Rolling-stock data logger for Siemens Rail


The project

Spurious error messages, especially those from rolling-stock subsystems, can be difficult and time consuming to diagnose. Siemens Rail, in Manchester, wished to install a data logging system onto their rolling stock to transmit data in real-time back to their depot for efficient data analysis by their team.
The customer challenge
Siemens had contacted various data logger providers, but had ultimately been left unsatisfied with what they could offer. Not only were timescales involved in the project very tight, but a complete solution would require railway approved logging hardware, software to extract and visualise the data, and a cellular communication system to get data into the cloud. As most companies could only cater for one of these elements, Siemens turned to Impulse for a complete solution, allowing them to not only tighten timescales, but also reduce the overall engineering resource required from the Siemens team.
Impulse 360 Assessment
After some initial telephone conversations with Siemens engineers, Impulse and our software partner MPEC visited the Siemens depot in Manchester with a suite of hardware to better understand and qualify the project requirements. Impulse then worked with Siemens engineers to provide railway industry test and compliance information for the proposed hardware in order to accelerate the internal approval process required to fit the hardware on-board the rolling stock.
Proof of concept
Returning to the depot a week later, the initial proof of concept was temporarily fitted to the vehicle in order to test the combination of railway embedded box PC, 4G SIM, antennas, and isolated connection to on-board train systems. Our software partner MPEC had customised their software platform to read and translate various hex codes from the train sub-system which are picked up from Network Rail RFID tags along the Thameslink routes. The Impulse and MPEC team were able to demonstrate a railway compliant hardware, software and communication solution within two weeks of the initial telephone calls, which gave the Siemens project team confidence to move forward with a wider project rollout.
Key partner relationships
As an IIoT and industrial solutions provider, Impulse worked with two technology partners to deliver the solution within the tight deadlines required by Siemens. Axiomtek, a global leader in Embedded and Industrial computing solutions, manufacture EN50155 and EN45545 rolling stock approved computing hardware which Impulse build and configure to specification in our 50,000 sq. feet UK facility. The software element of the project was developed by MPEC who quickly created a customised version of their remote condition monitoring software CENTRIX, a platform already well-established and proven in the challenging applications of the rail industry.
A complete solution
Impulse built, configured and tested the hardware and communication solution whilst the software was being customised. We then set up and installed the logging software, pre-registered and logged each 4G SIM against specific logging hardware / trainset and validated the software install on the cloud portal. This process vastly reduced configuration time for Siemens and simplified the installation process; essentially each logger was fitted to the correct vehicle and simply turned on, no further configuration required. As soon power was applied, the system acquired a cellular network connection, established communication with the CENTRIX cloud software and began data transmission allowing Siemens engineers to access the information in real-time, or analyse various scenarios via a playback and analysis tool within the software, from anywhere in the world.
Industry insight.
Network know-how.
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Impulse services used in this project
Design services
Build services
Support services
We recommend a suitable hardware and core platform for your project based on our 360 Assessment with you
Prototyping services
We can integrate and test additional peripheral cards with your core computing platform ensuring compatibility with driver installation and system imaging
Compatibility testing is provided free of charge as a standard practice for all components within your BOM (Bill of Materials)
We can create, install and deploy operating systems (Linux/Windows) with the option of Windows OS customisation to add features not available on desktop variants
We offer preloading of your software to ensure compatibility and inclusion in the imaging setup process
We can supply end-to-end management and support of machine to machine (M2M) or standard SIM cards for global cellular solutions
We can prepare and finalise prototype hardware platforms ready for mass production repeatable solutions
Customise chassis colour, I/O labelling and logo (retaining manufacturer serial and name plate) SEE Custom branding ABOVE
Build services
Our programmised system build routines are undertaken in our antistatic controlled engineering facility based in the heart of the UK
We offer secure and controlled imaging services in-house providing you with your own captured golden image for repeatable and dependable system deployment
Our advanced test services are designed to meet your specific needs including extended soak, full load, burn in and software testing
We supply as standard, detailed photographic and documentary evidence of our build process for all computer system solutions
Testing services
We offer additional testing and simulation services for systems requiring market compliance with specific safety and environmental standards
Logistics services
We offer custom kitting for your complex projects and installations requiring specialist and robust packing and labelling services
After-sales services
We offer complete 3rd line UK technical support, free of charge for the lifetime of your product
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MediaCase studiesRolling-stock data logger for Siemens Rail