HITACHI Rail has completed the acquisition of British rail technology firm Perpetuum, a supplier of digital solutions to improve train reliability and performance.

The deal was announced in August last year. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The acquisition follows the Hitachi’s strategy of expanding its digital capabilities, including the creation of it Lumada platform which uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to turn data into actionable business insights.

Perpetuum’s self-powered wireless sensors detect on-board vibrations and send back real-time data about the performance of critical train parts, operating on a continuous basis while trains are running. This allows the “Health Status” of the components to be calculated, identifying potential issues to be fixed before they delay passengers’ journeys. None of the more than 3000 coaches fitted with the application have ever had critical components fail in service.

While Perpetuum already has blue-chip customers across three continents, Hitachi says this acquisition is likely to drive further growth. While Perpetuum’s offering has largely focused on bogies, Hitachi says the technology has the potential to provide actionable insights wherever it is generated on the train. It also sees potential to use the technology to monitor infrastructure assets such as signalling equipment, tracks and railway structures.

“Hitachi is focused on expanding its digital innovation and sustainability offers, and the acquisition of Perpetuum achieves both goals,” says Mr Andrew Barr, group CEO, Hitachi Rail. “We’ll be able to improve the service to our customers using Perpetuum’s data-driven insights - leading to better journeys for passengers.”

“We are excited to be joining Hitachi Rail, not only for the opportunity to grow our core business across global markets, but to continue to advance and transform railway and fleet management for all our customers and partners,” says Perpetuum CEO, Mr Steve Turley.