By and large, VAB’s BMS depot management system regulates all standard procedures on depots. If one combines all depots operated by a transport provider together into one system, cross-depot vehicle deployment can be coordinated and administered. BMS functions as a data hub with numerous interfaces to peripheral systems.
Entry: When the tram enters the depot, BMS determines the initial parking place for this vehicle based on recognition of the vehicle in the entry area. Barriers or gates which may secure entry to the depot are opened by the BMS.
Destination determination: To determine a destination, the following must be taken into account: which tasks have to be performed on/by the vehicle concerned on the depot: supply with operating materials / repair or maintenance work in the workshop / a new run.
Temporary parking: Before the vehicle is filled with operating materials or sent to the workshop, it can be temporarily parked in a separate area. From here, depot staff are responsible for vehicle movements.
Establishing roadworthiness: Establishing roadworthiness includes vehicle supply with operating materials. It may also mean other work such as minor repairs and vehicle cleaning. When roadworthiness has been established, the final parking place has to be established.
Workshop: Vehicles with appointments are sent to the workshop. Workshop appointments can result from vehicle defects and scheduled deadlines. Defects can be registered directly in BMS or via interfaces to external systems such as on-board computers or entry terminals. Vehicle appointments including deadline monitoring can take place either in BMS direct or in a separate ERP system.
Parking: Trams are parked in areas in which vehicles are allocated to scheduled service or for special runs. To ensure problem-free exit, numerous restrictions have to be taken into account. Parking in lanes or on tracks can affect exit sequences.
Allocation: The basis for vehicle allocation is the daily timetables by BMS. The period timetable is imported from the timetabling system used by the transport provider via an interface. Numerous tools are available for vehicle allocation to runrounds. Allocations can be manual and automatic. Standard cases are processed automatically, exceptions are allocated manually.
Commencement of duties: Shift commencement is monitored to ensure that drivers are available in good time to take over the allocated vehicles. Via interfaces to personnel allocation systems it is possible to determine which driver is allocated to which runround. Special registration terminals are provided for driver registration. If no driver registers for an allocated runround, the responsible operator is informed in good time before the scheduled exit time.
Exit: BMS monitors scheduled exit of all allocated runrounds and special runs. If an allocated vehicle does not leave the depot on schedule, this delay is shown in the depot visualisation. Precise information can also be sent to the operator responsible.
Line run: Vehicles are monitored on the line by ITCS. If operational disruptions occur, intervention via BMS may be necessary. In the event of vehicle failure, for example, a reserve vehicle is allocated to go to a specified change-over point in the network.
Vehicle tracking: These processes range from recognition of entry and exit runs to tracking of vehicle movements on the depot to automatic recognition of certain processes such as refuelling and vehicle wash. In tram operations, vehicle tracking is possible by coupling to a depot controller with selective vehicle identification and evaluation of track occupation, secured routes and point-end positions. New systems with radio-based vehicle locating are used to track buses. This makes it possible to determine precise vehicle parking location.