Deploying AI to manage complex maintenance schedules

In a typical week, 10,000 engineers are deployed to carry out maintenance works on Hong Kong’s subway systems. The boss who singly schedules tasks for thousands of workers is an AI program, designed by Andy Chun of Hong Kong’s City University and partnered with MTR Corporation to integrate it into their systems.

The tasks used to be scheduled by humans. In fact, a group of experts would sit down in a single session to do the planning and you can imagine what a chaotic process it must have been. While the scheduling is now done by an AI program, it does not mean that humans have totally relinquished control. The program has incorporated the experts’ wealth of knowledge acquired from years of experience. Ultimately, the final schedule is still decided by humans.

With the introduction of the AI program, MTR was able to save two days a week in scheduling and have more time in carrying out their engineering works, which saved the company $800,000 a year.

As the rail industry is collecting more data than ever before from its assets and monitoring systems, the rail industry is ready to exploit the capabilities of AI which could result in huge cost and time savings for operators. AI could produce very useful predictive models in identifying expected system failures and correcting them once detected.

It is exciting to see how the rail industry will be deploying emerging technologies like AI in the next decade to raise operational standards.

Join us at Asia Pacific Rail 2017 as Mr Terry Wong, General Manager – Infrastructure Maintenance, MTR Corporation, shares more about the processes and challenges in using the AI program to manage maintenance schedules.

About Asia Pacific Rail
Now in its 19th edition, Asia Pacific Rail is the largest gathering of senior rail leaders in Asia. With a 4 track premium conference agenda covering key issues across metro, mainline, freight, rolling stock, power, signalling & communications, finance & funding and more, 3 technical seminar theatres in the exhibition hall, over 80 exhibition stands and an Underground/Overground University, our 2017 edition will be our biggest ever. Book your ticket here.


Photo credit: unci_narynin

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