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Innovative Product for train door condition monitoring based on vibration analysis algorithms

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - VA-RCM (Innovative Product for train door condition monitoring based on vibration analysis algorithms)

Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2019-09-30

Project Background

It has been identified that there is a necessity for railway operators to drive their costs down to offer competitive prices, reduce train delays to meet customer demand for punctuality and enhance customer safety of train operations. Train doors are a critical element in both maintenance, train delays and safety. VA-RCM is addressing the need towards the development of a system that takes into account the unique behaviour of train doors and assesses their health status based on a dedicated algorithm integrated in the system.

Social Impact

VA-RCM system can enhance the maintenance routine as well as the overall safety. Train delays can be avoided or reduced through the VA-RCM algorithm, which is able to identify and differentiate among various types of failures that may develop within a train door. The deviations produced by VA-RCM system continuous monitoring analysis can act as early alarms for a defect before it becomes substantial and result into a failure accident.

Project Objectives

The overall objectives of the project are the following:

1) To optimise the hardware and software of the system based on commercial requirements
2) To minimise as much as possible the material costs
3) To validate the VA-RCM’s predictive accuracy
4) To certify the VA-RCM system against relevant rail standards
5) To launch an advertising campaign, marketing strategy, implementation, and pre-launch client’s engagement
6) To develop a business plan and route to market for VA-RCM
The entire work is divided into 5 workpackages accompanied by the continuous consortium management, coordination and risk management.

Within WP1 there were different aspects of the system that were addressed based on the input from the end user of the project, namely TMB. More precisely, the specifications related to the hardware and software were addressed and based on that a first commercial version was prepared with a view to be installed at TMB’s train.

The first validation and demonstration of the VA-RCM system’s functionality was performed at TMB’s train line 3 within WP2. A detailed report with all the findings from the first demonstration was prepared (D2.1) along with an overall assessment of the VA-RCM’s operation in real working conditions. Based on this results final modifications were performed and the most significant results are described in D5.2.

Based on constant interaction with TMB the consortium made sure that the VA-RCM system was certified against relevant railway standards namely :
• EN-45545 - Fire safety on rolling stock
• EN-50155:2017 - Railway Applications - Rolling Stock - Electronic Equipment
• EN61373:2010 – Railway Applications – Rolling Stock – Shock and Vibration Tests
• EN60068-2-1 – Environmental Testing. Test A - Cold
• EN60068-2-2 – Environment Testing. Tests B – Dry Heat.
• EN50121-3-2 – Railway Applications – Electromagnetic Compatibility – Part 3 – 2: Rolling Stock - Apparatus

VA-RCM Consortium has had strong presences in many different events with a view to promote the final system and engage with potential end users that would be interested in further exploitation. Among these activities it was the preparation of a dedicated website that was frequently updated with information on the project progress , a video that describes the system and its capabilities and big rolling stock events to ensure quick market take-up.

The preparation of the pre-launching of the VA-RCM system was carried out based on the interaction with major players from the rolling stock industry. The user engagement was relatively high, which has facilitated the successful launch of the system. The final version of the system was installed and tested on TMB’s train in real operational environment. Live data were received from the system and a dedicated graphical user interface was developed for better and easier interaction with the acquired data.

Within WP6, Hitex as the coordinator was responsible for the achievement of the relevant technical and commercial progress in the project and monitoring its contractual and financial aspects. Regular monitoring of the consortium activities ensured the prompt and smooth delivery of the project objectives according to the information provided in the grant agreement.
The final system that was developed is offering unique selling points which are the following:
1) Hardware wise: VA-RCM is a miniature system with high-level electronics designed especially for the purpose of train door monitoring;
2) Software wise: VA-RCM consists of an algorithm which has been proven that it can successfully classify between different failure modes that may develop on a train door;
3) Graphic User Interface: A graphic user interface has been designed specifically for the case of VA-RCM system. This interface alarms the user when a failure is being developed on the train door;
4) System costs: VA-RCM system is optimised in design so that the cost for manufacturing and installation is minimised.

The main results from the project were associated with the development of the relevant hardware and software with a view to be able to install the system in trains and perform condition monitoring of train doors. The health of train doors was performed with the development of a dedicated algorithm that takes into account the unique behaviour of each pair of doors.

The main impacts from the development of VA-RCM system are the following:
1. VA-RCM project has led the way accelerating innovation, with the capabilities of remote monitoring for train doors based on the unique behaviour of the door
2. The trials proved the systems capability to achieve more than 97% detection of defects that could lead to train door malfunction
3. Bring together project partners from 3 different European countries, which has provided valuable international perspective and considerations for further product development and distribution
4. International safety regulations have been considered to ensure the product meets UK and EU rail compliance and standards
5. The VA-RCM system was tested to the highest rail industry standards with a view to ensure it is fit for global distribution and adaptation
Casing overview
System diagram
Algorithmic challenges - the acquisition data