AusRAIL, Products & Technology

AusRAIL: Digitisation of trains leads to longer service times

What if you could anticipate rotating part issues on your train fleet without a major system installation? Or if you could schedule maintenance based on real conditions in the field? What if we told you it is actually possible?

Trains are usually serviced on the basis of specific time intervals or mileages, resulting in high operating and capital costs. However, SKF has shown that providers can use the SKF Insight Rail wireless condition monitoring system to reduce maintenance costs to a safe minimum.

Railway services can operate with greater economic efficiency and benefit customers more if there are fewer unplanned breakdowns, trains are left at depots less frequently and for reduced periods of time. With this in mind, SKF has developed SKF Insight Rail.

Using state-of-the-art condition monitoring technology, the wireless SKF Insight Rail system continuously analyses the condition of axle bearings and detects wear at a very early stage.

Maintenance is scheduled to take place when an axle bearing actually needs to be replaced and unexpected breakdowns are avoided. Due to this condition monitoring technology, train availability is increased and maintenance costs are reduced, positively impacting the railway operator’s balance sheet.

SKF Insight Rail is comprised of small sensor units that are easy to mount on the train’s axle bearing units. They can be retrofitted and the sensors can detect the tiniest vibration changes in the bearings. Sophisticated signal processing and complex algorithms then provide a reliable basis for analysis of this sensor data.

Measuring the vibration and temperature status of the bearing along the entire train, the sensors are all fitted with GPS modules. Triaxial accelerometers, motion detectors, temperature sensors, high-frequency vibration sensors and realtime clocks are also used.

The sensor data can be transmitted easily to a remote diagnostic centre and SKF offers qualified online monitoring and consulting via the cloud, so that volumes of data can be evaluated quickly and competently. SKF experts in the company’s global network of Remote Diagnostic Centres are highly experienced at looking for individually conspicuous values, so that they can recommend optimum (and if needed counter-) measures.

SKF expertise and digitization products allow many other applications to be monitored and their operation to be optimised.


Visit SKF at AusRAIL PLUS at Stand 286.