Welcome to our recurring post, Rail Tech Talk, highlighting how technology is helping the Rail Industry charge forward.
Expanding its digital capabilities was always in the plan for Hitachi Rail, as using its AI and IoT-powered Lumada platform to its full potential and “turn[ing] data into actionable business insights” was the next logical step in the company’s evolution. This acquisition of tech firm, Perpetuum, fit the bill perfectly.
“Perpetuum’s self-powered wireless sensors detect on-board vibrations and send back real-time data about the performance of critical train parts, operating on a continuous basis while trains are running. This allows the ‘Health Status’ of the components to be calculated, identifying potential issues to be fixed before they delay passengers’ journeys. None of the more than 3000 coaches fitted with the application have ever had critical components fail in service.”
Hitachi plans to expand the technology to other parts of the train, potentially monitoring its signalling equipment, tracks and railway structures. And envisions the technology as playing a role in both its digital and sustainability offerings.
Piloted last year, the INet Gateway is a real-time yard management platform that “is designed to smooth everyday logistics and data collection tasks including inventory management, shunting, inspections, wagon repair photos, security seal tracking and usage analytics reviews.”
The key difference between it and traditional, generic views of a railyard and its inventory hinges on that real-time component, as it helps operations “automate and better manage their facilities,” to “maximise their efficiency and cost savings.”
With it, operations can “manage inventory, quickly create switch lists, reference inspections and photos, and access information specific to any one railcar.” And we’re guessing other railways and repair shops will soon follow suit!
Be sure to check out our Rail Virtual Training Solutions to see why BNSF, CSX, Amtrak, NS, UP, CN & KCS partner with Heartwood to deploy a variety of railroad training simulations and guides. And if you have any questions about these technologies, please reach out!