CORDIS - EU research results

Breakthrough self-charging remote monitoring device for smart rail freight wagons to enhance sustainability of railway sector

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AxleRing (Breakthrough self-charging remote monitoring device for smart rail freight wagons to enhance sustainability of railway sector)

Reporting period: 2019-06-01 to 2019-11-30

Railway plays a central role in European logistics and is continuously growing. With the increasing importance of rail transport as the greenest mode, there is an urgent need on safety, efficiency, performance and availability to ensure its sustainability. Companies acting in railway sector are under cost pressure which triggers the need for optimization and higher productivity, mainly through digital solutions and innovations. Owners of railway wagons such are railways, wagon manufacturers and keepers and logistic companies, seek the possibility of smart solutions for continuous remote monitoring of their expensive wagon flotillas and loads. They could save billions on maintenance and transportation costs if they know which wagon has to be maintained in which time and achieve better visibility over their supply chain. Broad economic, social and environmental impacts of a commercializing the patented self-charging remote monitoring AxleRing device are centred mainly on prevention of derailments, protection of expensive assets and loads together with optimization of maintenance and logistics, resulting in considerable savings, higher productivity and saved human lives. The aim of this project that belongs to the TRL 6 is to develop marketing and deployment process and organization to support internationalization of AxleRing. The feasibility study is focused on assessment of “go-to-market” options, extension of the legal protection and business plan update. AxleRing project aims at generating annual turnover of 45 million EUR by the end of 2023. The project is a strategic initiative for growth and transformation of the company from an innovation-driven entity, to a market-oriented SME with scale-up partnership based business model. The aim of the Phase 1 project is so to check the feasibility of scaling-up the AxleRing concept for commercialization and bring this breakthrough innovation to European and North American markets, e.g. by the SMEI Phase 2 funding.

The objective of the initiative is to help wagon keepers – wagon lessors, wagon producers, railway and logistic bodies, service companies to save millions of EUR by providing them by unique self-charging remote monitoring device, easily installable to each type of freight wagon, the AxleRing, which helps protect their expensive assets, prevent derailments, optimize maintenance planning, increase possibilities of loads and thus generate considerable savings, create new opportunities, protect human lives and significantly improve the performance and availability of railway assets with considerable social, economic an environmental impacts.

AxleRing unit, an essential element of the smart wagon concept, the future flagship of our company, continuously provides users with complex, real-time data that:
• gives information about location and motion of freight wagons (to protect assets)
• gives information about climate conditions and load treatment (for higher quality, security and efficiency of rail transport and logistical services)
• examines the potential risks of failures (number of technical measurements)
• provides wheel rotation control (exact mileage for maintenance)
• provides electronically controlled pneumatic brakes and automatic couplers
• ensures continuous remote monitoring and communication (wireless sensors installed on wagon; information management SW)
• fits well to any type of wagons
What we have achieved in the first phase of AxleRing project:
- 4 pcs of AxleRing with external sensor were tested in field tests from 2/2019 to 10/2019
- On the basis of trouble-free operation, the DÚ CR approved AxleRing and sensors as authorized accessory wagons without the need for a type test! Now we are waiting for the certificate to be issued.
- Thanks to the new unifying legislation of EU, the certificate is valid throughout the EU.
- Technically on the first version of the prototypes all verified and at the same time developed a version of prototype 2. This version will address the identified shortcomings of the first version:

Currently the AxleRing’s second version of functional prototype is waiting for installation.
We carried out many meetings with potential customers and we got very positive response from them. We have collected requests for more then 50 pcs of samples for testing from 20 customers.
Czech patent extended to EU, USA, Japan and China
The fist generation AxleRing prototype has past field tests with positive results
The first customer confirmed their satisfaction with the AxleRing
The second generation prototype was developed and prepared for next field test
Developed a business strategy to penetrate the global market
We extended number of employees working on the project for 3 new business people and 2 technicians