Friedrichshafen/Graz, Austria. After successful pilot and pre-production applications, the Condition Monitoring System, which supports infrastructure monitoring, and the Smart Typeplate from ZF, are set to go into volume production. In the first quarter of 2019, Graz Linien, the city’s public transit company, will take the first step by installing the intelligent type plate as well as the condition monitoring system in two light rail lines. For the first time, these innovative technologies will enable predictive maintenance for track and wheel as well as support digital fleet management. Once successfully introduced, these technologies will be rolled out throughout the entire fleet, thus making public transit in Austria’s second largest city safer and more efficient. The rail vehicles are already well-equipped to support future comprehensive condition monitoring.
With the new Condition Monitoring System solution from ZF, Graz Linien intends to improve efficiency and safety through predictive maintenance as well as permanent infrastructure monitoring. The ZF Smart Typeplate features an integrated chip in the transmission typeplate. The chip contains the name, material and identification number as well as the technical details of all the important components and it also records the actual operating hours. This information can be stored either locally or via cloud storage. The operations team can view this information when bringing the rail vehicle to the maintenance depot and record repairs recently carried out. This makes it easier to see which trains actually require maintenance. This shortens or completely avoids periods of standstill and downtime, which in turn lowers operating costs. At the same time, in service reliability is increased for the passengers.
In addition to the Smart Typeplate, which functions as a pure information carrier, ZF can install a sensor platform on the transmission or the bogie which records any bumps or vibrations in the track system. This data is also supplemented by external information and certain environmental parameters. Having access to this data enables operators to monitor the condition of the tracks and to identify potential problem areas early on, which promises even greater safety while further reducing downtime.
Comprehensive condition monitoring of the future
Both digital solutions are part of an innovative system that ZF has developed as it strives to achieve the overall goal of comprehensive condition monitoring for rail vehicles and infrastructure. The intelligent condition monitoring system connect@rail demonstrates how integrated sensors and advanced data analysis tools can further improve efficiency, reliability and safety in rail transport.
Various sensors record vibrations, oil quality, and temperature trends inside ZF rail drives. A digital platform developed by ZF then reliably transfers the collected data and information to the ZF Cloud. Operators can view the analysis and recommended courses of action based on the collected data from the ZF Cloud using a computer or mobile device. Also, they can optimally schedule maintenance dates and respond to the most diverse situations individually and flexibly. This guarantees that the entire fleet is operating smoothly and as cost-efficiently as possible.