The Schaeffler's group has developed the Generator sensor Bearing, a device that can be fitted onboard, facilitating data about the status of bearings, wheel sets and railway lines to be collected, and relaying it to a control system situated at a higher level.
Based on the information so collected, engineers can then decide on maintenance and repair work to be undertaken. It also makes supervision of railway lines smoother and helps information of railway timetables to be uploaded online. It also imparts information on train routing and disseminates reports on risk analysis.
The Center for Transportation and Logistics Neuer Adler e.V (CNA) in Germany has also lauded the Train Support System, awarding it the Intelligence for Transportation and Logistics innovation citation. The system is based on the company’s FAG axlebox bearing technology that can be deployed along with an integrated GSB as a self contained source of power used in goods trains.
The company created the onboard unit by first designing the electronic components and relevant software and then mounting it onboard. When used in consonance with an information management system, the device enhances railway security and maximizes logistics. GSP help transfer all information collected and logged in the GSB.
The device resembles a dynamo it induces rotation of permanent magnets on the wheel axis generating the necessary electric power. The power is approximately 100W at 24V. The device also records speed, mileage, etc, helping determine the condition of the railway track and train itself.
The information so garnered helps enhance passenger and goods flow, number of coaches available for use, where each coach is located and costs to be incurred in maintaining and repairing of all the infrastructure. The device is at present being tested at the Finnish Railways.