Industry 4.0 is more than a catchy phrase, it’s proof that we are on the verge of a technology revolution. Wabtec President and CEO Rafael Santana shared key insights from #RailTrends19 on the top trends shaping the #rail transportation landscape in a new era of design, manufacturing and operation.
- Additive Technologies
A 30-year-old printing technology that once was associated with the aerospace, healthcare and automotive industries is today an essential part of the future of rail. Additive technologies enable companies like Wabtec to design and build better parts that were once physically inconceivable. We have successfully used additive to condense products, like our engine exhaust pipe, from 21 parts to 1 while also improving reliability by 2X and reducing lead time by 6 months.
- Machine Connectivity
Machine connectivity not only serves as the foundation for the IoT, but connects data, people and machines to provide real-time analytics that enable more informed decision making and improved productivity. Today, Wabtec has more than 400 connected machines across 13 plants where more than 32,000 data elements are captured every second. We use the data to spot trends, defects, and drive further improvement like being able to predict if a machine will experience problems before it happens.
- Artificial Intelligence
When we think of AI, we often think of technology that helps improve the way we monitor, maintain and deliver service to our customers. In the rail industry, Wabtec is using AI to monitor locomotive data and develop conditioned-based maintenance instructions tailored to the specific locomotive. From four Global Performance Optimization Centers, over 50 customers in over 20 countries rely on Wabtec’s real-time digital alerts to pinpoint efficiencies and solutions in performance monitoring, field service optimization and predictive maintenance.
Today’s technology landscape provides the necessary foundation for tomorrow’s advances in automated train operations. Automation will be a huge leap forward – helping lower railroads’ operating costs and improve service levels. Wabtec is building the foundation to achieve full automation, starting with industry leading solutions like the Trip Optimizer Smart Cruise Control, which has logged over 400 million auto miles and saved more than 230 million gallons of fuel to< date.
Data is the critical component that ties all of these elements together. Using data integration, Wabtec is creating tools that will provide players across the supply chain with enhanced visibility to customers for their operations and planning activities. For example, our Port Optimizer solution< integrates data from across the port ecosystem and delivers real-time data-driven insights through a single portal to partners across the supply chain and provides 14 days of advanced visibility.