Smart. Thorough. Digital.
With connect@rail, ZF leverages its extensive expertise as a leading global company for driveline, chassis, and safety technology. The system is a comprehensive and modular approach to fleet maintenance management and condition monitoring, with the following features:
- Heavy Duty TAGs, battery-operated Bluetooth sensors that are placed on the vehicle bogies. There, they constantly measure acceleration, vibrations and other parameters
- Gateways, the VCU Onboard Units, with CAN interfaces, several analog input and digital output ports that supports Bluetooth, Wi-fi and all common GNSS. The gateway stores and pre-processes data gathered by the sensors
- The ZF IoT Cloud, accessed via said secure onboard gateway, that uses the collected data to detect damage early and precisely
- A dashboard for desktops and mobile devices that gives end-users a comprehensive overview of all parameters, reports, maintenance schedules and more
- Digital typeplates with an integrated RFID chip that log actual hours of service and mileage of individual components. They both facilitate and keep records of scheduled maintenance.
As connect@rail can be integrated and retrofitted into existing vehicle platforms and is not dependent on ZF-proprietary hardware, it offers manufacturers and fleet operators an efficient way to reduce downtimes. Thus, it helps keeping public and cargo transport running efficiently. By using connect@rail, Graz Linien was able to pinpoint the faulty wheels and even detected abnormalities that had gone unnoted before.
Tracking the track itself
In addition to its proven application in component monitoring, connect@rail can also use the gathered data to track the condition of infrastructure itself. Such is the scope of a recent cooperation between ZF and DB Systemtechnik, a subsidiary of German railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB). With an adapted version of its algorithm, connect@rail analyses the wear and tear on tracks and detects weak points early and precisely via GPS. ZF’s Heavy Duty TAGs mentioned above act as sensors and are integrated into standard rail vehicles – which means that infrastructure monitoring is conducted during regular, everyday operations.
State of the art infrastructure and driveline monitoring
With connect@rail, ZF provides maintenance engineers and fleet operators with a modular and flexible solution to monitor the condition of driveline components and infrastructure. As an effective and economically efficient way to detect potential flaws at an early stage, the system allows operators to plan maintenance work predictively and flexibly. This in turn reduces unnecessary expenses, prevents delays and breakdowns, and offers real added value in terms of safety and comfort. Not only in Graz, but everywhere.
For more information, please visit: zf.com/rail