PJM and Voith develop a system for more efficient rail freight

A collaboration between Austrian company PJM and Voith aims to provide more efficiency and safety for rail freight operations. To this end, the internationally renowned system specialist for rail transport and the Heidenheim-based technology group will work together over the next few years to develop a system that combines coupler-assisted automatic train inauguration and the safe remote-controlled decoupling of freight cars with an automatic coupler.

We bring to the alliance its expertise as a leading developer and supplier of automation solutions for rail freight operations. With the patented monitoring system WaggonTracker, we are also a pioneer of digitalization in this segment. WaggonTracker combines monitoring and automation, offering a robust overall system that provides fleet operators with important real-time information about their freight cars and freight transport. This data can also be used to automate complex processes; for example, WaggonTracker also allows brake tests to be performed automatically. The platform has enabled numerous customers to significantly improve efficiency and achieve substantial cost savings.

For many years now, Voith has also been one of key innovation drivers in the rail technology segment. One example is Voith’s automatic freight coupler CargoFlex. The coupler developed by Voith has already demonstrated many times over that it can improve the competitiveness of freight transport and strengthen the market position of fleet operators. CargoFlex is the second cornerstone of the development alongside WaggonTracker.

For the new project, our two companies will pool their leading-edge capabilities in digitalization, automation and automatic couplers. The objective is to provide customers with a system solution that allows the automated use of the CargoFlex coupler, with a focus on remote-controlled decoupling processes. In combination with the solutions developed by PJM, this is intended to form the basis for highly digitized logistics management.

Alongside the technical challenges, the interoperability of the innovative system solution is a top priority for the development team and the key to marketing it on a broad basis. This is why the two companies aim to jointly manage the development of key components such as safety-related applications, communication tools or protocols. Moreover, it is planned to transfer the system into an industry platform during a subsequent project phase to make it available to other market participants.

 

Get the full media release: 

https://pjm.co.at/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/11/2021-11-04_Voith_Media-Release_Cooperation-Voith-PJM_EN.pdf

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European Award: PJM is winner of the ERCI Innovation Award

PJM is the winner of the prestigious ERCI Innovation Award! PJ Monitoring GmbH was awarded “Best SME” on 26 October in Lille, France. The renowned award is presented by the European Railway Clusters Initiative (ERCI), which unites 16 railway clusters from 17 European countries. The prize is awarded by a European jury of independent railway experts from industry, research and public institutions. The decisive factor for the jury was the development of a digital overall system realizing the concept of intelligent freight wagons. The so-called WaggonTracker system is the first and only system worldwide that fulfils comprehensive monitoring functions and automates complex manual processes. "The ERCI award means a lot to us. We regard innovations and new technologies as problem solvers. Rail freight transport in particular has great potential for further development. Innovations are urgently needed to push freight transport on environmentally friendly rail and we have the digital know-how to do so. We are very pleased that European railway experts are awarding our innovative technologies!", say Martin Joch and Günter Petschnig, the two founders and CEO of PJM.

Strong Styrian railway industry

The submission for the renowned ERCI Award was organised by the mobility cluster ACstyria. "The ERCI Innovation Award is most significant prize of the European railway industry. It is awarded to companies that have successfully brought innovative products or solutions to the market. We are very proud that PJM won the category 'Best SME' in Styria. PJM has developed in only 15 years ago from a spin-off of Graz University of Technology to a stable SME. This shows, that research institutions and industry perfectly cooperate in Styria. We know how to get innovations on track," says Christa Zengerer, Managing Director of the Styrian mobility cluster. “ACstyria partner companies are not only world market leaders for bogies and tracks, but also experts in sensor and measurement technology. Due to over 50 companies and about 3.000 employees ranging from global corporations to highly specialised niche suppliers, Styria is a European centre for the railway industry.”

Award-winning WaggonTracker technology

PJM has already received several awards for the WaggonTracker, including the Austrian Mobility Award 2020, the German Innovation Award Winner 2020 and the Fast Forward Award 2019.

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A milestone of digital rail freight: Product development of automated brake testing system completed

The completed automated brake test is a milestone for digital rail freight transport. The product development is completed. Without any doubt, the automated brake testing of rail freight wagons is one of the most important processes to make rail freight transport efficient and modern. “The serial operation is imminent. The system is now available and brings immediate, concrete effects for railway companies and a general impact for rail freight transport by gaining attractiveness”, says CEO Günter Petschnig. 

The automated brake test system was put on track years ago: Since spring 2018, the first pilot train has been in operational testing. Since March 2019, 105 wagons equipped with the digital system have been running in Switzerland. SBB Cargo leads the operational integration. Further nearly wagons haven been equipped with the automated system since April 2019. The brake testing system was designed and developed by PJM. The validation is expected to be finalised and the system is supposed to go into series production by the end of this year.

Get the full presse release including details on the solution and its steps to a complete system:

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Technical article on the load monitoring system in the magazine "Der Eisenbahningenieur"

A deep insight into the automated load monitoring system is provided by the German magazine “Der Eisenbahningenieur”. Get more on the technical design of the LoadMonitor, benefits for the loading process and medium-term and longrun positive effects.

Get the full story (in German language):

 

 

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Bahn Manager magazine: The automated brake test at a glance

The German special interest magazine Bahn Manager provides a compact overview of the automated brake test by PJM. 

Get the full story (in German language) on the "inevitable" innovation:

 

 

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Mercer & TRANSWAGGON rely on our automated load monitoring system

Mercer is a full-service-provider for timber industry and wood owners. The portfolio of the German, innovative company comprises pulp mills and a saw mill in Germany. Hence, these figures clearly show Mercer's relevance on the European continent: Every year, Mercer purchases over 7 million bank meters of wood, among it 5 million round timber. Over 3,5 million tons of wood are transported by rail. All in all that's over 2.000 block trains per year. 

Thus, Mercer Holz is one of the biggest wooden rail logistic providers in Europe. Wood is a very valuable raw material yet "difficult" for transporters. "Due to the different density and moisture, wood can differ in weight by up to 50%", says Jürgen Köhler, Head of Logistics at Mercer Holz GmbH. This is a great uncertainty factor having a significant impact on logistics: cost-effectiveness, security and error frequency. A perfect solution is the LoadMonitor-system by PJM. In addition to important data acquisition in real time via general monitoring functions, the LoadMonitor-system provided an automated loading process. "We need reliable, stable wagons and loading security - for both shipping companies and customers", summarizes Jürgen Köhler. Now. Mercer Holz has closed the gaps in the logistics process chain with the LoadMonitor. All essential information about freight wagons as well as an automatic loading control on site are covered by just one system.

Lothar Krebs, Deputy Sales Manager of TRANSWAGGON GmbH in Hamburg, brings a different perspective from the wagon keeper's point of view. "For our customers, a big issue is when vehicles are stopped or removed from the track. That costs time and money. His experience with the LoadMonitor-system: "The use of capacity has increased a lot. It's a great benefit that the loader can immediately see whether the wagon is overloaded or not". His conclusio: "The cooperation worked very well, as did the implementation of the PJM-system and the entire project management. The system runs very smoothly". He prognoses: "Digitalising rail freight is fundamentally correct and must be the future.”

Further information on our customers:

Mercer Holz GmbH

TRANSWAGGON group

 

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PJ Monitoring GmbH

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Austria

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[email protected]

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