Improve utilisation of fleet capacity with modern maintenance

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Vehicle maintenance

Digital solutions for more efficient vehicle utilisation

Article: Improve utilisation of fleet capacity with modern maintenance

Trains need to be out on the tracks. Efficient maintenance is essential if the railway is to achieve the targeted capacity of the future. Digital solutions ensure that downtimes are minimised.

The Deutsche Bahn fleet is running close to its capacity limit. Increasing maintenance hours limit vehicle capacity. In order to achieve the goal of twice as many passengers in long distance transport and a 70 per cent higher transport volume in freight traffic, maintenance capacity must also be significantly increased. When it comes to efficient maintenance and clever material supply, a lot of things have to come together – just like with technical innovations for maintenance: we work together on the solutions of the future.

"The maintenance of the vehicles with our strong network is crucial for punctuality and for trains in which customers enjoy travelling."

Sandra Malkoc, Digital Lead Vehicle Maintenance, DB Systel

Profile picture Sandra Malkoc

Our tasks in the overarching cooperation on vehicle maintenance

We have made it our mission to optimise these key issues at DB through innovation:

  • To advance development in vehicle maintenance across the board. The aim is to reduce costs and increase vehicle availability.
  • Improve materials management to prevent bottlenecks with parts and make inventory as transparent as possible
  • Overarching planning and control for vehicle maintenance. Among other things, this means setting common goals and planning long-term depot capacities.

Digitalised vehicle maintenance is essential for Strong Rail and the future of the railway. State-of-the-art, high-quality and flexible vehicle maintenance can ensure that wagon fleets can be deployed optimally and seamless passenger and freight transport services guaranteed. Digitalisation of vehicle maintenance along the value chain with our in-depth rail and IT expertise. We develop in-house cross-business unit services or integrate commercially available solutions into Deutsche Bahn's existing systems.

More efficient vehicle maintenance through overarching solutions

These are just a few examples of solutions that are already in productive use in vehicle maintenance, minimising downtime and maximising capacity utilisation:

Steuerung Gleiswechsel (track change control) app

Real-time control of vehicles in delivery to a maintenance depot or in providing trains. With the Steuerung Gleiswechsel (STG) app, train drivers and dispatchers can see at any time where trains are located, whether stable sidings are available or whether shunting movements are possible. The application reduces train drivers' waiting times and delays in providing trains while optimising track change times by 40 per cent.

Intelligent Digital Assistance (IDA) 

IDA is intelligent digital assistance (AI) for the analysis of image and video data. IDA uses automated recognition to help you gain new insights into your daily work so you can make informed decisions. That is because IDA understands image and video data, communicates in a user-oriented way, learns every day and informs you when it has recognised a condition. This knowledge raises long-term workflow quality and makes your processes more efficient. 

Wheelset monitoring

In order to optimise the availability of wheelsets, standardised RFID tags maximise the level of automation used in locating them. The associated dashboard provides transparency regarding the storage locations of these wheelsets. They are always located where they are needed. This shortens throughput times and optimises storage in the entire component cycle.

Digital fleet management

The Digital Fleet Control project is developing software products that give digital support to the planning and commissioning of maintenance work. Fleet control balances the capacity of the depots with scheduled and corrective maintenance needs. This optimises the utilisation of our depots and ensures that free capacity is used as quickly as possible.

Do you have any questions about the interconnection process, our projects or a specific requirement?

We look forward to discussing the future of maintenance with you.