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Knorr-Bremse and Nexxiot develop a joint telematics solution for freight and passenger trains

22 December 2023
Reading time ~ 3 min
Source: Knorr-Bremse
Savenkova Ekaterina, Editorial Contributor to International Projects of ROLLINGSTOCK Agency
Reading time ~ 3 min
Sotnikov Kirill, Editorial Contributor

The German and Swiss companies plan to launch the solution for monitoring and analysing the condition of components next year. It will be based on information collected by telematics sensors installed on braking, coupling, door, climate, and other systems in rolling stock.

The system will combine several key components: Knorr-Bremse Node, Knorr-Bremse Hub, and associated cloud services. The Node connects to the control units of various rolling stock systems and collects data on geolocation, temperature, power consumption, noise, shock, or vibration. It then transmits this data via Bluetooth to the second component, the Knorr-Bremse Hub. The Hub aggregates the data streams from the Nodes and uploads them to the Nexxiot Cloud via a cellular network (in the future, via the rolling stock’s own bus). The cloud uses algorithms and artificial intelligence to analyse the data streams and transform them into specific information. Through the interface, users can access information on the location, performance, condition, and potential malfunctions of the systems, enabling them to assess maintenance needs.

Knorr-Bremse will start production of the new devices in 2024. To date, there are more than 130,000 CubeControl brake control systems alone and more than 100,000 climate control systems by Merak, a Knorr-Bremse brand, in operation worldwide. The data analytic services in the Nexxiot Cloud ecosystem will be available via subscription for a monthly fee or on a pay-per-use basis. From 2025, Knorr-Bremse’s rail division expects annual revenues in the double-digit million-euro range.

The technological solutions are already being used in several projects related to preventive maintenance. For example, the British leasing company VTG will equip its 50 freight cars with them, and NYAB, a rail freight subsidiary of Knorr-Bremse in the USA, will install Nodes in the brake control systems of freight trains.

Knorr-Bremse acquired a minority stake in Nexxiot in May 2022. Now, the German company can not only influence its strategic decisions, but also plans to invest €60 mln in its development. Nexxiot’s telematics sensors are widely used in Europe, and, according to the company, are installed in more than 25% of the freight cars in the region. The company continues to conquer the US market: its telematics solutions are used by CSX and TTX and are being supplied to the RailPulse project, a major coalition of U.S. operators and car builders set up to create a telematics technology platform.

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