Leveraging IoT technology to optimize FM in heavy haul track

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Leveraging IoT technology to optimize FM in heavy haul track
L.B. Foster

Taking a look at how remote monitoring technology can help railroads maximize the benefits of their FM programs which simultaneously minimizing the cost of running them.

This paper was a joint collaboration between L.B. Foster and CSX Transportation. It was presented at the 2019 AREMA Annual Conference.

Paper Abstract

The benefits of a successfully implemented friction management program for the heavy haul railroad include extended rail life, reduced track damaging forces, reduced rolling contact fatigue, and improved consist fuel economy. However, railroads often struggle in achieving a high friction management program uptime which can limit the railroad’s ability to realize the maximum benefit and return on investment of the program. Internet of Things (IoT) technology can enable railroads to simultaneous maximize the benefits of their friction management program while reducing the costs associated with operating the program. This includes the ability to easily monitor the uptime of application systems, optimizing application rates, improving insight into the operational status of application systems, reducing the track time required to troubleshoot systems, eliminating return visits to systems for maintenance, and reducing the management resources required to effectively run the friction management program.

Beginning in 2017, state-of-the-art remote asset monitoring equipment was installed on 287 trackside application systems (both gauge face lubrication and top of rail friction management) along a 1,400-mile segment of Class 1 heavy haul track. Through the use this monitoring equipment, data analytics, and predictive maintenance algorithms, the program was able to efficiently identify, prioritize, and schedule service work. For 2018, the aggregated uptime for this friction management program was 95%.

If you would like to read the entire paper, it is available on L.B. Foster’s website.

An L.B. Foster press release.

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Categories: ON Track Maintenance, Railroad News, Supplier News, Technology, Track Maintenance
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