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Condition monitoring and parameter measurement in railroad systems


Deadline 15/09/2020

Closing Time

CODELCO has asked Expande to prospect the local and international ecosystem to identify technological solutions that respond to the technical challenge “Condition monitoring and parameter measurement in railroad systems”.


The ore transportation process in Codelco’s El Teniente Division (DET) is carried out by the Teniente 8 Railroad Unit. Its main objective is to carry out the transfer or hauling of ore from the different mines located above the Teniente 8 level to the discharge chutes in the area of Colón Alto on the surface. The structure of this railway is a main line of approximately 9 kilometers in length located in a tunnel with secondary and tertiary tracks that add up to about 32 kilometers.

The inspection of the different components associated with the operation of the Teniente 8 Railroad is done manually with workers assigned to these activities, who capture discrete information with a frequency according to the available resources. The work in pursuit of operational excellence and innovation requires looking for alternatives for monitoring solutions of railway parameters and variables on rails, trains, cars, among others, that allow real-time measurements to be carried out online leading to better maintenance management, reducing the risk exposure of maintenance personnel and at the same time, allowing to reduce production interferences and ensure the timely availability of information to manage predictive maintenance tasks of the facilities.

Objectives of this prospection

Identify technological solutions for monitoring conditions associated with key variables and parameters for the different components of railway systems (rails, wheels, trains, cars, pantographs, etc.), specifically, for online and real-time measurement of temperature, weight, profiles, thicknesses, wear, noise, vibration and others that allow replacing manual monitoring and supporting maintenance management.


The proposed technological solution must consider the following conditions:

  • Generation and delivery of information during equipment operation, minimizing workshop inspections.
  • Software / Hardware solution integrated in technology.
  • Compatibility with existing data acquisition systems in Codelco DET.
  • Wireless technologies (desirable).
  • Low maintenance and low operating costs.
  • Training programs.
  • Minimum labour for its implementation, operation and maintenance.
  • Minimal operational interference.
  • Comply with Codelco DET security standards.

Technical characteristics of measuring equipment / instruments (where applicable)

  • Portability and location. Installation place.
  • Transmission type: manual, offline, discreet, online.
  • Pre-processing unit location: On-site or remote.
  • Energy autonomy: wired or wireless, battery life or similar (UPS). If it is wired, indicate requirements (voltage, amperage).
  • Storage capacity and autonomy: GB, autonomous operating time.
  • Transmission protocols: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE, 5G, Manual or other.
  • Operating temperature range: (° Celsius).
  • Required brightness range: Minimum and maximum lumens.
  • Resistance to hostile environments: rugged or non-rugged (IP67 or similar).


Within the background evaluation process, the following will not be considered:

  • Predictive maintenance models.
  • Engineering studies and / or consultancies