Development of a CMOTOR Diagnostic System for a Locomotive Compressor

Development of a CMOTOR Diagnostic System for a Locomotive Compressor


Business Overview

This customer is a prominent player and significant provider of products and services to various industries, including rail, mining, marine, stationary power, and drilling.  

Their aim is to assist clients in achieving faster and cost-effective delivery of goods and services through the utilization of cutting-edge manufacturing methods, specialized knowledge, and interconnected machinery equipment. The solution provided a diagnostic system that yielded high efficiency and cost savings. 


To support the U.S. railways sector, the customer had emerged as a top supplier of rotary equipment, including a vital component used in locomotive braking. However, to ensure seamless and safe operations, the challenge that they faced was that the component required a monitoring system that utilizes sophisticated algorithms for detecting and preventing faults. 


  • NeST Digital developed and manufactured an electronic system with the ability to capture the various operating parameters of the component through sampling, logging, and analysing data with a view to improving performance through predictive maintenance, with many features and functionalities.  
  • High precision simultaneous sampling of 3 phase currents and voltages at 5 KHz rate and FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) based algorithms for fault detection.  
  • A firmware update through USB and Ethernet was also given with logs retrieved using USB mass storage.   
  • Data logs from system could be opened and sorted using Microsoft excel. A voltage phase imbalance detection was created and threshold inputs were made configurable using a PC application.  

Value Delivered

  • High optimization & efficiency – The system operated by loading 50% of the CPU to facilitate simultaneous sampling while optimizing all other functions to perform within the remaining CPU time. Additionally, time-critical tasks could be executed in parallel, enabling efficient processing of multiple tasks at once. 
  • Early Fault Detection: The system uses advanced algorithms to detect and diagnose faults in the compressor, enabling timely corrective actions and reducing the risk of costly breakdowns. 
  • Improved Maintenance: The system provides real-time information on the compressor’s health, enabling maintenance teams to perform preventive maintenance and avoid unscheduled downtime. 
  • Cost Savings: By reducing the risk of unexpected compressor failures and enabling preventive maintenance, the system can help save significant repair and replacement costs while improving the overall equipment lifespan. 


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