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Transmission Dynamics Partnership with ZF Transforms Global Rail Gearbox Maintenance

Industrial Asset Monitoring Solutions
  • Smart Oil Plug® will increase rail maintenance efficiency and reduce vehicle downtime.
  • Wireless, sensor-based solution enables real-time monitoring and analysis of gearbox health in driven railway applications.
  • Sensor to be integrated to ZF’s connect@rail condition monitoring platform for rail vehicles and infrastructure.

Following the recent signing of a strategic contract between ZF and Transmission Dynamics, the Smart Oil Plug® is to be integrated into ZF’s comprehensive connect@rail condition monitoring platform by transmitting data to the telematics gateway. This wireless, sensor-based solution enables real-time monitoring and analysis of gearbox health and behaviour in railway vehicles. ZF’s connect@rail portfolio offers digital solutions for the railway industry that enable remote monitoring and predictive maintenance of fleets and rail infrastructure. Using advanced sensor technology and cloud-based data analysis tools, efficiency, reliability, and safety in rail transportation are thus further increased.

Transmission Dynamics’ Founder and CEO Jarek Rosinski stated “We are delighted to see this game changing technology being launched globally by ZF. Following close collaboration over recent years we are confident that with ZF’s market-leading gearbox expertise and global network this technology will reach its full potential.”

As a global technology leader, ZF offers a wide range of connectivity solutions enabling the Next Generation of Mobility. These solutions range from automated mobility concepts, cloud-based applications for fleets through to an open transaction network for vehicles and service providers.

Marco Neubold, Head of Business Line Industrial Aftermarket explains: “Smart Oil Plug is set to be a game changer for global train operators in the coming years. Market data shows that the rail sector is expected to grow significantly over the next few years. This, combined with an increasing emphasis on greener, more efficient solutions where downtime is a serious and costly concern, means the rail aftermarket stakeholders will reap significant benefits from this product offer.”

Already used by some of the largest railway companies, this innovative product is easy to use and simple to install under expert supervision. It offers a holistic view of gearbox health through real-time wireless remote condition monitoring. Already transforming maintenance practices, it consists of a single on-board transceiver – which contains a SIM card – and a Smart Oil Plug which replaces the original oil plug within the gearbox. It can be seamlessly adapted to any rail application.

Accurate data measurements are taken for temperature, oil debris, and vibration. This information is transmitted via Bluetooth to a transceiver and then to the cloud for analysis. Automated reporting with text message or email alerts is generated for exceptions. It also provides early detection of a host of issues to help minimize unplanned down time and allow maintenance to be arranged at a time to suit the operator.

This innovative product can help rail sector operators optimise uptime for most driven applications. ZF estimates that the product could apply to a growing global population of driven railway applications, increasing from approximately 300,000 currently to over 340,000 by 2027. During the pilot phase – carried out by ZF since 2021 – rail providers achieved an average of 30% reduction in maintenance budgets by using the Smart Oil Plug.

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