Amsys develops engineering app that saves £70K annually and speeds up service times
In 2004 Babcock embarked on a joint venture with Europe’s leading track renewal specialist, Swietelsky, to provide on track machine rail maintenance to the UK rail market.
Maintaining Britain’s rail tracks is a costly and highly regulated engineering process, which relies on machines called “Tampers” that cost between £4-6 million each.
Everyday, SB Rail’s engineers are required to log machines and report any faults that have developed during their shift. There are around 14-15 of these machines, which SBR are required to operate, drive and maintain, across the UK.
For the last ten years, everything from providing employees with their weekly rosters, logging machines and recording faults, was completed on paper and sent via post.
These processes cost the company £70,000 a year in paper and postage alone. SB Rail realised that if they were to stay ahead of the market they needed to streamline their processes by embracing mobile technology. The result would be a saving in both overhead costs and man-hours for the completion of routine tasks and benefits from an increase in efficiency of fault logging and reporting.
SB Rail ran a multi-company tender that required potential developers to propose a solution that would meet project objectives, comply with the strict protocols of their IT network and offered value for money.
The Amsys team proposed an iOS App that demonstrated an innovative approach to solving the problem. Amsys demonstrated a thorough understanding of what makes mobile devices work in the enterprise with a cost effective solution offering tangible ROI for the client.
Amsys designed and developed a universal app for the iPhone and iPad that runs on iOS 7+. The process is now completely paperless, removing the need to manually print and fill in SB Rail’s 100+ paper-based maintenance and logbook forms.
The app has been integrated with a bespoke database and hosted on a virtual private server in the cloud. All data and content is now stored in the cloud, and is fully synchronised with the mobile application. Any changes to the web portal are immediately reflected inside the app.
- View and complete daily logs for all machines.
- Raise new faults & re-open old faults.
- View allocated fault details.
- View previously logged faults.
- Record examination results and display as faults.
- View machine history.
- View and action notifications.
Offline work mode- Enables the app to function without 3G or Wi-Fi and re-sync with no data loss upon regaining connectivity.
Real-time notifications- Allows supervisors and engineers to react and respond to logs and faults in real-time.
Web Portal – A clear, functional web-portal, that gives the Supervisor an overview and easier management of the entire fleet, with a far greater degree of control than previously experienced.
Backend Integration- Seamless backend integration allows for efficient data storage and instantaneous synchronisation.
Within a couple of weeks, SB Rail had already experienced numerous business benefits and were particularly impressed by the immediate adoption of the devices by the entire workforce.
Specifically the results seen were:
Enhanced Visibility – Locations of machines, faults and logs can be easily viewed remotely via the web portal or app.
Impressive Workforce Adoption – Introducing change can sometimes be problematic. However, SB Rail’s more senior, long-term employees have eagerly embraced both iPad and app, praising its intuitive and simple interface.
Improved Analytics & Control – Many features, such as the “Machine Timeline,” allow senior management to analyze and quickly determine a machine’s fault history; a task that previously required many hours of paperwork and labour.
Productivity Boosted – Not only have engineers reported that it’s now easier to log a machine, but as an unexpected, but direct consequence, senior management have recorded an increase in the volume of logged and repaired machines.
Decreased Administration – Audits are now easier to complete, and more often than not, can be simply downloaded from the web console and presented to the regulator.
Reduced Cost – SB Rail anticipate they will save the company £70,000 a year in print and paper costs alone.
The deployment of an iOS solution has firmly established SB Rail as a market leader. Major clients, having taken the opportunity see the app in action, have been impressed by both the app’s functionality and the forward thinking nature of the solution.
The app, as well as delivering real business benefits, can now be included as an important feature in their business tenders and contract renewals, highlighting SB Rail’s commitment to delivering an innovative and visionary approach to its business dealings.
As an organisation which has just supplied its staff with iPhones and iPads, it was a natural progression to try and make the most of this technology by using it as part of our everyday machine maintenance and fault logging system. We decided to have an app developed for this and chose Amsys, from the outset we were very impressed by their professional and understanding approach. From our initial meeting to our app delivery they listened to our every needs and provided great solutions, Amsys made the whole process very simple and the delivery of our first ever iOS app go smoother than we could have thought possible.
Allan Thomson, OTM Maintainer
- Client SB Rail
- Industry Engineering
- Services App Development