Trimble. Intelligence in Rail.

Mining the Data You Need

ARTICLE | AFRICAN MINING BRIEF | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021

Mining the Data You Need—Trimble Machine Vision Systems Monitor Rolling Stock Even in the Harshest Environments

The Trimble Beena Vision range of automatic machine vision wayside inspection and measurement technologies enable the automated, proactive monitoring of rolling stock condition, providing data feeds that can be processed to effectively assess rolling stock condition from component level to full train inspection.

Pinpointing issues minimizes incidents and interruptions to keep rolling stock on the move, reducing operational costs. These solutions can maximize the life of expensive components like wheelsets, enable maintenance cost savings, and increase the predictability of long term maintenance scheduling.

Trimble equipment is specifically designed for purpose and field-proven in the harshest rail environments in the world. Worldwide Trimble has numerous systems in live operation in diverse and at times challenging environments from within the Arctic Circle and Canada, to the Middle East and Central America.

Working in the Harshest Environments

Trimble wayside monitoring solutions

In the application of machine vision technology using wayside detectors, such as the Trimble Beena Vision systems, there are three key phases. Image data acquisition, image and data processing, and fault detection and alarm generation.

Machine vision systems are installed on and around railway tracks where environmental conditions can be extreme. In general, image quality is a significant factor in the success of condition monitoring quality. For the successful deployment of vision-based systems, image quality and fidelity must be independent of environmental conditions such as lighting, temperature, precipitation, etc.

This necessitates that systems are built using robust image capturing hardware and software suitable for a railroad environment. The second significant factor is that for the system to produce images that can be processed, with identifiable features, then proper lighting and effective optical systems must be used. Trimble Beena Vision systems are designed with these factors in mind.

After capturing, labelling and storing images, Machine Vision Algorithms (MVAs) are deployed to process the images and to create the relevant information for the identified components. The information extracted from each image can be used to measure objects such as a wheel profile, brake shoe thickness, or the coupling angle of a brake hose. Once a fault is detected warnings and alarms are generated to alert maintenance teams of required actions.

Automatically Make the Most of Condition Monitoring Data

Trimble machine vision solutions

The Trimble Nexala range of data aggregation and analytics solutions are used by engineering, maintenance, and fleet operations managers to optimize maintenance programs, increase asset utilization, and improve fleet management. Real-time remote diagnostics provide savings on maintenance by avoiding costs and decreasing staffing time to address faults.

Automated processing of diagnostic data in real time via flexible rules engines can detect anomalies in on-vehicle component behavior to identify the status of component health. The automatic generation of actionable alerts and the ability to replay event and signal data that led to faults or incidents can significantly reduce the time to resolution of maintenance issues.

Designed for the Real World

Trimble remote diagnostic solutions

The move to automated inspections is driving change in the longest, heaviest, and highest value rail operations in the world. Many of these operations use Trimble technology to improve how they operate, maintain, and utilize their assets.

Trimble Beena Vision solutions are relied upon to improve safety, reduce costs, improve asset utilization and optimize reliability for some of the longest, heaviest and fastest trains in the world. Trimble has a significant number of systems installed at most major North American Class 1 railroads, including BNSF, Norfolk Southern, CSX, Canadian National, Union Pacific, and Canadian Pacific. Over 200 Trimble Beena Vision wayside monitoring systems are in operation globally with multiple major operators, including over 50 systems in Australia with Aurizon, BHP, Rio Tinto and FMG, in Europe with SNCF in France and VR in Finland, in South America with Vale, VLI, and MRS in Brazil, and in the Middle East with Etihad in the United Arab Emirates.

For more information email rail@trimble.com.

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