Trains carry billions of passengers and tons of freight a year worldwide, so making sure their brakes work properly is no mere routine maintenance check.
Helping rail transport operate more safely and efficiently is top-of-mind for the Knorr-Bremse Group, based in Munich, Germany. The company is a leading manufacturer of brakes and other components of trains, metro cars, and buses. These components include sophisticated programming to optimize operations and diagnosis.
The company developed iCOM, an Internet of Things-based platform for automated maintenance and diagnosis. Through onboard sensors, iCOM (Intelligent Condition Oriented Maintenance) gathers data wirelessly from more than 30 systems throughout a train car, including brakes, doors, wipers, heating and ventilation. These IoT sensors continually report back conditions such as temperature, pressure, energy generation, duration of use, and error conditions.
iCOM analyzes the data to recommend condition-based, rather than static, scheduled maintenance. This means any performance issue can be identified before it becomes a serious safety problem or a more costly repair or replacement. For iCOM customers, this means better safety, more uptime, improved energy efficiency, and lower operating costs for their rail fleets.
As more customers adopted the solution, they began demanding more sophisticated analysis (to see when, where, and even why an event happens), more visually engaging displays, and the ability to build their own reports without relying on IT.
Knorr-Bremse knew it needed to upgrade the technology it was using for analysis and reporting on the vast quantities of data that the iCOM solution gathers, replacing open-source BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools).
A new analytics platform would also have to be scalable enough to cope with the enormous volumes of real-time data that thousands of sensors across a rail fleet continually generate. Further, Knorr-Bremse needed an analytics solution it could develop, embed into the overall iCOM platform, and bring to market with the least possible time and coding effort.
The answer to these challenges was OpenText™ Analytics Suite.
“Due to the easy-to-use interface of OpenText Analytics, our developers were quickly productive in developing the analytics and reporting aspects of iCOM. iCOM is based on Java and consequently it has been very easy to integrate and embed the OpenText Analytics platform [into it]. It is not just about shortening the time to develop, though. The results have to look good and with OpenText, they do,” says Martin Steffens, the iCOM digital platform project manager and software architect at Knorr-Bremse.
To learn more about Knorr-Bremse’s success with OpenText Analytics, including a potential drop of up to 20 percent in maintenance costs, click here.