Rheinbahn began installing the system on three type NF8U low-floor eight-axle LRVs, built between 2006 and 2012, in June, after launching a joint project with Knorr-Bremse in January.

Rheinbahn says the technology has made ongoing operations more transparent, allowing it to carry out maintenance in line with actual levels of wear on components, while potential problems are identified early. Other data helps analyse and evaluate the performance of energy-consuming components, facilitating timely intervention and enhanced maintenance which is improving efficiency.

“The Rheinbahn workshops receive online data that enables them to reach well-founded conclusions about the need for maintenance, repairs or component replacement,” says Rheinbahn head of vehicle operations, Mr Jörg Klaeden. “The resultant benefits, such as eliminating costs at an early stage, are initially to be found on the preventive side, as vehicle breakdowns can be avoided by means of preventive maintenance.”

“The online transmission of data from moving vehicles will help improve the organisation of workshop operations, reduce vehicle downtimes and cut operating costs,” says member of the executive board of Knorr-Bremse AG - rail vehicle systems division, Dr Jürgen Wilder. “This project also breaks new ground in terms of the close collaboration between fleet operator and component manufacturer. Through iCOM, Knorr-Bremse’s proximity to the customer leads to high availability of the vehicle fleet and falling operating costs.”

Predictive maintenance
Knorr-Bremse vice president RailServices, Mr Mario Beinert, Rheinbahn head of vehicle operations, Mr Jörg Klaeden, Knorr-Bremse head of urban transport railservices Germany, Ms Sabine Auer, Rheinbahn management board member, Mr Michael Clausecker, and Knorr-Bremse head of value added services, Mr Markus Schumann, at InnoTrans 2018.