Bloomberg: Ohio train crash puts spotlight on heat sensors

UC College of Engineering and Applied Science professor explains sensor technology

Bloomberg News turned to a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Cincinnati to explain how the rail industry prevents accidents like the Feb. 3 derailment that caused a chemical spill into the Ohio River.

According to Bloomberg News, the nation's rail system relies on a network of heat sensors designed to detect when bearings overheat. But these systems are prone to false alarms and antiquated compared to monitoring systems used in many other industries.

Heat sensors have helped to reduce rail accidents from bearing or axle failures by 81% since 1980, Bloomberg said.

Portrait of Sam Anand.

UC Professor Sam Anand

UC College of Engineering and Applied Science Professor Sam Anand told Bloomberg News that companies typically use sophisticated vibration or acoustic monitoring devices.

“Any expensive modern machinery you see on the factory floor, they all have embedded sensors,” Anand told Bloomberg News.

Anand studies additive manufacturing and manufacturing systems optimization. He has worked extensively with technology innovator Siemens to develop virtual simulations and predictive algorithms that can anticipate a manufacturing factory’s ebb and flow, from optimizing productivity to predicting when a machine likely will break down.

Anand helps oversee UC's Industry 4.0/5.0 Institute. 

 Read the Bloomberg story.

Featured image at top: UC's Mantei Center. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

Related Stories


Dayton Inno: UC alumni develop wearable safety device for runners

October 28, 2021

University of Cincinnati biomedical engineering graduate Jack Randall is developing a wearable safety device for runners and cyclists. Zoza, a small, wearable SOS device, can be attached to a shoe or zipper and is intended for endurance athletes who often don’t carry a phone or who travel through remote areas. A user can press a button to send an emergency alert and the device even works in locations where cell service is unavailable.