Photo credit (banner): Fred de Gasquet

Cutting-edge rolling stock maintenance keeps SNCF on track with the connectivity revolution and the quest for zero emissions. Which is why our Technicentres are using innovative, big data-driven technologies to improve working conditions for our employees and accelerate digital transformation of our infrastructures.

Predicting risks, anticipating failures

Predictive maintenance has two components: using real-time remote diagnostics to identify when failure is likely to happen and taking the right steps to prevent it.

A case in point? Our T@B accelerometer, designed to measure track vibrations caused by passing TGVs. SNCF maintenance teams use this innovative tool to monitor deterioration in components, preventing risks before they happen.

Exoskeletons for our employees

We’re also using innovation to lighten the load on SNCF tech teams. In September 2019, our maintenance centres deployed an exoskeleton that provides 15 kg of support for lifting and handling.

The product of a three-year partnership with Ergosanté Technologie, this new gear prevents neck and back injuries and ensures good posture when technicians raise their arms or bend forward.

Exosquelette - #InnovMat2019 #SNCF

Smart and connected

High-performance rail freight is essential to preserving our planet, and we’re entering a new era with the Digital Freight Train, developed by SNCF Logistics and Traxens and deployed in 2017.

This cutting-edge technology uses interconnected sensors, installed on our freight trains, to track their condition anytime, anywhere. Data points include location of cargo, detection of abnormal shocks and temperature readings on refrigerated wagons.

Internet of Things

At SNCF, the Internet of Things (IoT) is everywhere. By installing thousands of sensors on our network and aboard our trains, we’ve improved maintenance of our industrial assets. But sensors run on electricity, and we still need to meet our targets for energy efficiency.

Solution: self-powered sensors. Areas of investigation include harnessing the energy from track vibration, noise and heat, adding solar panels, and even using nanotechnology to create a “smart dust” of sensors so small they would be invisible to the naked eye.