Scientists of South Ural State University (the university being participant of Project 5-100) created a unique smart system for land transport. It can predict which of the car units might fail and it may “extend” the car’s life by one quarter.
“The experience of implementing such technologies already exists in aviation. For instance, a digital platform predicting the condition of aircraft engines allowed one foreign company to reduce their maintenance expenses seven-fold,” explains the Research Manager of the project, Professor, Doctor of Sciences (Engineering) Andrey Keller. “In the same way we can solve the problem of timely detection of risks for key units, aggregates and systems of a car.”
How Does It Work?
A car is literally covered in detectors, which in real-time mode “monitor” its technical condition. The obtained data are compared to the car’s reference “digital twin”. That is, the program independently analyses whether all aggregates and units function properly with consideration to the year of manufacture, haulage and operation conditions of the vehicle. And in case there are deviations from the “digital” norm, the “smart” system will signal an alarm meaning that maintenance checkup is required. For instance, brake blocks need to be replaced.
Let us note that this norm (that is the digital model of a car wear) is not pulled out of thin air. It is accurately calculated by scientists by performing real many-month testing. In particular, the SUSU scientists developed their system jointly with KAMAZ enterprise, where the tests were performed. Cars were operated in different conditions, with various loads, and vibration monitoring was performed… They controlled the temperature of the cooling fluid, wear of brake blocks, the level, temperature and quality of oil in the engine, gear box and driving axles, the position of accelerator pedal… After that mathematical regularities were deduced: how the condition of the car’s units and aggregates changes, how their “vibration portrait” changes depending on how many kilometers the car covered on what kind of road.
What does it mean in practice? Here are dry figures. According the researchers’ assessments, the approximate service life of a vehicle may be extended by up to 20-25 percent thanks to the new system. And the expenses on technical maintenance and repair may be reduced two-fold – by 40-45 percent.
“Such system of technical condition monitoring is undoubtedly applicable to all types of vehicles. But it will give a bigger economical effect to enterprises both in cargo shipping and passenger transportation sectors,” explain the developers.
Ideally it should work as follows: the analysis of a certain car’s technical condition is transmitted to the unified control system in a real-time mode. This allows an enterprise to promptly respond to the revealed risks, correct the mode of vehicles’ operation, check the availability of the required parts at the warehouse and order them beforehand if needed. After that it is possible to find a gap in the transportation cycle, form an application for pin-point and timely maintenance. Meanwhile the repairs specialists will not have to completely disassemble and assemble the car to find a certain failure: the vulnerable unit will be known beforehand.