For decades, the technology of freight railcars has not changed significantly. With the advent of telematics, on-board sensing and cloud-based analytics for control and condition based maintenance, high potential for economic benefit has become possible. Furthermore, such a connected wagon offers a seamless integration into current and future logistics systems, which are driven and controlled by the industrial Internet of Things to support the fourth industrial revolution. An important concept introduced with the Wagon 4.0 is standardized hardware, together with an open-source operating system based on prognostics and health management principles for predictive analytics. Thus, the Wagon 4.0 paves the way for a new operations and maintenance concepts, user interfaces and value proposals, which originate from current developments. The economic advantages stem from the self-organizing features of such vehicles, from the ability to achieve mass customization and from a rise in efficiency in operation and maintenance. This paper presents an approach for such a system including the power supply, intra-train communications, sensing, cloud-based analytics and value-add proposition. Furthermore, the approach is illustrated through an example implementation for a pneumatic brake which encompasses the instrumentation, sensing, automation and cloud based analytics of the sensor data. The paper concludes with a description of how the implantation enables the railcar operator to practice predictive maintenance and increase operational efficiency.
Shahidi, P.; Pfaff, R. The connected wagon - a concept for the integration of vehicle side sensors and actors with cyber physical representation for condition based maintenance. First International Conference on Rail Transportation.