Point machine Heating systems improve their availability and performance thanks to Digitalization
Digitalization on the railroad can provide very useful tools in different fields. It is the operator himself, who, informed of the multiple possibilities of the tool, must be able to visualize which elements are more likely to improve their performance when added to a Digitalization platform.
The characteristics of any new functionality of a Digitalization platform must have as a priority providing affordable and easy-to-implement solutions so that Digitalization is an element of improvement and not an element of cost. To predict breakdowns before they happen, and having the possibility to integrate this knowledge into the workflows, to really have a positive impact into maintenance procedures, is a priority for smart motors® engineering team.
For this, at smart motors® we design all our proposals looking for a real impact on the day to day of the client. Through our Savana platform you can get all the benefits of a global Digitalization project and all the advantages of working on an improved platform after the experiences of many operators.
POINT HEATING CONTROL AND MONITORING
This article addresses a new functionality that the smart motors® team has designed to improve the performance of the electrical heating systems of the switch point machines, since there are several constraints that jeopardize their condition. For example, their intermittent use brings large inactivity periods where the risk of deterioration of internal mechanisms is high, compromising their availability.
There are numerous suppliers of point machine heaters and not in all cases they have a centralized management and maintenance system for them. On the contrary, the operator finds a set of systems that he must maintain and for which in many cases has to be done on-field. In addition, many times, it has to be done in adverse weather conditions and requires travelling great distances.
The concept of an overall Digitalization platform with all the different assets that are manage by the Signaling department with centralized information and the use of sensors to provide an immediate response give a new approach to Heating of point machines:
"The smart Point-Heating monitoring, by smart motors®, is a centralised management system, able to be remotely controlled, providing condition monitoring to different types of point machine heaters, predicting breakdowns and figuring a new condition based maintenance approach"
In response to the above-mentioned improvements and thanks to smart motors® possibilities to design new hardware, the smart Point-heating system offers functionalities for both, control and condition monitoring, as follows:
- Remote manual control (turn on/off)
- Automatic control according to the current temperature, triggered by weather information, coming from a external server or a dedicated temperature sensor.
- Option to program inactivity after a certain use period
- Test functionality to ensure a correct status after inactivity periods
- Current consumption alarms
- Last activity and historical data
- Events tracking
It is possible to add new functionalities according to new customer requirements, since switch point heaters are present in different types of rail networks with boundary conditions and diverse uses. More info here.