ApoSys is a predictive maintenance startup that specializes in railway infrastructure. Amidst the growing labor shortages and an inherent difficulty in manually inspecting rail networks, ApoSys is a driving force that automates the inspection process for railway infrastructure for railway operators. Relying on expensive manpower and substandard data collection will soon be a forgotten footnote in history.
Since 2015, ApoSys has been deeply immersed in the R&D of integrating its sensors. Anyone can install Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) sensors, high-speed cameras and even Ground Penetrating Radars (GPR) onto their locomotives, but seamlessly implementing it in an unobtrusive manner can be a design and operational challenge. Not everyone can implement a low-cost option that includes an integrated data platform and enables predictive maintenance for their team. We have worked tirelessly with the National Research Council of Canada and other stakeholders in the rail transportation industry to innovate an asset-lite solution that provides real-time, actionable insights for infrastructural maintenance.
Thanks to funding programs like the I.D.E.A Fund, Innovation Guelph and the Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator, ApoSys has been able to accelerate the development of our in-house Autonomous Track Measurement Unit. Other partners who have made our R&D possible include the Ontario Centre of Innovation, Communitech, Innovation Factory and Altitude Accelerator. Specially designed to be modular and easily scalable across any train fleet, inspecting railways no longer needs to be an expensive endeavor.
Canada’s rail network often spans across remote areas that have harsh weather conditions, which makes railway maintenance challenging. Inspecting the rail infrastructure before replacing it is time consuming and expensive. Vehicles must be licensed and leased, while railway operations need to be suspended throughout the duration of the inspection. Although these vehicles are fitted with their own sensors, they are often bulky and awkwardly placed on inspection vehicles. Due to safety considerations, these vehicles are capped at traveling at a snail’s pace when compared to how fast locomotives can travel.
Climate change is another silent threat to rail infrastructure. Canada (and its rail tracks) resides over a large area of permafrost, which would be fine if it stayed frozen. However, global warming means that the ice starts to thaw, which causes railroad beds to soften and its tracks to have structural damage. The challenge lies in predicting it before it occurs, as subsurface damage tends to be invisible until it is too late. Reactive maintenance is costly and risky to passengers’ lives.
The alternative to conducting manual inspection would be to carry out preventive maintenance, which entails periodically replacing railway assets. However, resources and materials are potentially wasted if the railway asset is still functional but discarded. Railway operators have a lack of data visibility of their assets, which severely limits their maintenance and operational efficiency.
Each time your train runs its route, ApoSys is able to inspect these railway conditions in real-time. Data is collected for both surface and subsurface levels, and it is condensed into digestible information at your fingertips. Knowing how to protect your rail assets ahead of time is important, otherwise you would constantly be blindsided. Check out our products to know how we can would automate your inspection process!
For any railway operators seeking the long-term adoption of innovative technology customized to your needs, talk to us today!