Railway transportation is environmentally friendly. That is not just a marketing claim and is easy to prove. Per kilometer and passenger, a long-distance train on average produces just 41 grams of CO2. A private car, on the other hand, emits on average of 142 grams and a passenger airplane even emits 211 grams. Therefore, from an environmental point of view it would be good if more people traveled by rail. And for goods traffic there would also be corresponding benefits for the environment.
There are a variety of reasons why this has not yet taken place and to list all of these would be too much for this article. But one important aspect which can improve the attractiveness of the railways for travelers is reliability and punctuality. A decisive factor for this is in turn digitalization. And here I am not talking about WLAN in the trains or smartphone apps to buy tickets. Digitalization means much more and in particular includes areas which the customer cannot see. These include infrastructure, logistics and maintenance, or in short – rail 4.0. This subject is set to be a focal topic at the forthcoming InnoTrans, the leading international trade fair for transportation technology. MANN+HUMMEL will be there from September 18 to 23 in Hall 18 on Stand 303.
Filters and much more at the InnoTrans
Now you may well ask what a global market leader in the field of filtration can contribute to the area of digitalization, and I am happy to answer that question. MANN+HUMMEL naturally offers filter systems for all system areas on the railways. Accordingly, for example, at the trade fair in Berlin we will present the largest cyclone filter built by our company which has already found application in North America in the diesel-electric Siemens Charger locomotive. The cyclone ensures the air quality of the cooling air for the electric components for the drive and control of the locomotive, is designed for volume flow rates of 32,400 m³/h, has over 664 cyclone cells, and weighs 70 kg.
Visitors will also be able to see our practical filters for air conditioning systems which remove the need for the mats previously used. Their stable design in the form of cassettes saves the customer a lot of time during servicing and protects the respective employee against harmful dust. Against this background we are also introducing our FreciousPlus filter known from the automotive sector which also reliably removes harmful gas, allergens and germs from the air sucked in. Another filter product is our ENTARON HD series which finds application in compressors, with engine ventilation and also cabin ventilation. The filters convince through their exceptionally long service life and high separation efficiency of over 85% for pre-separation and over 99.99% for overall separation. Digital technology is then introduced with Senzit.
A finished product as an idea for the railways
What is Senzit? In short, it uses innovative sensors to measure the condition of the air cleaner in real time and then transfers the result to the user. The user can then read out the load status of the air cleaner along with the remaining service life and the machine hours so far. This is very practical and while primarily saving time it also reduces maintenance costs, protects the engine and enables exploitation of the full capacity of the air cleaner.
At InnoTrans we will present the product which is already available for agricultural and construction machines. For sure, the product will not be implemented 1:1 in trains because the application conditions are significantly different. But in fact our priority is to use an existing product to demonstrate to the railway industry that many requirements for the digitalization process are in principle already present.
If Senzit was used, for example, to monitor filters in air conditioning systems in trains, there would be numerous advantages. Up to now the operators of the corresponding filters have simply changed the filters at regular intervals, regardless of whether the capacity limit has been reached or not. That is a cost factor and can become a problem when the filter change is made too late. In modern trains the air conditioning system is already in operation with an external air temperature of 5 degrees because the amount of heat the travelers radiate would make traveling unpleasant without air conditioning in the carriages.
Bearing this in mind, it is easy to understand that the system is put under much higher pressure when the temperature of the ambient air outside is high. If a filter now reaches its capacity limit, the performance of the air conditioning system will fall significantly until it fails completely. This will surely not further the aim of customer satisfaction. Senzit can be used to exactly adjust the maintenance interval and therefore improve availability and ultimately the punctuality of the trains.
This helps to reduce costs, protects the air conditioning system and especially protects the travelers. We therefore want to use the trade fair to demonstrate to customers and potential customers as well as producing excellent filtration products, we also develop intelligent technologies which give our customers added value.