Train Telematics Dashboards for Remote CAN Bus Diagnostics
Case Studies / SJ Gotalandstaag AB
SJ is a Swedish railway company that offers sustainable train travel, both as an independent operator and in collaboration with others.
What problem did you solve?
For a long time we have had issues with frequent breakdowns and unstable electricity production on a specific type of vehicles, our Itino diesel trains. The inverter module for 400V-50Hz 3-phase production randomly gave us alarms without any clear reason during various operation conditions.
Many tests and measurements were done in the workshop, but none could find any problem or replicate the alarm conditions. Further, onboard diagnostics data is very limited on these trains - and access to network logging is difficult with commercial solutions. However, in the latest version of the AC-inverter unit we got a CAN bus interface as an extra feature. As a result, we had a much broader set of tools available for collecting data and getting a deeper understanding of the different issues.
"The CANedge2 was quick to implement and it has been a game changer for us to identify technical issues on the trains - the support from CSS has been outstanding whenever needed"
How did you solve it?
As the random alarms were not possible to catch via the service PC, we installed a CANedge2 CAN logger and a CANmod.gps GPS-to-CAN module, connecting it to the AC-inverter CANopen interface in one of the trains with the most frequent problem. We also deployed a 4G WiFi router as the access point for the CANedge2. In addition, we added a CANmod.input module to synchronize signals from the CAN bus with hardware signals and relays onboard the train.
The CANedge2 was configured to upload data to our Amazon S3 bucket and we set up a Grafana dashboard to allow us to continuously monitor the train - and catch all conditions when the alarms would appear for the driver during normal production. Deeper analysis of the operational parameters were done with the asammdf GUI, which provided us with evidence for necessary changes in the control software and improvements of the electrical system in the train.
Though the data collection we also managed to better understand the root causes - and address these to the engineering department at the module supplier in order to optimize the system. Further, it has not only been useful to understand the failure conditions, but also to see the 'normal' operation and how the different conditions affect the quality and stability of the onboard electricity production.
What benefit has this led to?
With the new setup, we have been able to better understand the functionality of the system and pinpoint weak areas with far more detail and clear data. This was our first pilot case based on CAN, but we envision a possible future where we have the CANedge2 or CANedge3 as a permanent solution for our Itino trains to monitor key parameters for predictive maintenance, fault finding and additional customer comfort. Further implementation of the CANedge will reduce the time required for complex troubleshooting and enable higher availability.
Why did you choose the CANedge?
We found the CANedge2 to be a perfect match when looking for a solution to log data from the onboard CAN bus. It covers all our needs in combination with a great set of documentation, tutorials, software and no limits on the expansion possibilities - all at a reasonable price.
— Niclas Hogberg, Vehicle Manager, SJ Gotalandstaag AB
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