Locomotives provide the power to move the millions upon millions of tons of cargo which every railroad must handle every year. These immensely powerful machines are tough, reliable, and long-lasting, but like any other machine can, and sometimes do, break down. Depending on the type of breakdown, this can cause a delay of minutes to a delay of hours or more, and potentially can lead to accidents. Locomotives are comprised of many systems – electrical, hydraulic, power generation, and mechanical – any of which can break down. Ideally, all such systems would be monitored at all times, so that impending failure would be seen long before it actually occurred, allowing the scheduling of service on the locomotive ahead of time and thus preventing any unexpected failures while on a line.

IEM’s Locomotive Health Monitoring System provides this capability through use of our adaptable Smart Wireless Sensor units, unique and patent-pending wireless network technology, and condition monitoring system design. The sensor nodes can be applied to nearly any component of the locomotive systems and can measure any relevant quantity – strain, vibration, heat, chemical vapors (leaks), and others – as needed for that particular component. The data is sampled at the desired rate, transmitted to a central data analysis system, and processed to arrive at a clear, easily-understood evaluation of the locomotive and all subsystems.