Knorr-Bremse has developed its iCOM (Intelligence Conditioned Oriented Maintenance) platform, providing advanced diagnosis and maintenance for both large and small rail and truck fleet operators. iCOM is an IoT application framework for innovative fleet management, monitoring and analytics. The iCOM platform uses on-board sensor units and about 30 subsystems, such as brakes, heating and ventilation, wipers and doors to collect data. They continually generate data that is wirelessly transmitted to the iCOM platform, which reports back conditions such as temperature, duration of use, error conditions and other events.
iCOM uses the data to enable condition-based, rather than static, scheduled maintenance for Knorr-Bremse. This means any issue can be identified before it becomes a serious safety problem or needs a more costly repair or replacement. Customers of iCOM use the solution for their fleet rail vehicles, helping lower costs and improve safety because they can identify components requiring replacement or repair before they fail.
The Knorr-Bremse development team used a number of open source components to build the iCOM platform. For analysis and reporting on the vast quantities of data that the solution gathers, it used open source BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools).
“However, in order to meet customers’ growing expectations for more sophisticated, predictive analysis, or to build their own reports without having to rely on IT, we started searching for a more powerful, customizable analytics solution that could also cope with customers’ requirements,” explains Thomas Brauchle, digital platform and services director, iCOM at Knorr-Bremse. “Our customers wanted the ability to perform greater analysis of their data, for example to predict when components would fail, to extend the life of a component or to understand the causes of failure. Continually collected data results in significant volumes across a fleet, which meant an effective solution would also have to be highly scalable,” says Martin Steffens, Project Manager and Software Architect for digital platform, iCOM at Knorr-Bremse.