their “fit,” based on the knowledge asset managers have gained on the ground and through large volumes of asset data. The asset data was analyzed with data visualization software to gain further insight to influence the review of the degradation models. The findings of the work are summarized here: asset population is aging and future renewals bow wave are predicted; asset policy pushes all assets to maximum asset technical life and fix-on or run-to failure; safety-related works prioritized over asset performance/resilience; there's a need to modify some factors associated with the degradation models to cater for extension of technical asset life and maintain a more realistic/sustainable asset renewal profile; composite asset condition scores are required to manage bow wave of asset renewals and implement sustainable obsolescence management techniques (this is predominantly driven by organizational investment decisions where enhancements are the main driver of asset acquisition, making future renewals difficult due to the requirement to renew similar age assets at the same time); and determination of useful asset life required for assets that are being left in service longer than their originally predicted life.
About the Presenter:

Josh Kanyemba is an asset and safety management professional with experience in the railway and highway sectors. Josh’s experience has mainly been with asset-owning organizations in southern Africa and in the U.K. Josh’s asset management highlights include managing the implementation of an SAP-based asset management system for the East London Railway and managing business data requirements for a £300-million transformation program for Network Rail. Other notable projects include leading a team of data requirements specialists in defining asset attributes for data quality measurement as part of regulatory requirements from the U.K. National Safety Authority – the Office of Rail & Road. Josh also led a team of data analysts and engineers on a project to establish the depreciated replacement costs for Network Rail’s assets. These were new regulatory requirements that came into force in 2015 following the change of status of Network Rail from a private to a public company. Josh’s current role is in the safety assessment of infrastructure and business transformation projects. It's from working on various infrastructure projects that involve either renewals or enhancements of existing assets that Josh’s interest in aging assets has emanated.

About the Co-presenter: Dean Chauke is a knowledgeable and experienced chartered electrical and electronic engineer with wide-ranging experience in railway electrification design, construction, operation, maintenance, renewal, project engineering management, systems engineering, and asset management. Dean gained his experience in railway utilities in southern Africa and in the U.K. He is proficient in electrification & plant (E&P) HV/LV and contact systems (AC/DC), including development and delivery of traction power upgrades to auto-transformer systems, development of new 25kV electrification schemes, and delivery of E&P renewals. Career highlights include leading the development of new electrification schemes such as Walsall to Rugeley (£200 million); Oxford to Bletchley/Bedford; and Oxford to Nuneaton via Coventry during development and initial design stages of the schemes. In his current role as route asset manager for E&P, Dean leads the London North Western Route – South E&P team in the development of route-specific plans, including all maintenance, renewal, and investment activity. He also leads the development and management of the associated prioritized investment work bank of E&P assets. The prioritization of renewals has necessitated the development of degradation models that underpin the rationale of spreading the replacement of assets in a more sustainable way, as well as the management of risk emanating from the deferred renewal of aging assets through life extension and incremental enhancement.