Indian Railways received its first SMART coach yesterday (29 August) with 100 more such coaches to be manufactured within a year, Financial Express has reported. The SMART coaches will shift focus from predictive maintenance to preventive maintenance by using sensors, the report says.
The coach is being built on a Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) platform, by Modern Coach Factory, Rae Bareli as part of the ‘Make In India’ programme.
The extra cost of manufacturing will be recovered through savings on maintenance according to the officials. The SMART coaches come equipped with state-of-the-art sensors and a centralised computer that in turn monitors all the sensors. This provides a single window for monitoring the health of each coach.
The sensor which is having the “vibration-based self power harvesting” on the axle box helps in prediction of wheel defects on bearing and hard points on tracks. This will eliminate failures and help railways in planning maintenance activities. The Passenger Information and Coach Computing Unit (PICCU) monitors four key parameters of the coach and sends reports to a remote server. The AI enabled CCTV system will also monitor overall security and behaviour of rail personnel.
In addition to this, the SMART coach has a GPS based announcement system, water level indicator, coach diagnostic system that monitors brake health, fire detection system and alarm system.
The coaches will also have GPS-based passenger announcement and passenger information system and the digital destination board that will keep passengers informed about the current location of the train, expected time of arrival at the next station and the speed of the train.
It has also been revealed that the wheels of the smart coaches will going to be powered by the “vibration-based self-power harvesting sensor”, which will know in advance if the tracks they are about to run on are weak or not. The sensors are based upon energy harvester which means they will be charged by the jerks that are already present in the train.