GERMANY: Scharfenberg coupler manufacturer Voith and Siemens Mobility have launched a three-year project to lower costs by using data to optimise maintenance strategies.

During the first phase of the project, Siemens Mobility maintenance teams will collect data on the condition of the Scharfenberg couplers on 84 Rhein-Ruhr-Express trainsets, measuring data such as coupling slack or protrusion and recording images and any maintenance measures taken. This data will be sent to Voith for evaluation.

In the second phase of the project Voith will use the data to develop a predictive maintenance algorithm for its OnCare.Health Schaku app, which will be integrated into Siemens Mobility’s Railigent data platform.

Once both phases have been completed, the findings will be continuously validated to produce more accurate forecasts, with work continuing until 2031.

‘We have never had the opportunity to evaluate so much detailed operating data and physical measurements of our couplers’, said Dr Matheus Habets, Vice-President for Product Management Digitalisation Mobility at Voith Turbo. ’This long-term cooperation with Siemens is extremely valuable for us to gain a deep understanding of the wear of our Scharfenberg couplers.’