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Downer revolutionising rail maintenance

Robotics is enabling new ways of working by automating 100 per cent of visual and measurement based rolling stock inspections and rail facility infrastructure inspections.

Downer RTS Digital has partnered with Future Maintenance Technologies (FMT) to drive digital inspection solutions in rail maintenance. Together, the organisations harness Downer’s extensive experience in rail asset management and FMT’s cutting-edge robotic systems to delivery an autonomous robotics inspection solution.

Train Examination System 

The pioneering technology of Train Examination System combines sensor technology and autonomous robotics platforms to conduct inspections of rail assets. It comes equipped with the latest Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and state-of-the-art laser and optical technology to conduct highly accurate train inspections utilising 3D models with measurement accuracy at .2 of a millimetre.

Rail Facility Drones
Rail Facility Drones is the result of combining drones with sensor technology, to conduct autonomous inspections of rail assets, facilities and infrastructure. These inspections are traditionally done by people working at heights, therefore RFD can improve the overall safety on site. Rail Facility Drones  removes also isolation requirements of electrical and mechanical equipment for safe rolling stock inspections.

These systems reduce the need to work in confined spaces for asset inspections, while ensuring that all rolling stock measurements are performed with high accuracy and repeatability.

Recording of all historical data that can be interrogated without manual handling ensures ease of access and data integrity, and there is an additional reduced safety risk due to better quality of data and a reduction of tasks to be performed inside the maintenance shed. This allows an increase in capacity and resilience.

The Train Examination System and Rail Facility Drones  solutions also offer the unique flexibility to add and change inspections in a maintenance depot without complex site modifications.

Ultimately, this shift towards robotics-driven maintenance is fast becoming the future of rail infrastructure by ensuring reliability, safety, and sustainability in an increasingly demanding industry.