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InnoTrans 2022 (8)


posted on 26th Sep 2022 08:58


The (almost) entire world of transport technology and mobility met at InnoTrans between 20 and 23 September 2022. On 21 September, ZF announced that it expands connect@rail Cooperation.

With connect@rail, the condition monitoring system for driveline components and track infrastructure, ZF supports smooth operation in the rail network. In order to tailor the digital platform to customer requirements, ZF systematically and strategically expands partnerships with manufacturers, transport associations and other technology companies - for safe and reliable rail mobility.

ZF, therefore, relies on a comprehensive eco system based on its advanced technology and strong partnerships. The aim of this joint approach is to expand connect@rail to include precisely those features that can be used to monitor all of the important components within a single system. Two examples of successful cooperation are the collaborations with Schaeffler and DB Systemtechnik.

Thanks to comprehensive hardware expertise and software know-how, ZF offers manufacturers and transport authorities many opportunities to identify potential sources of interference early on with connect@rail. The basis for this is provided by Bluetooth-based, wireless sensors (Heavy Duty TAGs), on-board telematics gateways, secure cloud connection, and a customer-specific dashboard for visualizing the evaluated data.

ZF And Schaeffler

Already at InnoTrans 2018, ZF and Schaeffler announced a collaboration for the condition monitoring of wheelset bearings. As part of this collaboration, ZF took care of the sensors with the Heavy Duty TAGs and also provided the VCU Pro Onboard Unit gateways including cloud and dashboard connections, while Schaeffler programmed the appropriate analysis software. The partnership project has been continuously developing ever since.

The system is currently undergoing extensive field tests at several operators. Meanwhile, several thousands of data records are automatically evaluated every month. In the future, ZF and Schaeffler want the monitoring to encompass not only axlebox bearings, but also drivetrain bearings.

ZF And DB Systemtechnik

The collaboration between ZF and DB Systemtechnik, which was agreed last year, is also gaining pace. With the Continuous Track and Vehicle Monitoring (CTVM) project, the companies have their eye on rail infrastructure monitoring. For this purpose, ZF's wheelset-mounted Heavy Duty TAGs continuously record information on acceleration and vibrations. The Continuous Track Monitoring (CTM) analysis tool from DB Systemtechnik detects the condition of the track position from the data collected. By means of enriched GPS data through the ZF gateway, the location can be precisely determined.

The cooperation started with the DB advanced TrainLab. Deutsche Bahn uses this lab on rails, actually two retrofitted ICE-TD trains, to test the latest technologies for rail transport. After initial tests with ZF sensors were promising, the connect@rail system was further developed together with DB Systemtechnik and supplemented with track monitoring as an additional feature. In autumn 2021, the partners conducted a more extensive field test on a free route. Conclusion: CTVM is fully functional – and ready for the first customer application for the monitoring of tracks and vehicle components.

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