DB Cargo sign contract with Siemens to upgrade its locomotives into TechLOK system
July 25, 2017: The UK based rail freight operator, DB Cargo is pushing digitisation of its vehicle fleet further. The Company has roped in the technology major Siemens for the up-gradation of the existing fleet of locomotives. Under the new contract, Siemens will upgrade DB Cargo existing class 152 electric main line locomotives and transform them into what DB Cargo calls TechLOK system. Also, class 170 and 191 Vectron locomotives from Siemens will also be connected to the TechLOK system.
The company had already made substantial progress towards achieving its aim of fitting 2,000 locomotives with diagnostic technology by 2020. Currently, almost 1,000 of these high-tech locomotives in service around Europe, provide information about the vehicles' condition.
The locomotives are fitted with Telematics units, and DB Cargo uses the TechLOK system to collect, visualise, diagnose, sensor monitor, the condition of the vehicle. This information enables the company to make further improvements to its operations, and it also forms the basis for approaches towards condition-based, predictive maintenance. Currently, in the conventional method, the maintenance is performed based on the mileage or time. Locomotives will now be maintained when the data shows that the repairs are necessary. This will enable DB Cargo to continue to increase vehicle availability, transport quality and savings using this.
Dr Jurgen Wilder, CEO at DB Cargo, said, "Our fleet digitalization activities have one primary focus: further improvements in quality for our customers and optimisation of the vehicle value chain. The TechLOK system already comprises almost 1,000 locomotives operating on international routes. The deal we have now signed with Siemens and especially the connection of operational knowledge with the knowledge of the vehicle manufacturer ensures that we will keep speed towards our project goals."
The contract covers not only connecting locomotives to the TechLOK system but also joint activities on developing data analytics models based on the technical insight the locomotive sensors provide. This will result in new algorithms and technical rules to maintain locomotives more flexible and condition-based.