Avant-garde innovations from FS Group employees: the S4R

Amongst the new business ideas developed in the context of the business entrepreneurship project, Innovate, is a device capable of detecting in real time any eventual anomalies that may arise whilst trains are operating. The system, for which a prototype has already been constructed, uses sensors applied directly to the train that promptly intercept any abnormal stresses.

This state-of-the-art technology, in synergy with the diagnostic systems already in use, represents a significant support mechanism in ensuring control of the maintenance needs for both the infrastructure and convoys.   

S4R, the acceleration monitoring system, is the result of the ingenuity of a team comprised of a range of professionals from Rete Ferroviaria Italiana and Trenitalia. Under the guidance of a mentor, along a journey of some months, the team devised and developed a device that ensures: high sensitivity, reliability and low production costs due to the exploitation of technologies that are already widely in use.

Sensors installed on train carriages determine the stresses that are analysed in real time by a control unit. In this way, the system makes it possible to detect any irregularities in the trains and infrastructure whilst simultaneously providing support for predictive maintenance. In addition, should potentially critical situations arise, a report can be sent to the driver, who can take appropriate action.

Upon concluding a competitor analysis, the team prepared an experimentation plan divided into three phases: after the functional tests in the laboratory, testing is planned on the trial circuit in Bologna San Donato before finally undertaking a test run to assess the functionality of the entire system.

As underlined by Alessandro La Rocca, Director of FS Italiane's Innovation and Information Systems, employee involvement is essential in growing the Group from the perspective of innovation via cutting-edge solutions, exactly like S4R.