Siemens has made a "significant strategic equity investment" in Wi-Tronix, a supplier of remote monitoring, video analytics, and predictive diagnostic systems for rail rolling stock and infrastructure and other industrial markets.
The investment is equivalent to a minority interest in Wi-Tronix, which will continue to conduct business as a standalone, founder-led company out of its Bolingbrook, Ill., headquarters. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Siemens/Wi-Tronix partnership is intended “to expand digital predictive maintenance for rail services,” the companies said in an Oct. 9 joint statement. “Through integration of technologies, and joint development of new innovations, the companies seek to move the industry toward the objective of 100% availability of safe, efficient service.
Wi-Tronix makes critical data available to operators in real time through its Software as a Service (SaaS) technology. Worldwide, approximately 12,000 locomotives, primarily in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Australia, are equipped with Wi-Tronix technology and connected with SaaS-based solutions. Among them are the 70 Siemens ACS-64 electric locomotives operated by Amtrak on the Northeast Corridor.
“Wi-Tronix is a leading innovator in real-time monitoring for rail,” explained Johannes Emmelheinz, CEO of Customer Services at Siemens Mobility Division. “The company has profound expertise in key technologies such as video analysis, providing unique information for both real-time and predictive applications. Partnering with developers of exceptional technologies is a key part of our strategy to deliver expansive digital services for predictive maintenance.”
“We were very deliberate in seeking the ideal partner to work with,” stated Larry Jordan, President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Wi-Tronix. “Siemens shares our commitment to improving the world by making the transportation of people and goods safer, more reliable, and more efficient. This requires rail operators to have access to critical data that supports both real-time decisions and predictive maintenance. With their global reach and resources, we will accelerate development of our products and expand our footprint to serve customers across platforms around the world.”
Siemens operates a worldwide network of Mobility Data Services Centers to analyze masses of data that are continually collected from hundreds of sensors and controllers in trains, locomotives and rail infrastructure. On the basis of these analyses, early forecasts of system failures are made and recommendations for acute or scheduled maintenance are sent to technicians in the Siemens depots as well as to the operators.