škoda 2024

Mercitalia Intermodal extends fleet upgrade with PJM's Smart Train functions

posted on 19th Feb 2024 13:53

Combining transport efficiency with safety is a crucial requirement in daily intermodal transport for Mercitalia Intermodal, a company of the FS Italiane Group’s Logistics Business Unit. The Italian intermodal operator has therefore been focusing on digital monitoring functionalities and automated processes for several years. The transformation of the existing fleet into Smart Train wagons has been systematically implemented. This year, at least another 180 wagons will be modernized. In the past two years, around 200 wagons - mainly of the T3000 type - were upgraded and equipped. Mercitalia Intermodal began upgrading its wagon fleet back in 2017 and today more than one third of its fleet is “smart”.

Mercitalia Intermodal is relying on the WaggonTracker system from PJM. Following a comprehensive evaluation process, the company opted for the complete digital system from the Austrian specialist for digitalized and automated rail freight transport. Reasons for the system decision included the autonomous and powerful power supply, scalability of the system, extensive monitoring functions and automated applications such as brake testing, effective in-train communication for real-time communication between wagons and train drivers as well as compatibility with a future DAC. In monitoring, the numerous functionalities of the train components pay off, above all the real-time brake analysis and brake system monitoring while travelling and at a standstill, real-time king-pin monitoring and, subsequently, indicative derailment diagnostics. 

FS Logistics Business Unit aims to develop faster delivery times thanks to automated processes in the track environment, enabling predictive maintenance logics and on-condition maintenance models and reduce maintenance costs while increasing the resilience, efficiency and safety of the rail freight transport. For example, it is possible to detect air leakages of the brake systems (weighting valve) and to correlate wheelset damage to brake failure; the trestle monitoring system detects incorrect use of the seating device that led to damage to the component.

The Smart Train functionalities at a glance:

- Real-time brake analysis and brake system monitoring of overloaded brake systems and wear forecast (correct brake functionality with regards to the status of the main brake pipe, release times, loading and cylinder pressure at standstill and while travelling, brake energy analysis for early detection of defective and overloaded brake systems).
- Multi-diagnostic system for dynamic running condition monitoring to identify critical running situations and possible malfunctions (determination of running comfort, running stability and running safety).
- Monitoring of longitudinal, lateral and vertical impacts and their coordinates if limit values are exceeded.
- Indicative derailment diagnosis with real-time warning to the train driver. 
- Real-time king-pin monitoring for reliable and safe detection of the correct setting and locking for trailer transport in the intermodal sector.
- In-train communication for real-time data transfer between wagon and locomotive during the train ride to transmit safety and vehicle-related information.
- Load weight monitoring to ensure that the vehicle has been loaded correctly and properly.

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