April 15, 2016

GE Transportation has opened a locomotive monitoring and remote diagnostic center in Contagem, Brazil.

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Locomotives carry approximately 475 million tons of cargo through more than 30,000 kilometers of railways per year and travel through the vast Brazilian territory to supply various regions of the country.

Year after year, the industry has been helping to develop increasingly efficient solutions for the Brazilian market, and GE is an important part of this. For more than 50 years, GE Transportation has been present in Brazil creating innovative railway solutions. Now, we are charting a new direction for the industry, with delivery of our 1500th locomotive in Brazil, the Evolution ES43BBi, which is the first digital locomotive produced in Brazil.

In addition to launching the project, developed exclusively for the local market and in which equipment leaves the factory prepared to receive software and sensors, GE has just opened a locomotive monitoring and remote diagnostic center in Contagem.

Based in Contagem, our engineers and professionals will analyze the data collected by various sensors installed in locomotives through the Locomotive Maintenance Suite (LMS) to monitor the condition of the fleet and anticipate any potential problems. This makes it possible to issue real-time alerts so railway operators and customers can correct problems early on to avoid service failures and unscheduled stops.

It used to be difficult to identify problems in remote regions, but now it is possible to repair locomotives in adverse weather or geographical conditions by using remote monitoring solutions. To handle specific issues like elevated rainfall and temperatures in the northern region of Brazil, for example, GE has customized the solution for the Brazilian market.

One of the unique features of the system is the issuing of detailed instructions in Portuguese to help find the root of the failure, which increases efficiency and effectiveness of actions, and offers greater reliability for the fleet. For maintenance teams, this means the opportunity to work in a preventative way with customers.

"With this new tool you can send daily reports to the customer, monitor performance trends and work with the machines in a proactive and intelligent way," said Luiz Claudio Torelli, Director of Customer Support at GE Transportation.

According to customers already using the system, it allows for:

  • 20% reduction in number of failures

  • Approximately 25% reduction in time spent on diagnoses

  • 50% reduction in recurrence of failures due to more effective interventions

LMS technology was initially developed in 2009 to assist GE in maintaining its own fleet of locomotives in the United States. Now, it is available to customers in various countries - with adjustments for each region – and for more than 15,000 locomotives worldwide.

The expectation is that 100% of GE's customers will use this solution.

"GE brings expertise drawn from its entire global network of research centers to serve customers. Our ability to anticipate future demands is increasing and the inauguration of the Monitoring Center in Brazil is another example of this,” said Torelli.

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