Schaeffler offers data analyses based on solid-borne vibrations and other sensors to allow digitalised passenger train monitoring. Schaeffler’s Smart EcoSystem provides the IT infrastructure for the integration of sensors, proven visualisation and analysis tools, and digital services. Photo: Schaeffler
While reliability and cost-effectiveness remain the primary requirements for rail vehicle components, the range of potential optimisations is growing: In addition to design enhancements to proven solutions, Schaeffler will also be addressing the topics of functional integration, digitalisation, and services throughout the entire product lifecycle at this year’s InnoTrans.
The average speeds, mileages, and maintenance intervals that modern trains are expected to achieve are increasing all the time, in addition to which these trains also have to become safer and more cost-effective – a major challenge for manufacturers and the supply industry as well as for rail vehicle operators. At the InnoTrans 2018, Schaeffler will be presenting bearing supports with increased performance for drive systems and wheelsets, innovative tools and services for operators, and a range of different concepts for digitalised condition monitoring.
Rail 4.0: Condition-Based Maintenance Becomes A Reality
The digitalised monitoring of motorised and trailer bogies based on solid-borne vibrations and other sensors holds immense potential for making the operation of passenger trains even safer and more cost-effective. Schaeffler can offer a great deal of added value here thanks to its knowledge of rolling bearings’ application-specific behaviour combined with decades of expertise in the field of vibration analysis gathered from a range of different industries. This expertise means that Schaeffler is able to automatically generate data analyses that provide high-quality information and can be delivered as data packages via a range of digital interfaces or displayed on-screen in clear text. Specific knowledge of vibrations and manual evaluation work on the part of the operator are thus no longer required.
Schaeffler’s Smart EcoSystem provides the IT infrastructure here for the integration of sensors, proven visualisation and analysis tools, and digital services. As an open, digital ecosystem, it allows cloud-to-cloud solutions to be implemented with customers and partners thanks to its standardised interfaces and encrypted communication via internet or VPN connection. Different Industry 4.0 solution packages – digital services of varying scope based on operating data that are generated using sensors from Schaeffler or existing measuring systems – can thus be created in a project-based manner.
FAG TAROL Tapered Roller Bearing Units Optimised Yet Again
TAROL tapered roller bearing units have been successful for many years thanks to their compact design. One operator recently discovered just how robust and durable FAG’s TAROL tapered roller bearing units really are thanks to the bearings that are installed in their high-speed trains: Following several inspections in accordance with DIN27201-1, these bearing units were successfully validated for a maintenance interval extension from 1.32 million kilometres to the current rating of 1.65 million kilometres.
Schaeffler is consistently working to further enhance its TAROL series, which are available in both metric and inch dimensions and are greased and sealed at the factory. Enhancements include a new, particularly compact and space-saving cassette seal that now protects the bearing even more securely against contamination. A new, integrated retaining ring additionally makes the bearing significantly easier to mount and increases its process reliability. Both of these measures reduce the overall costs throughout the bearing’s service life and make it more reliable in operation.
The fitting device that is used to mount TAROL bearings has also undergone further ergonomic optimization to facilitate the mounting process, which can be done in a single operation. Another new development is that this mobile hydraulic unit is already equipped for carrying out force-travel measurements, which will be possible in the near future. InnoTrans visitors can view a live demonstration of this incredibly easy mounting process at Schaeffler’s booth.
Digital Assistance For Maintenance And Reconditioning
When it comes to the documentation of reconditioned bearings, Schaeffler is regarded as a benchmark in the field of railway technology. Schaeffler now marks reconditioned bearings with a data matrix code (DMC) on the outer ring in accordance with the GS1 standard. This has several immediate benefits for customers: The order status can be viewed online and goods inwards inspection is made easier. Most importantly, however, patterns of damage that are identified can be correlated with operating data such as mileage, route profile, and wagon loads with only minimal outlay.
A new development in reconditioning at Schaeffler is also a 100 percent rate of return, meaning that all defective bearings are replaced and the replacements returned together with the reconditioned bearings. Operators therefore no longer have to order replacements or maintain bearing stocks of their own.
Thinking Outside The Box: High-End Solutions From Other Sectors
Large groups of companies like Schaeffler offer a wide range of technologies and products that are initially developed for specific sectors and applications. Since quite a few of these products, including rolling bearings made from high-performance Vacrodur steel, have major potential for application in railway technology, Schaeffler will also be exhibiting them at the InnoTrans 2018. The new Vacrodur material allows bearings’ operating life to be significantly extended or the load increased even at high temperatures and with insufficient lubrication and particle ingress. Schaeffler envisages potential applications for it in rail vehicles’ traction motors and gearboxes.
INA’s planetary screw drive (PWG), which can be used in linear actuators with a high power density and in door, flap control, and actuating drives will also be on display. The PWG excels thanks to its combination of a very low overall pitch and a high load carrying capacity.
Independent Power Supply: The Schaeffler Axlebox Generator
The axlebox generator makes it possible for an independent and highly reliable power supply to be implemented that serves a wide range of functions, including GPS, condition monitoring, lighting, assisted braking, and even folding door actuation on bulk material wagons. The permanent magnet rotor is mounted on the end face of the wheelset axle, while the generator is integrated into the housing cover. The wear-free generator supplies electrical energy in a broad speed range and the system can be retrofitted on freight cars that are already in use.
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