Berlin/Friedrichshafen. ZF is meeting the challenges of digitalization by creating and implementing various ecosystems, leading to shorter periods for market launch of innovative and tailored solutions that meet rapidly changing customer requirements. ZF’s latest ecosystem focuses on the rail industry. The aim is to monitor all important components in the driveline with just one system. This enables condition-based maintenance planning to be carried out, ensuring smooth and cost-optimized operation of the entire fleet. ZF will now work with Schaeffler in developing a joint condition monitoring system, a first-time partnership that was agreed at the InnoTrans trade fair in Berlin.
“We are pleased to further expand the long-term cooperation between ZF and Schaeffler with this partnership,” explains Dr. Klaus Geißdörfer, Head of the ZF Industrial Technology Division. “Both companies are continuously working on increasing the efficiency and reliability of rail vehicles. The combination of our product portfolio with digital solutions enables us to offer our customers new, innovative solutions.”
Thanks to integrated sensors, the condition monitoring system keeps watch over the components in rail vehicles. Various sensors record vibrations, oil quality and temperature trends in ZF rail drives, for example. Schaeffler is expanding the system with wheelset-specific sensors for monitoring the condition of axle bearings.
“Digitalization in industry can only generate added value when cooperation takes place across companies,” explains Dr. Stefan Spindler, CEO Industrial at Schaeffler AG. “With this project work, we are extending our long-standing development partnership with ZF in the rail sector to an Industry 4.0 solution that will enable completely new service concepts.”
The new transmission functions and services are based on a digital, cloud-based platform that is open to many users. Using a standardized interface and encrypted data traffic, it securely transfers the collected data to the ZF cloud. Operators can read the analyses and recommendations for action based on this data from the cloud. This enables them to optimally schedule maintenance and respond to a wide variety of situations on a case-by-case and flexible basis, ensuring reliable operation of the entire vehicle.