The third edition of the UIC Asset Management Global Conference, organised by the UIC Asset Management Working Group (AMWG), was held at the headquarters of UIC in Paris from 4 – 6 October 2017.
Following previous successful seminars held in 2013 and 2015, this 2017 edition took place under the heading “Putting your assets on the right track.”
Sponsored by the companies Assetsman, Cosmotech, Iframi, Oxand, Systra and Znapz, this three-day conference is open to all stakeholders in the sector of asset management with the aim of presenting the latest developments in various industries (roads, waterways, energy…) and on different continents. The recently issued ISO 55001 application guide formed the backbone of this conference and underlies its programme.
The conference, attended by 100 participants with 32 speakers, opened on 4 October with keynote speeches by Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, Mr Richard Edwards, Chairman of IAM (Institute of Asset Management) and Dr Marc Antoni, Director of the UIC Rail System Department. The guest speakers were introduced by Teodor Gradinariu, Senior Technical Advisor for the UIC Rail System Department.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux emphasised, among other points, that:
Rail has a pivotal role in delivering a competitive and environmentally-friendly transport system, furthering economic growth, enhancing personal mobility and supporting social cohesion. The rail system needs to adapt further to enable modal shift, becoming the mode of choice, consistently. Rail must be responsive to users’ needs, delivering reliable, affordable and attractive services as the core of a seamless and safe mobility network. The sector must continue to develop and apply its innovative skills also to secure affordable costs. Massive modal shift will depend on attracting users. Attractive services require adequate funding and usage of it. High quality services will stimulate the popular support that can help underpin public investment.
A strong railway area is the key to sustainable mobility in a low-carbon society; it is also essential to economic growth, social cohesion and people’s expectations of mobility.
By working together, we can make much more of the potential capacity of our rail network and the combined opportunity to provide modern services to the customer and efficient trade links – an improved world with rail at the very heart.
Richard Edwards described asset management as:
“The coordinated activities of an organisation to realise value from assets”.
In his presentation he spoke about the key drivers, the leading practice in 2017, the current challenges and what the Institute of Asset Management (IAM) is doing to develop professional pathways and overcome the challenges of leadership, culture and people.
In his presentation, Marc Antoni stressed the importance of the impact of digitisation on the railways and spoke about the current trends in the industry. In order to address the challenges, existing assets need to be upgraded using new digital possibilities and an adapted asset management policy needs to be adopted on all networks.
Dr Antoni went on to describe the PoCs (Proof of Concept) launched by the UIC Rail System Department and the ongoing projects that are being conducted for the railway community which involve upgrading existing assets. He concluded by saying:
Digital technologies shape the future of track maintenance, of smart operations…but only if we take into account all the new challenges, especially safety and security, shortness of the asset life-cycle, modularity and include them in a strong asset management organisation.
This conference is an excellent opportunity for open, relevant and comprehensive exchange of information between multi-sector and international organisations.
Seven sessions over two days covered the whole asset management process, enabling participants to get a clear view of the challenges that organisations are now facing. In the railway sector, participants explored the UIC Asset Management Working Group’s latest results and benefit from its unique experience accumulated since its creation in 2008. Participants also learned how other industries have adopted asset management theories and practices in order to improve their own.
Highlights this year include an optional third day, where participants can take part in either:
- A technical field visit to Altametris (subsidiary of SNCF), which provides high standard infrastructure inspection and uses drones for network maintenance, enabling participants to see the impact of digitisation and big data on the asset management sector.
- A dedicated training session on the practical use of the recent “ISO 55001 Application Guide for Railway Infrastructure Organisations”, combining workshops, showcases, business games focused on asset management and UIC Asset Management Guidelines.
This training session will be followed by a more in-depth training programme which will start on 15 January 2018 in the shape of a four-week flexible and collaborative online course in Rail Asset Management which will address different target groups (from managers to engineers, economists and even graduates in economics and engineering who wants to start a career in RAM).