The axle bearing damage process has safety and economic implications on the exploitation of railways systems, as proved by the selection of this topic for inclusion in the present call for research proposals of the FP7 of the EU. Axle bearing damage has been the object of intense attention by railway operators and transportation authorities, leading to a variety of approaches and systems currently in place to deal with the problem. However in Europe there is some lack of standardisation which justifies R&D work on condition monitoring and early diagnosis of axle bearings by technology integration. Moreover the current European documents do not present any guidelines for the maintenance management of the rolling stocks with regards to axle bearings, which make the association of monitoring, diagnosis and maintenance an interesting approach.
The MAXBE project's strategic objective is to provide validated and demonstrated concepts, strategies and guidelines for the interoperable axle bearing monitoring and diagnosis that support the railway operators and managers dealing with the threats imposed by the existence of axle bearing defects.
The MAXBE project will have impact for the reliability, availability, maintainability and safety (RAMS) of rolling stock and infrastructure, focused on the axle bearings.
The consortium for the MAXBE project comprises of 17 partners (industry, leading universities, end-users and a SME) from 8 member states, representing operators, axle bearing manufactures, key players in the railway community and experts in the field of monitoring, maintenance and rolling stock. The presence in the consortium of one axle bearing manufacturer, market leader in the field, and three operators and railway managers, as end-users, is decisive for the enhancement and optimisation of the axle bearing diagnosis and maintenance strategies and for the definition of the new proposed approaches for the interoperability.