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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.