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

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.


Perpetuum has won the prestigious European Railway Clusters Initiative (ERCI) Innovation Award for ‘Best SME’.

The ERCI Innovation Awards are judged by independent experts representing industry, research and public authorities from around Europe. The judges select winners based on criteria such as innovation features of the solution, the economic and social benefits for the railway sector and integration of new digital technologies.

Perpetuum’s 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.

“We are delighted to win this award, against strong competition from across Europe,” explains Justin Southcombe, Perpetuum’s Commercial Director. “Our technology, combined with the valuable and transformative information we are providing operators has been recognised as a true game changer in managing rail assets.”

ERCI connects the ideas and interests of over 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses in the industry, helping its member companies to grow through improved access to European partners and customers, accelerated technology transfer and joint marketing.

Schaeffler and Perpetuum plan a “Flatrate for Axlebox Bearings”

At the InnoTrans 2018, Schaeffler AG and Perpetuum signed a letter of intent for a cooperation with the aim of offering a mileage/kilometer-based payment system for axlebox bearings. This solution will make axlebox bearings available to operators by the kilometer or mile and guarantee the achievement of the planned maintenance intervals. This will reduce the operating costs and make it possible for them to be precisely planned, as well as significantly increasing rail vehicles’ availability. A further advantage is that the combination of axlebox bearing condition monitoring and Schaeffler’s rolling bearing expertise will allow the maintenance intervals to be significantly extended.

Dr. Stefan Spindler, CEO Industrial at Schaeffler, emphasized the significance of this cooperation: “The sale of operating hours instead of engines has long proven to be an effective solution in the civil aviation sector, and together with Perpetuum, we are now set to bring the same solution to the railway industry. The negotiations currently taking place with various operators show that we have hit on exactly what the sector is looking for with this business model.”

Steve Turley, CEO of Perpetuum added: “We are focused on revolutionizing the rail industry by helping clients to improve performance and efficiency, minimize disruptions, and deliver seamless passenger experiences, while also benefiting from significant cost savings. We are delighted to be working with Schaeffler in providing the market with commercial, as well as technical, innovation.”

Perpetuum will contribute their battery free wireless condition monitoring systems which can easily be retrofitted in existing rail vehicles included in this cooperation. The “Bearing Health Index” that is digitally generated using Perpetuum analytics will be augmented by the rolling bearing expert Schaeffler with information about the bearings’ remaining operating life – based for example on axlebox bearings returned from the field for reconditioning – and maintenance measures that are actually required; Schaeffler will also organize the timely provision of replacement parts.

Perpetuum achieves Cyber Essentials certification

Remote Conditioning Monitoring (RCM) specialist Perpetuum has announced it is now Cyber Essentials certified. The Cyber Essentials scheme is backed by the UK Government, and uses independent assessment to identify the security controls that an organisation must have in place within their IT systems in order to have confidence that they are addressing cyber security effectively and minimising risks from Internet-based threats.

Good cyber security is key to both protecting customers’ personal data and financial information and ensuring computer systems are safe from any cyber threat which could compromise their functionality. To gain certification, organisations much prove compliance with cyber security requirements for national procurements in the UK, including those linked to critical infrastructure projects.

With over half of all businesses experiencing a cyber breach or attack in the last year, it is more important than ever that businesses protect its data. Perpetuum requested independent certification primarily to assure clients that its data is well protected.

“Cyber security is paramount at Perpetuum and we take it very seriously,” says David Vincent, Chief Technical Officer for Perpetuum. “Through Cyber Essentials certification, our customers can be assured of our focus on protecting our systems and that we are minimising the risk of any security breach.”

Perpetuum have signed a Cooperation Agreement with Siemens Mobility for the introduction of Perpetuum’s condition information on Siemens´ application suite Railigent, used for supporting maintenance and operations of rolling stock and infrastructure. Perpetuum’s Health Index information is envisaged to be used to enrich Siemens´ Railigent.

The Cooperation Agreement allows both companies to continue servicing their customers independently from each other while evaluating ways to combine their core strengths to deliver enhanced value on specific mutual projects. As a result of the development of advanced rolling stock analytics, particularly around bogie monitoring, both companies intend to accelerate value creation for operators and owners, which will be measured through higher availability and cost optimization in their fleets.

Due to its easy to install solution onto existing Siemens Mobility trains and back office, the Bearing Health Index and wireless, vibration harvester node from Perpetuum is planned to be deployed on a series of Siemens fleets starting in 2019 – a logical step for Siemens in rolling stock maintenance.

The existing Perpetuum condition apps for axle bearings, wheels, gearboxes, motors, track and ride are also envisaged to be made available via Railigent, the Siemens application suite for rail customers, as part of a subsequent cooperation among both companies.

For the development of future joint analytics around other assets and features, Perpetuum and Siemens Mobility intend to strengthen their collaboration on Railigent powered by Mindsphere to ensure a seamless improvement of the new apps which will further help their fleets in operation.

“We are delighted to be working with Siemens Mobility,” says Justin Southcombe, Perpetuum’s Commercial Director. “We feel confident that this collaboration will help the railway market evolve into the digital age and change some of the fundamental principles in the railway industry.”

Indian Railways rolls out its first “SMART” coach, including Perpetuum bearing, wheel and track monitoring

Indian Railways has just got its first “SMART” coach … which has several new features that will go a long way in enhancing the safety and security of train journeys and enhancing passenger comfort.

Indian Railways has got its first SMART coach

According to Indian Railways, SMART coach aims to provide world-class facilities to passengers with the help of an intelligent sensor-based system. With the use of SMART coach, Indian Railways aims to move to predictive maintenance instead of preventive maintenance. The SMART coach has been manufactured by the Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli as part of the Made in India initiative. SMART coach has been built on the LHB-platform and comes equipped with state-of-the-art sensors and a centralised computer that in turn monitors all the sensors. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman of Railway Board today inspected the first SMART coach and soon 100 such coaches will be rolled out.

The SMART coach offers Indian Railways a single window platform to monitor several key indicators of the train’s health – from coach diagnosis to security and surveillance system. From a passenger’s perspective the SMART coach boasts of a Wi-fi hot spot information system. This means passengers can connect their devices – laptop, tables and mobile phones – to WiFi and watch movies and play songs!

Salient features of Indian Railways first SMART coach:

1. The SMART coach has a “vibration-based self power harvesting sensor” that is there on the axle box. This helps predict wheel defects, defects on the bearings, and hard spot (defects) on the track. What this means is that Indian Railways will now be able to plan maintenance as per need. This will also eliminate line failures.Indian Railways has got its first SMART coach

Perpetuum’s wireless sensor node – powered by the vibration for at least 20 years!

2. SMART coach has a Passenger Information and Coach Computing Unit (PICCU) a CPU that is similar to an industrial grade computer. This has been provided with GSM network which sends ‘exception reports’ to the remote server. PICCU will monitor 4 important areas of coach maintenance and passenger interface.

a. Security and surveillance system: CCTV system with artificial intelligence capability will improve the security standards of the train and also help in keeping a check on the behaviour of the railway staff. The footage would help track untoward incidents.

b. GPS-based passenger announcement and passenger information system and the digital destination board: The passenger information system keeps passengers informed about the current location of the train, expected time of arrival at the next station and the speed of the train.

c. Coach diagnostic system: The SMART coach system can monitor the brake system and detect any default in it. This in turn can be communicated to the maintenance staff.

d. Interface with other sub-systems like air conditioning, fire detection and alarm system, disc brake system and water level indicator.

According to Indian Railways with the SMART coach, the overall maintenance cost will come down since the sensor based system will provide advance notification about impending faults. Indian Railways claims that the cost of the system – approximately Rs 12-14 lakh will be recovered in a year’s time.

Link to orginal Financial Express article

Perpetuum receives investment to develop rail monitoring system

Perpetuum has secured an investment from the Rail Supply Growth Fund to advance the development of its self-powered rail condition monitoring system.

The £3m investment, the second fund the company receives from the Rail Supply Growth Fund, will also be used to increase capacity, client base and create new jobs at Perpetuum.

Perpetuum has already used part of the investment to create 32 new knowledge-intensive positions to take its total workforce to 60. The company also plans to support new research and development activities.

Perpetuum CEO Steve Turley said: “At Perpetuum, we’re focused on revolutionising the rail industry by helping clients to improve performance and efficiency, minimise disruptions and deliver seamless passenger experiences, while also benefiting from significant cost savings.”

“Over the past few years, we’ve generated real momentum, with more clients and industry partners recognising the potential of our conditional monitoring technology. This investment from the Rail Fund will help us to maintain this momentum, refine our technology and pursue more business to accelerate growth.”