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Railway with sensors
Our Projects

KONUX IIoT/SaaS predictive maintenance solution

KONUX is deploying AI-based predictive maintenance to improve the reliability of rail infrastructure. Zühlke developed the field data acquisition device.

Executive Summary

  • Agile methods enable rapid time-to-market and high quality
  • Interdisciplinary teams enable numerous innovative details
  • Zühlke’s experience with smart connected solutions

Absolute reliability essential

KONUX combines smart IIoT units, data fusion and AI-driven analytics to improve system availability and facilitate maintenance planning. On top of exceptional expertise, this requires reliable, autonomous field sensors capable of connecting to the mobile network and of operating autonomously for many years. Zühlke developed the electronics and embedded software, took care of test automation and industrialisation, and provided technical support with product manufacture. KONUX and Zühlke managed the project together using agile methods (Scrum) and a ‘One Team’ approach.

Sébastien Schikora
As a data company, we knew, the quality of our insights depends on the quality of the data collected. Zühlke, with their extensive expertise and proven high quality standards, was a great partner in helping us develop a robust and high-precision IIoT device, optimized for the harsh environmental condition on the railway track.
Sébastien Schikora

Multiple device iterations

Systems used on the rail network are very tightly regulated and have to be totally reliable. In the case of sensors, that means operating independently and maintenance-free for many years, despite extreme weather conditions and vibration. They also need to consume a minimum of energy, despite needing to be able to reliably transfer large volumes of data with absolute accuracy and in near realtime. Field acceleration measurements need to be absolutely accurate (calibrated sensors) and take place in real time. To enable new functions to be added rapidly and without interrupting rail traffic in the field, the device also needs to be able to update its firmware using OTA updates. KONUX and Zühlke approached this challenge by using a series of device iterations to arrive at a final end product. 

Rail to cloud solution

The result was a robust, low-power sensor design that, by waking the sensor system shortly before a train arrives, guarantees a long life span. Data are processed internally using edge computing and then dispatched to a cloud via GSM for analysis, visualisation and evaluation. At the end of the project, the development expertise was transferred to KONUX, enabling the start-up to develop and support the solution independently going forward.