Pace of progress hots up with Barnbrook

An award-winning Hampshire manufacturer has won a new contract to supply ‘smart’ technology in an industry first for the railways.
Barnbrook Systems’ cutting-edge BlueCube devices are being used in a trial to track temperatures in carriages and the impact of air conditioning on engine performance.
Staff at the Fareham company’s headquarters will monitor live data beamed back remotely by sensors to identify any issues and record temperatures for later diagnosis.
The ground-breaking initiative – the first of its kind in the country – is part of a renewed initiative to improve passenger comfort by ensuring saloon climate is operating effectively.
It will also probe the impact of air conditioning units when they draw power from the engine –  potentially improving performance – and help to improve the reliability and punctuality of services.
Andrew Barnett, Barnbrook chief technology officer, said: “This is an industry first for our award-winning BlueCube technology.
“It will help pave the way to a more comfortable and punctual travelling experience.
“It will also have a potentially significant impact in terms of preventative maintenance, continuous service and reliability.
“It demonstrates ongoing investment by the rail industry as it embraces new technology and change for the public and business alike.”
Other potential uses for the BlueCube include monitoring water levels in cisterns, brakes and doors on trains as well as GPS tracking.
It is also being tested to monitor fuel levels by a major international helicopter manufacturer.
Andrew added: “Our BlueCube technology can be used in various industries to intelligently monitor systems then remotely report in real time to identify safety, reliability and maintenance issues.
“We are proud to help lead the way in British innovation and design.”
Family-run Barnbrook, which has 40 employees, won supplier of the year and was highly commended for its BlueCube technology at the Light Rail Industry Awards in October.
Earlier in 2014, Barnbrook Systems won the National Passenger Safety title at the UK Rail Industry Awards for its brake controller.
The BlueCube initiative will help the company grow and enable it to invest further in its innovative youth training and apprenticeship programme, and efforts to engage with schools and colleges to get new blood into engineering.
Latest industry figures show that the rail sector generates an annual £1.15 trillion turnover and employs more than 5.4 million people.
Financial details of the arrangement were not disclosed.