Steering system manufacturer, Pailton Engineering has joined the Rail Alliance. The move follows the company’s entry into the rail sector as a supplier of panhard rods and suspension links. The partnership will involve close links with Birmingham University, supporting research into the digitisation of components in rail suspension systems.

The Rail Alliance is the UK rail sector’s largest dedicated business and academic networking organisation, with 773 members and counting. It helps rail suppliers to bring fledgling ideas to market, with the help of other businesses and academia. Joining some big names in the Rail Alliance community such as ABB, Mitsubishi Electric and Panasonic, Pailton Engineering will be leveraging access to research opportunities at the University of Birmingham.

The main objective of the new partnership is to research and develop new technology for suspension part monitoring and maintenance. With the help of the University of Birmingham, Pailton Engineering hopes to digitise components, so that rail operators or service providers receive an automatic alert when the part is wearing out.

“We are just at the beginning of this journey, but this kind of technology will offer huge benefits to rail maintenance,” explained Roger Brereton, head of sales at Pailton Engineering. “We’re confident that with the help of the Rail Alliance, we’ll have access to the right facilities and businesses to see what is possible.

“In theory, a real time view of suspension part performance and condition will not only give rail operators the assurance that our parts are working well, but prevents them from carrying out unnecessary parts replacements on a rigid maintenance schedule, if the part hasn’t worn significantly. This offers huge cost savings in the long-run.”

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