THE WORLD LEADER IN VIBRATION HARVESTER POWERED WIRELESS SENSING SYSTEMS

Perpetuum is celebrating its 15-year anniversary. From its beginnings in 2004 at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom (UK), Perpetuum is now a thriving global business, transforming asset management for rail operators around the world.

Perpetuum’s award winning, self-powered, wireless sensing technology, combined with its vibration engineering expertise and rich analytics, provides real time information that enables the rail industry to optimise railway operations. Today its revolutionary technology is deployed and operational in the UK, Australian, USA, Swedish and Saudi Arabian national passenger rail networks and has launched its solution into the freight sector too.

The company’s story began at the University of Southampton, where innovative energy harvesting technology to power wireless sensors was originally developed. Perpetuum was then launched as a start up, attracting funding and customers, which enabled it to grow customer interest as the benefits of energy harvesters to power sensors for the IoT excited many industrial markets. High volume business then accelerated with the development of complete systems and analytics for on board remote condition monitoring which transformed rail operations for its customers. The company went on to develop the ‘smart bogie’, essentially making ‘in flight’ monitoring a reality.

“We have come a long way in 15 years, and we have never stopped growing, improving and innovating as we continue on our journey,” says Perpetuum’s President, Roy Freeland. “Perpetuum is now a well established and respected player in the rail sector, and with new partnerships and new markets to aim at, we are expanding our reach and influence on the future direction of rail asset management.”

Perpetuum is a member of the Rail Industry Association and Rail Alliance and in 2019 announced its solution is to be utilised by Eversholt Rail to provide crucial real-time information on operator Abellio ScotRail’s Class 320 fleet, the third ScotRail fleet to adopt Perpetuum’s condition-based monitoring solution, following the success of its roll out on the C334 and C170 fleets.

The company also partnered with Direct Rail Services (DRS) to win Innovate UK’s First of a Kind competition, to deliver a project for the Department for Transport (DfT) to monitor the condition of freight locomotives, Perpetuum will also be delivering new projects in Australia, UK, France and the Middle East during the course of 2019.

Innovate UK, the United Kingdom’s innovation agency, has selected Perpetuum and Direct Rail Services (DRS) to deliver a project for the Department for Transport (DfT) set to make the UK rail network more efficient, greener and cleaner, as part of its £7.8million ‘First of a Kind’ competition.

Run by Innovate UK and funded by the DfT to support research, development and innovation in the UK rail industry, the “First of a Kind’competition seeks innovative ideas that can be adapted to transform rail travel. Strengthening resilience of railway infrastructure and operations, enhancing rail freight services, and reducing environmental and noise impacts were the themes for this current round.

DRS and Perpetuum will partner to deliver the first UK freight locomotive to have wireless wheelset condition monitoring installed. The ‘in-flight’ condition monitoring solution will mean, for the first time, it will be possible to mitigate in service bearing and wheel failures on any route, independent of location and status of trackside measurement equipment. It is the first installation of a smaller, lighter, energy harvester powered wireless node from Perpetuum, in its first major project with UK freight operators.

Perpetuum’s solution brings significant asset management intelligence and connectivity to the project, while DRS provides a comprehensive range of rail transport and network support services to the UK’s leading freight companies and FTSE 100 businesses.

“We are delighted to have been selected for the project and to partner with DRS,” explains Roy Freeland, President of Perpetuum. “Innovation such as ours can help to solve challenges in the public sector and we look forward to delivering another success story for the Department for Transport and Innovate UK.”

“Direct Rail Services are excited to be partnering Perpetuum in the development and application of their innovative Remote Condition Monitoring equipment and solutions to the rail freight sector,” comments Andy Martlew, Traction and Rolling Stock Development Engineer.

“This round has been the biggest yet and I am excited to see how our funding will bring these ambitious ideas to fruition,” says Andrew Jones, the UK’s Rail Minister.

Perpetuum’s onboard solutions will be utilised by Abellio ScotRail to help future proof the operator’s C170 diesel turbostar fleet,one of the key parts of its rolling stock portfolio. 

This is the second fleet operated by ScotRail, after the C334 in 2017, to benefit from Perpetuum’s remote condition monitoring technology and analytics.

The project is a collaboration between Perpetuum and Porterbrook Leasing Company to supply bearing and wheel monitoring onboard Porterbrook’s 34 trainsets in the C170 diesel turbostar fleet, operated by Abellio ScotRail. 

Porterbrook Leasing Company specialises in the leasing of all types of railway rolling stock and its associated equipment. By providing freight and train operating companies with modern rolling stock, they can be assured of high standards of reliability and performance from their fleets. 

Working in synergy, Perpetuum’s in-flight condition monitoring solution brings significant asset management intelligence and connectivity to Porterbrook’s train operating customers such as ScotRail, helping to improve its fleet and deploy a digital strategy that optimises legacy rolling stock. “We are extremely pleased to continue our collaboration with Porterbrook and Abellio Scotrail, helping to change the expectations of what can be achieved with existing rolling stock by using digitalised asset management,” says Andy Stephens, UK Sales Manager for Perpetuum

Perpetuum to speak at Rise of IoT and Big Data in Rail 2019

Perpetuum has announced it will be speaking at the Rise of IoT and Big Data in Rail event, held in Munich, Germany, 28th and 29thMay 2019. 

Following on from the success of the event in 2018, The Rise of IoT and Big Data in Rail will explore the huge breadth of predictive maintenance applications of big data, allowing Infrastructure Managers and train operating companies understand fully how they can benefit from harvesting data from across the whole of their railway operations. 

Rolf Laager, Perpetuum’s Sales Manager for the DACH region will be sharing with delegates Perpetuum’s experience in aggregating vehicle and infrastructure data to drive out system and process inefficiencies in rail.

Mr Laager states, “Perpetuum is at the forefront of data capture and the innovative application development needed to harness it to its maximum potential. As a company, we are at the forefront of the digitisation of the railways, capturing the “in flight” status of rail assets for train operators around the world. We look forward to sharing our experience with the industry at the event.” 

Perpetuum has announced it has won its first contract in the Middle East with The Saudi Railway Company (SAR). The two-year contract for track condition information services covers 1250km from Riyadh to Qurrayat.

SAR was founded in 2006 to implement a railway project linking the northern region with both the eastern and central regions of Saudi Arabia. SAR is looking to prioritise safety and ride quality using live monitoring and the Perpetuum solution will be an element of its new approach to condition based maintenance management as part of its digitization strategy. 

Conditions in Saudi Arabia are some of the most extreme in world railways, operating in a predominantly desert environment and excessive temperatures that can often reach over 55 degree Celsius. SAR is looking to generate the maintenance knowledge itself, with corrective work prioritised. 

“This is a great step for SAR in its journey to implement a condition based maintenance management strategy and we look forward to the exciting opportunities our partnership with Perpetuum will bring,”  says Ashrf Al Jabri,  Head of Rolling Stock for SAR.

Perpetuum’s self-powered, wireless sensing technology, combined with its vibration engineering expertise and rich data analytics capability, will provide SAR with valuable real time information. Perpetuum will supply equipment for 2 SAR passenger trains.“We are delighted to announce our first contact in the Middle East with SAR,” explains Justin Southcombe, Commercial Director for Perpetuum. “It is another stage in our global growth and development and illustrates why remote condition monitoring is so important to the rail industry.”

Perpetuum to present at F# eXchange 2019

Perpetuum, the remote condition monitoring specialist, is to sponsor and speak at F# eXchange 2019, an event for those involved in the F# community to share ideas and learn new concepts, tools and approaches using the F# language.   

“We are very pleased to be sponsoring F# eXchange 2019, particularly since our principal developer will be giving a keynote speech,” says Justin Southcombe, Commercial Director for Perpetuum. “F# has been integral to developing the Perpetuum solution, which has been implemented by rail operators not just in the UK but as far afield as Australia and Japan. Our remote condition monitoring system is now improving performance, boosting customer satisfaction and advancing safety across the world.”

As Perpetuum expands its global reach, new applications are developed to suit regional and sector-specific specifications. While Perpetuum’s onboard hardware is standard, its unique applications are bespoke. 

Perpetuum’s highly skilled team of developers continues to be a hotbed of application development and innovation.  The team has developed unique applications, which enable rail asset managers to see in real time the “in flight” condition of their wheelsets, bogies and track – even on handheld devices hundreds, if not thousands of miles away from their asset. The company’s principal developer, Kit Eason, will be a keynote speaker. Ahighly experienced developer, Kit has worked in industries from automotive engineering to energy trading. For more details on Perpetuum visit www.perpetuum.com

For more information about F# eXchange 2019visit www.skillsmatter.com

Perpetuum, the remote condition monitoring specialist, has announced it will be sponsoring the International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA) STS Conference 10thto 14thJune 2019 in Narvik, Norway.

The theme of this year’s conference,‘Heavy Haul 4.0 – Achieving Breakthrough Performance Levels’, is closely aligned to the aims of Perpetuum’s “in flight” condition based monitoring solution, which monitors track and wheelset condition simultaneously and allows rolling stock to stay in service for longer. 

Delegates will share experiences that will advance and transform railway operations performance in the digital era. Central to the discussions at the conference is the impact of Industry 4.0 on the railway industry. With the Conference’s technical content including condition monitoring, Big Data analytics, track maintenance and security and safety, Perpetuum will be presenting a technical paper on wheel and rail monitoring, based on a real life case study. 

“We are delighted to be sponsoring the 2019 IHHA STS Conference as we consolidate our entry into the freight market,’ says Justin Southcombe, Commercial Director for Perpetuum. “This year’s theme reflects exactly what our solution provides – improving performance for rail operators. Our work with operators across the world shows just how valuable continuous remote condition monitoring is to improving asset management and performance.”

Read: Interview with Global Railway Review

Justin Southcombe, Commercial Director at Perpetuum, discusses with Global Railway Review digital solutions such as continuous condition monitoring will challenge the industry’s preconceptions, change its business models and ultimately improve its knowledge of the assets our businesses depend on.

How do you forge relationships with customers and at what stage does your attention turn to their technology needs?

A relationship is built on trust and a win/win outcome. To this end we always work on building a bespoke business case with every client and opportunity. The most sustainable ones are those built on improvements to bogie maintenance methodology – extensions of overhauls and automation of inspection tasks. We do have leads from safety concerns, but we quickly discover together that these are often results of maintenance issues that can be improved through continuous condition monitoring. So, we resolve the question “can things be improved” first before discussing how that might be done. Focusing on understanding the benefits helps both parties assess the potential success of any future venture – through technology or otherwise. The choice of RCM technology is one of the final decisions when moving to condition monitored maintenance – coming after financial reviews, resourcing assessments and asset management planning.

To what extent do you think digitalisation is a means to an end, and not the end itself? 

Good question. I believe that we will look back on this era and the debate around ‘digital’ in the same way as we do for ‘quality’ now. Forty years ago, quality was new outside of the production line and normally the responsibility of a single individual. Now it’s everyone’s responsibility, whether in a factory or a bank, as we have realised that quality is not a strategic destination but a core tactic in getting there as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Anyone thinking that hardware and cloud computing can substitute for poor process or myopic business ambition will be disappointed…and poorer too. I think that Perpetuum is helping to do to rail for ‘digital’ what Honda did for automotive on quality.

What are the main objectives to future success considering digital solutions could expose how little rail knows about key assets? 

The main objective must be seat availability – done safely and competitively. The opportunity that IoT and cloud computing offers in this area should not be understated. But there will be some uncomfortable truths that we must accept if we are going to be able to truly change to improve. We are an industry regimented by standards, rather than continuous learning. There are too many components that are ‘compliant’ to a requirement that bears little or no relation to the actual asset used today. Capturing this usage has been impractical until now and so we have used processes and standards to contain the risk or wait for a new generation of vehicles to arrive before taking a step forward. However, we are seeing, reassuringly, elements that challenge the status quo with hard evidence collected continuously on vehicles, track and in their environment – not normalised to a lowest common denominator as an output of a laboratory test. Claiming to have optimised availability when our experience of our assets’ true capability is witnessed so infrequently through an incident or a lab test is rather disingenuous. Some of those well told myths about our assets will indeed have to be disposed of, which will be no simple task.

To what extent do you think technology must be used to drive new business models in the future?

New technology has no future without changing the business model. If the substitute is no different to the predecessor, then who will risk the move? However, the OT/IoT convergence offers more than this like-for-like swap. Like the airline industry, we will see commercial models emerge as the supply chain learns more about its asset’s actual performance, the level of conservatism contained in the current contracts and the opportunity to deliver more availability with less…a model that should provide benefit for both supplier and user in the long-term. I have been very encouraged by the response this year from some of the OEMs in the sector who are looking beyond the marketing angle of ‘digital’ and into the nuts and bolts of their business and how ‘digital’ can accelerate and optimise its strategy as never before.

Perpetuum headline sponsor of Rolling Stock Maintenance Europe Conference

Perpetuum, the remote condition monitoring specialists, is the headline sponsor of the Rolling Stock Maintenance Europe Conference, to be held on the 4th and 5th of December 2018 in London, United Kingdom.

The Conference examines in depth the implementation of predictive maintenance, leveraging new technologies as well as optimizing processes and workflows to improve reliability and reduce costs.

Justin Southcombe, Commercial Director of Perpetuum will be addressing the Conference on how technology drives innovation and increases fleet availability. He will highlight the scale of trapped opportunity in current business practices and will outline a new “flat rate” business model for wheel bearings.

Operators, fleet owners and technology providers will be encouraged to share ideas and experiences throughout the two day programme, with perspectives from some of the world’s leading train operators.

“We are delighted to be sponsoring this event, not least because we are one of the market leaders in the industry with a wealth of experience to share with those rail companies serious about implementing condition based monitoring and taking their maintenance strategy to the next level,” says Justin Southcombe, Commercial Director of Perpetuum.

 

Perpetuum has produced a new video, explaining how its RCM solutions can truly transform asset management in the rail industry.

The short video graphically shows how real time data and information taken directly from a bogie while in service, can be accessed from the cloud securely, anywhere in the world with internet access.

“We want to bring our technology and solution to a global audience and this video is part of that plan,” explains Justin Southcombe, Commercial Director of Perpetuum. “It is an informative insight into how to monitor the health of your fleet.”

To watch how Perpetuum’s award winning, self-powered, wireless sensing technology and rich analytics provides real time information that enables the rail industry to optimise railway operations visit www.perpetuum.com

Perpetuum will be sponsoring the Digital Rail Revolution Conference 2018. With rail companies set to spend $12 billion on capital investments over the next year, investment in innovation and technology can offer improvements in service quality, reduce expenses and increase profitability.

As demand for freight rail services increases –currently estimated to surge 88% by 2035 – the industry must prioritise investment in both physical and digital infrastructure to support future growth, whilst keeping an eye on maintaining rail networks and increasing revenues.

Global Railway Review’s Digital Rail Revolution conference will explore the ways in which the rail and public transport sectors continue to explore the potentials of technology and how it will continue to be at the forefront of this new digitalised revolution.

“We are delighted to sponsor this event, particularly as Perpetuum is at the forefront of the digital rail revolution,” explains Justin Southcombe, Commercial Director for Perpetuum. “Our solution allows for the onboard ‘in-flight’ health checks of a bogie and is truly a transformative asset management system in the industry.”

Perpetuum and Knorr-Bremse RailServices look ahead to future co-operation

Knorr-Bremse RailServices, the aftermarket specialists in the Rail Vehicle Systems division of Knorr-Bremse, the global market leader for braking systems and a leading supplier of other safety-critical rail and commercial vehicle systems, and Perpetuum have signed a declaration of intent as the basis for further future cooperation between the two companies.

The declaration allows both companies to continue servicing their customers independently from each other while working to accelerate the adoption of digital applications in the rail sector.

Perpetuum has developed an algorithm for recording and monitoring vibrations of wheels, gearboxes, motors and wheel bearings on rolling stock with the aim of obtaining a better understanding into the condition of the vehicle fleet. It is also able to simultaneously monitor the track. This allows maintenance cycles, quality, and efficiency to be optimized and conclusions drawn regarding the systems’ behaviour in the future.

Knorr-Bremse RailServices is looking to combine the Perpetuum system and its information with iCOM Monitor, both systems are already being used by various operators to support condition-based maintenance. iCOM Monitor collects, consolidates, and processes the data generated by other systems on the vehicles and then sends them to a back office for further analysis.

Both companies see great potential in future collaboration, with significant added value for customers as a result of being able to gain a deeper understanding into a wide variety of systems in their fleets and thus achieve cost reductions through optimized maintenance cycles. Possible applications have already been identified for both products in future joint customer projects and these will soon be pursued further.