Meet the “digital rail car”: the aggregation of data regarding location, condition, and load of rail cars enables the more flexible use of transportation capacity and thus increases competitiveness. Service and maintenance can also be optimized using digital information. The availability of mobile infrastructure is thus increased – making it possible for more cargo to be transported by rail.
VTG will present its concepts for making the railway transportation viable for the future at transport logistic 2019. We are looking forward to seeing you in Munich!
A suspension spring on a tank car has broken unexpectedly, and it cannot carry on with the faulty part on the bogie. A job for Waggonwerk Brühl, a subsidiary and mobile service of VTG.
The damage occurred near Hamburg, so two employees set off from there in their fully-equipped service vehicle. “With our rolling workshops, we can react quickly and carry out minor repairs directly on site”, says Florian Steinbock, Head of Mobile Service at Waggonwerk Brühl. The mobile service cuts downtimes and minimizes transfer costs for defective wagons – and makes rail freight transportation faster, more efficient and cost-effective.
The range of services provided by mobile units includes replacing chassis components, valves and safety mechanisms. The technicians repair brakes, bogies and chassis, emptying and filling devices as well as insulation. Lettering or graffiti removal are also carried out on site. Even wheel sets and buffers can be replaced under certain circumstances.
Waggonwerk Brühl can look back on over a hundred years of history in the repair and maintenance of rail cars. Today, around 3,000 to 4,000 wagons pass through the 17,000 m2 factory halls and 14 km of track every year. In addition to the main plant in Wesseling, the locations Syke, Schwarzheide, Alstätte, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Vacha, Eberswalde and Hamburg also offer mobile service with their own vehicle.
In fact, the staff at Waggonwerk Brühl were able to replace the suspension spring on the defective tank car in the space of two hours, making the wagon immediately operational.
VTG is a pioneer on the road to digital rail freight transport: the proof of this is the equipping of our entire wagon fleet with telematics systems and numerous individual digital solutions. In the future, we will continue to advance the railways with smart solutions.
There is enormous potential to sustainably make rail freight transportation faster, more flexible and more efficient through digitalization, and to make this method of transportation more competitive in the long run.Chief Digital Officer at VTG
The digitization of logistics processes is delivering more and more data. But employees can only use this data to facilitate their work if this information is processed effectively. VTG Fleet Table shows how this can be done by displaying the location and properties of rail cars in real time.
An employee clicks on a rail car located near Munich. An information box opens up on the touchscreen monitor. The rail car is currently vacant. That’s good news: a client in Italy needs 22 LPG rail cars with a volume of 120 cubic meters and an axel load of 90 metric tons as soon as possible. The rail car is to be rented for six months. So it has to be a rail car that is not due for inspection within the next six months. Using the VTG Fleet Table, a 55-inch (140-centimeter) touch screen, the VTG sales employees have called up the rail car in question with just a few taps on the screen.
The map of Europe shows the location of all VTG rail cars equipped with a VTG connector as well as other relevant properties. Thanks to various filters, only fleet rail cars that meet certain parameters are displayed. Employees can thus see which LPG cars meet the required criteria and are available. In this case, the fleet has 35 rail cars that meet the criteria for the request from Italy. The map displays the information clearly, making it possible to select the rail cars with the shortest delivery times. The Fleet Table allows VTG to respond more quickly to rental inquiries and thus increases the efficiency of rail freight transportation.
Retrack, VTG’s own logistics network, connects the most important European economic centers. We take all cost factors into account to offer the best possible logistics solutions for a wide variety of product groups by intelligently combining all of the options offered by the railroad system on the given freight corridor.