Industrial IoT initiative to improve Efficiency and Safety in the Rail Industry

Global demand in the transportation sector continues to outpace supply and is recognized as a key area for economic growth. Leveraging Penteon’s electronic sensor development, telecommunications gateway infrastructure and enterprise cloud expertise, the Industrial IoT initiative will open a new era in low-cost, highly-secure rail sector services.

Penteon Corporation has announced a new Industrial IoT initiative to develop custom industrial sensing solutions for locomotives, rail cars and track-side equipment in partnership with Wabtec Corporation. Aging rail systems and lack of real-time data collection have become limiting factors in addressing this increasing demand. Embracing new technologies to acquire and analyze information across their operations and using that information to become more efficient and effective will deliver a more responsive and agile operating environment to rail operators.

The solutions planned for development by Penteon and Wabtec include data collection from rail equipment and systems to develop a real-time, holistic view on the health and status of locomotives, rail cars, and track-side systems. This IIoT project capitalizes on the more than 25 years of remote sensing engineering within Penteon and will deliver cost effective, secure and efficient solutions leveraging Penteon’s unique “Sensing as a Service” business model.

“Penteon’s new, low-power, long-range wireless network, which it is building in partnership with Landmark Infrastructure Partners, will also play a key role in delivering reliable cost-effective services,” said Clay Perreault, Chief Executive Officer of Penteon. “Our work with Wabtec is a truly collaborative, consultative relationship, which involves dedication from both parties.  By working side-by-side with our customers, we’re able to drive the best outcomes at an accelerated pace.”    Read more…

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Penteon and hiSky Join Up to Provide Rail and Transport Operators LTE/LPWA/Satellite-based Private Network Services

Penteon and hiSky Join Up to Provide Rail and Transport Operators LTE/LPWA/Satellite-based Private Network Services

Penteon and hiSky Join Up to Provide Rail and Transport Operators LTE/LPWA/Satellite-based Private Network Services

Penteon Corporation and hiSky have announced a partnership to jointly supply satellite-based industrial Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for enterprise and heavy industry.

Integrating hiSky’s portable satellite terminals, with Penteon’s industrial remote sensing platforms, will enable the companies to provide mobility and seamless connectivity regardless of location. The resulting solutions will extend the coverage offered by Penteon’s terrestrial Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN), which is currently being implemented across the North America for Smart City and Smart Industry applications.

The partnership leverages Penteon’s extensive remote sensing product portfolio to resolve the high costs and mobility challenges associated with satellite based connectivity. hiSky’s Smartellite™ flat panel phased-array satellite technology will enable Penteon to deliver reliable remote sensing and asset tracking solutions at significantly lower costs and reduced physical size anywhere in the world.

Clay Perreault, CEO of Penteon, says:
“This partnership adds new technology and satellite expertise to our growing catalog of custom solutions for Smart Industry. We are already working with many industrial and heavy industry clients who use our terrestrial LPWAN network.”

“Augmenting our network with hiSky’s low cost satellite based solutions assures coverage at dramatically lower costs, and enables us to offer availability of crucial data in real-time, regardless of location. This will greatly increase the safety and efficiency in many industries.”

Penteon network coverage

In the illustration presented here, LoRa LPWAN coverage (in green) is engineered to be continuous in populated/commonly traversed railway segments, while more rural/unused areas may not have continuous coverage, and be serviced by hiSky’s Smartellite satellite terminal technologies. The yellow area covered by LTE provides high bandwidth intermittent coverage in communities/villages along the railway line where terrestrial internet is available for backhaul. The sensors are placed on the train, providing 24X7 monitoring of the locomotive(s) and rail cars. Onboard preprocessing is accomplished with Penteon’s Intelligent data routing hardware, onboard to selecting the most appropriate off-board communication method based on the performance and cost of the available network(s). Terrestrial communications are typically chosen when available, within reach of cities, while hiSky’s terminals become active outside populated areas.

“Penteon and hiSky are ideally positioned globally to deploy a purpose-built, private satellite network for all transport and rail operators. By leveraging Penteon’s private enterprise LTE A/5G and LPWAN networks and augmenting it with unique custom-built transport sensing platforms based on hiSky’s mobile satellite terminals, it is now possible to offer custom-engineered wireless network services to railway and transport operators on a global scale, at cost effective prices”, says Shahar Kravitz, CEO of hiSky.

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2,000 IoT sensors will monitor the Netherlands’ rail network — UK is the next stop

ProRail, a government-owned maintenance company, will be installing 2,000 IoT sensors to monitor rail network assets.

The sensors are from Strukton Rail company Dual Inventive and will be rolled out in the coming months in the Netherlands. 1,500 sensors will be installed on points with point heating; while 500 sensors will be used for other rail systems — including barriers and catenaries.

Each of the sensors will monitor the infrastructure for issues such as temperature changes in the rails. A low temperature may indicate a ‘point heating’ failure during the winter. In the summer, the sensors can detect whether rails may expand due to high temperature .

This data can be used to ensure the railways continue running safely and efficiently with as little downtime as possible.

“We want to gain experience with the application of new technology such as sensors,” comments Johan Schaap, infra availability manager for ProRail. “The sensors will be available for the four maintenance contractors that are active in the performance oriented contract areas in the Netherlands.

“They will be able to use the available data in their daily operations.”

As we reported last year, Siemens is making use of the IoT to great effect with their locomotive business in Spain. An example was given of a train running from Barcelona to Madrid 2,000 times over the period of a year, and only the once it was delayed longer than five minutes.

Siemens, similar to what Dual Inventive are doing, use sensors to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ what’s happening on the track. Infrared sensors track when they get hot, while Furthermore, audio pickups listen for when the wheels start to make a sound which indicates they’re misshapen and need to come in for repair.

“After a while, they began to use predictive analytics to predict when this machine needed repair so it can be pulled off the line at their convenience,” explained Daniel Graham, director of technical marketing at Teradata.

The end result of Siemens’ efforts cut derailments by 75 percent and potentially saved lives or prevented injuries as well as reducing operational costs. The remaining 25 percent of derailments were caused by human error.

Following the deployment of its sensors in the Netherlands, Dual Inventive have confirmed they have also begun work on digitising the UK’s railways.

“Having started in the Netherlands, we are now also contributing to the digitisation of railways in the UK on behalf of Network Rail,” says Lex van der Poel, managing director of Dual Inventive. “We advise rail infra managers worldwide to realise IoT in railways in a safe and sustainable way, involving the selection of the IoT infrastructure, communication networks, safety, and cyber security.”

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