Etion’s products use IoT technology to collect large volumes of data from the rail operations network. As they adopt this technology, rail operators are moving away from scheduled to needs-based maintenance management, resulting in significant savings.
Enhanced monitoring is one of the established ways through which rail freight companies can improve the levels of safety and productivity of their assets. Nevertheless, a wide range of monitoring product options out there in the market present a selection dilemma.
Etion, a Pretoria-based company that supplies rail motoring telematic solutions to clients in South Africa and neighbouring countries, is passionate about helping rail companies address this challenge by providing custom-made monitoring solutions.
Etion’s products use IoT technology to collect large volumes of data from the rail operations network, which is then used to effect efficiencies in maintenance management. With this technology, rail operators are moving away from scheduled to needs-based maintenance management, resulting in significant savings.
Range of IoT freight specific products and their capabilities
Etion provides a wide range of products to meet the specific needs of clients in the fleet management and logistics space. These include:
- Automotive intelligent driver
Automotive Intelligent Driver collects operator data from a vehicle’s internal systems, together with its own highly accurate sensors. This data allows real-time monitoring of location, speed, safety systems and driver behaviour of all vehicles within an operation.
- ADU(Auxiliary Display Unit)
Train drivers see all vital train handling parameters from the display systems on their console. The assistant driver, who is co-responsible for the train does not have access to this display. The Auxiliary Display System (ADU) bridges this gap and provides the assistant driver access to these parameters, significantly, enhancing operational safety.
Tracking and managing rail locomotives, wagons, coaches and rolling stock can be a challenge. Conveniently, with ExactTrack, an asset tracking and management tool, fleet management and logistics companies are able to accurately track and manage assets efficiently, realising cost and time savings. In this way, the risks of delivery delays and service failures, increased costs and unhappy customers are minimised.
- HTCS 2 (Headless Train Cab System 2)
With a GSM modem, Headless Train Cab System 2 (HTCS2) is able to provide voice communications to the rail infrastructure. GPS information enables location-based reporting, speed and line profile information as well as tracking capabilities. Vital information is provided to the driver and asset tracking information to the Train Control Officer.
- ISD (Integrated System Display)
The Integrated System Display (ISD) serves as a Human Machine Interface for various systems in the train, collating the data on to one display. Using the ISD, the driver can choose which sub-system he wants to view in the display area. If any connected system raises an alarm, the screen automatically navigates to the display of that system. Through digital key access, the driver can access all necessary information including driver identification, train number, route maps, trip recording. It also enables the technician to access diagnostic screens.
- ITCMS (Integrated Train Condition Monitoring Solution)
Etions’ ITCMS product, RailView, captures critical information from trackside and onboard safety critical equipment and displays it in a single dashboard in real time. With access to information, maintenance staff can be alerted to prevent catastrophic failures and derailments through the built-in command and control interface.
- THDS (Thermal Hot Bearing Detector System)
The Thermal Hot Bearing Detector System (THDS) has a robust design which makes it ideal for harsh railway environments where temperatures of hot axle boxes must be measured when trains pass the measurement system. The system has the ability to detect unsafe wheel conditions, such as over-temperature wagon axle boxes that are indicative of defective bearings which are in danger of collapsing, or collapsed bearings which are a major contributor to derailments. The THDS advance warning of axle boxes running hot can reduce the risk of damage to rail rolling stock and infrastructure.
- The Titan
The Titan is a serial protocol to Ethernet, wired or wireless converter with built-in failover. Titan is ideal for use in rail environments where sensors and trackside devices require continuous connection to the network and monitoring equipment. Designed to provide high performance wireless and wired connectivity but at a very low cost, it is ideal for remote connections to sensors for monitoring and configuration.
- VIS 2 (Vehicle Identification System 2)
The Vehicle Identification System (VIS 2) gives operators of rolling stock awareness regarding the location and movement of their fleet. Access to this information is a key factor for operators of heavy haul trains to move products efficiently and safely.
Combined with trackside condition monitoring equipment, unsafe conditions can easily be traced back to the offending vehicle. The VIS 2 is capable of monitoring from 1 to 4 rail lines independently to detect the presence of RF Identification tags located on locomotives and wagons. The train consist data is transmitted to the VIS back-office databases where the information is used by train operators to keep track of train movements in yards, sidings and main lines.
- Weigh-In-Motion Solutions
In partnership with its international partner, Etion supplies Weigh-in-Motion (WIM) solutions to the African rail market, which bring safety, quality and profitability to end-user rail equipment.
Adapting to a digitising world
Most industries which need reliable rail freight equipment, are digitising. Key solutions for the rail freight sector include those that optimise material and equipment handling, improve the ability to anticipate failures, and monitor performance in real time. Etion’s strength lies in providing solutions in this digital landscape.