The paramount importance of point machine monitoring

Posted by smart motors on Dec 2, 2019 11:00:18 AM

A significant part of the budget for the maintenance of point machines is destined for corrective tasks that need to be carried out after the occurrence of an error in a point machine that causes a standstill of the service. For this reason it is of great importance-of point machine monitoring.

The smart motors® monitoring system allows breakdown diagnostics. To do this, 3 devices are used in order to obtain on real time data at different levels:

  • Daen Bee: installed inside the engine, which takes electrical, mechanical, environmental and status data
  • CDX: an optical device that is installed on the check module and measures the clearance of the mechanism.
  • Daen Lite: installed in the signaling equipment room. It takes electrical and status data

Thanks to a monitoring system, which allows different degrees of investment according to the relevance of the engines, it is possible to predict breakdowns and improve the diagnosis of sudden breakdowns.


Certain breakdowns are predictable. Meaning, a good continuous monitoring system, that knows the breakdown patterns, is able to identify and signal a breakdown before it takes place and negatively affects the service.

Examples of predictable breakdowns: electric motor breakdown, lack of pressure in the tank, lack of grease, problems with the anchors, water in the box, expansion of the control hammers.


It is difficult to give a precise figure, given the great diversity of point machine and network types, but based on our data, predictable breakdowns represent around 60-70% of the annual breakdowns.

The artificial intelligence in the smart motors® solutions, called MAGI, includes a functionality that detects real tendencies among the breakdowns that are reported to the maintenance management system of the operator, with the objective of solving them before they become a serious problem.

All long-haul breakdowns with a known failure pattern can be identified before they occur. This way you will need fewer resolutions, and also less repositioning and substituting of point machines.

For certain breakdowns that can never be foreseen and thus not avoided using breakdown patterns, a monitoring system can also help to reduce impact on the service and reduces costs. 

  1. With a monitoring system, the maintainer can identify beforehand the causes and plan a corrective measure with knowledge about the cause of the breakdown and its impact in the device. With this information, the needed spares pieces, tools and specialists can be brought to the reparation site and thus save time and resources.
  2. Without a monitoring system, the operator can’t have clues about what happened. A monitoring system can go back to the breakdown moment and analyze the status of different variables. This can help to identify the cause of the breakdown and avoid repeatability.

Examples of non-predictable breakdowns are: not receiving the control voltage, errors in the verification, modifications that were badly performed during inspections, obstructions on the tracks, etc.


In order to use information to add value, the smart motors® solution provides a breakdown report in which the likely causes and recommended resolutions are indicated.

With the smart motors® system it is possible to provide indications for corrective measures of non-predictable breakdowns:

  • with the DAEN BEE + CDX in 70-80% of the cases
  • with the DAEN Lite in 40-50% of the cases

To sum up, the current smart motors® operation systems have proven benefits that will help your maintenance team make better management of breakdowns in needle change engines.

If you find interesting benefits in this post wait to read next post “New maintenance model based on real data from point machines”.

Topics: Blog, Point machine