Failed bearings on rolling stocks present serious safety risks, potentially leading to catastrophic events such as derailment or fire. A rise in the heat generated by a bearing is found to be a good predictive diagnostic of a bearing about to fail.
Thus, monitoring the hot axle box bearing temperature with EKE-Trainnet improves train safety by detecting wheelset bearings presenting a risk of failure.
The European standard EN 15437 defines methods for axle box condition monitoring. The method of monitoring hot axle box bearing temperature by onboard monitoring was developed to overcome a number of limitations of the HABD trackside systems. Firstly, temperature monitoring is continuous whereas track equipment only measures at one point in time, when the train passes by. Also, the track equipment is used for all trains with no possibility to develop specific solutions depending on the train type, bogie design, bearing property, and so on while the onboard system can be tailored to match the train characteristics.
The rolling bearing temperature can be monitored either directly or more commonly by monitoring the hot axle box temperature, or more precisely, the grease temperature.
The EKE-Trainnet system monitors the bearing temperature at all times via temperature sensors. Acceptable temperatures and temperature variations are set in the system: any value deviating from the norms will trigger alarms and, potentially, actions to guarantee safety.
EKE-Trainnet system for on-board monitoring of axle box bearing temperature can be certified up to SIL 2.