Using multi-data environments in railway operations for actionable insights
For more than a year now, voestalpine Signaling Siershahn and Swedish software-as-a-service company Predge, active in predictive maintenance for rolling stock, have been working together on providing companies in the rail sector with actionable insights for rolling stock maintenance based on data. This should unlock what they call the power of multi-data environments in railway operations. How that factors in with optimised availability and utilisation of rolling stock assets will be the topic of the upcoming RailTech webinar, hosted by voestalpine Signaling.
“There is a lot of potential for software and analytics in our line of work, and that is something we’ve begun acting upon several years ago with new data analysts, engineers and scientists”, voestalpine Signaling CSO Stefan Distlberger explains. “Yet in processing data and having vertical integration with services attached to it we are only still scratching the surface of what is possible. We want to take it to the next level.”
This is where partner Predge comes into view. With its strengths in AI-based software for analytics and predictive maintenance know-how, as well as process automation, it complements the expertise available. “In seeing a company such as Predge operating at a level in their field that would have taken us a long time to get to, why try and reinvent the wheel ourselves. Hence a partnership”, says Distlberger.
“We know how to work with different data streams and compile the information a client needs to understand and tackle its core problem. Or how to identify and collect the data needed for actionable insights”, Predge CTO Wolfgang Birk explains. “But while we’ve always been able to reach a high validity in our predictions, a prediction in itself is meaningless if it does not help a customer in its operational decision making”, CEO Simo Pykälistö adds.
Distlberger: “we are striving for a digital transformation whereby we break down what we would like to call digital information silos within organisations, to get it all out and make it actionable.” When the barriers between the silos are broken down, multi-data environments can come into existence.
For this approach to yield tangible results, a certain level of maturity in collecting, handling and processing data at customers is important and perhaps even required. For that reason, voestalpine Railway Systems group and Predge are first focussed on train operating companies in Austria and Netherlands. “In both countries, the voestalpine Railway Systems has a very large presence on the WTMS market. We have a base, we know the customers. This helps us to help our clients faster”, says Distelberger.
However, offering data-driven solution also demands a different approach on the part of voestalpine and Predge themselves. “We are now coming up against situations where we will be installing systems where the output is a data set that a customer might not going to be familiar with”, says Richard Lenthall, Vice President – Customer Management at voestalpine Signaling Siershahn. “As such, the provision of the product and the service now leads to different conversations. Here too, Predge was a good fit for voestalpine Railway Systems in terms of competence in the systems strategy and in asking the right questions to the customers about what their processes and problems are.”
Birk: “we have to meet the customer on their own playground. They cannot move from one way of working to another simply by subscribing to our product. We always try to understand the maturity level in order to provide them with the insights that can help them in their current way of working. This should then help them to create value right away and become more curious and creative, and wanting to move to next playground.”
Want to learn more? On 14 March from 14:00-15:00 CET, RailTech.com and voestalpine Signaling are organising a joint webinar. During this one-hour webinar, CSO Stefan Distlberger and Richard Lenthall, Vice President – Customer Management at voestalpine Signaling Siershahn GmbH, along with Predge CEO Simo Pykälistö and CTO Wolfgang Birk, will talk about the data-driven solutions they can bring to the rolling stock market. Afterwards, they will be available for questions. voestalpine Signaling Siershahn GmbH is part of voestalpine Railway Systems, supplier of system solutions for railway infrastructure.