Siemens is launching Digital Rail Services in the U.S., a new business that will use intelligent sensors and advanced software platforms to put intelligence behind billions of data points created on the country’s rail systems. This insight will help rail operators across the U.S. improve their operations and create an “Internet of Trains” to bring infrastructure and vehicles into the digital era.
Powered by software tools, the Digital Service business will help rail operators reduce unplanned downtime, improve operational efficiency, and enable improved business planning and performance, as well as generate energy and cost savings.
The new portfolio combines Siemens global digital analytics know-how with its extensive rail industry knowledge via an existing rail footprint that spans manufacturing, automation technologies, power infrastructure equipment, and service. In addition to the company’s U.S. rail hubs in California, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, Siemens will locate its Digital Services hub in Atlanta, which will be home to the Data Analytics and Applications Center on the Georgia Institute of Technology campus. Siemens will also support the Digital Service portfolio by opening a new East Coast Locomotive Service Headquarters in New Castle, Del. this summer.
The Digital Services offered for the rail industry are based on Railigent™, a cloud-based industrial data analytics platform connected to Mindsphere, Siemens IoT operating system. The platform features Smart Monitoring for real-time insight on vehicle state and location, Smart Data Analytics that provide root cause analysis and remote vehicle and infrastructure diagnostics, and Smart Prediction that conducts prescriptive maintenance. Additional capabilities will include advanced cyber security and guidance services.
“Today, rail vehicles send between one and four billion data points per year and rail infrastructure can send billions of messages just inside a specific system,” said Simon Davidoff, head of Siemens Mobility Digital Services in North America. “With our Digital Services business, we’re taking not only experience from our global rail footprint but also our extensive company-wide digital expertise to turn billions of data points into action, including the ability to detect malfunctions well before they can cause problems and information that helps improve arrival times and punctuality for riders.”
The City of Atlanta and Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) will be among the first transportation providers to lead the way in putting big data to use from its existing fleet to improve operations and safety.
In Atlanta, the Siemens Digital Services team will collect information captured via on-board systems from the Siemens-built Atlanta Streetcar and analyze data points to make the best use of their fleet including: slow vehicle movements to identify traffic bottlenecks in order to reduce delays; identifying track segments and time periods with high energy consumption to reduce power usage; length of door opening durations to improve passenger comfort; horn usage from car or pedestrian traffic warnings to determine possible car or pedestrian infrastructure improvements that would increase safety.
In Charlotte, CATS is currently working with Siemens on a pilot program for near real-time diagnostics and analysis of their light rail system data to help make prescriptive maintenance recommendations. By making preemptive adjustments to service strategies and planning, operators can better avoid light rail service interruptions and delays and increase the availability of their overall fleet.