Innovation Award for automated brake testing system

The brake testing system is the best digital project and was honoured with the Innovation Award 2024. The coveted award was presented by Barbara Eibinger-Miedl, member of the Styrian government, and Christoph Ludwig, Managing Director of SFG.

Renowned jury members, including Sabine Hertlitschka from Infineon Technologies and representatives from institutions such as the Austrian Patent Office, the Institute of Industrial Science and AWS, determined the most outstanding projects in the categories of sustainability and digitalization in a two-stage selection process. The assessment criteria included innovation content, overall economic effect and market opportunities.

The award was combined with a personal visit from the Provincial Councillor for Economic Affairs, who not only showed great interest in the automatic brake test, but was also impressed by the entire PJM service portfolio, the headqaurters and the technical equipment. Provincial Councillor Eibinger-Miedl warmly congratulated and emphasised: "Mobility in particular is a field of strength in Styria and PJM is one of the innovation companies." Günter Petschnig was delighted with the award. "We have a great team and a great network with our partners such as SBB Cargo. We have had massive investments for  developing the automatic brake test and further innovations, and we keep drive forward new technologies. The award is a great pleasure for us!"

 

Photos: With courtesy of SFG / Oliver Wolf 

The sensation in rail freight automation: BAV’s type approval for automatic brake testing

Now it's official: the automated brake testing system has been granted type approval by the Swiss “Federal Office of Transport” (Schweizer Bundesamt für Verkehr). Hence, the automated brake taste is the first approved system worldwide and the first far-reaching automated application in European rail transport. The system was developed with SBB Cargo and is a functionally safe application that has been trialled in various phases over several years. The project milestones in brief:

  • 2017: First test trains
  • 01/ 2022: Pilot train
  • 03/2022: Positive review by TÜV Süd
  • 11/2023: Operational approval by BAV

The automated application provides many benefits:

- Enormous time saving: for a 500 m long goods train, the time saved is around 75 minutes (35 minutes each for 2 shunters)

- Faster, more reliable and safer: the brake check can be carried out automatically by the train driver, is more reliable and increases safety (thanks to the consistent quality of the brake check and the system's objective evaluation criteria).

- Freight wagon downtimes are significantly reduced, while terminal turnaround times are increased.

- The implementation of an automatic brake test brings a concrete and - this is particularly important - immediate improvement for the railway companies.

- For the shunting staff and those responsible for brake testing, the automatic brake test means an improvement in the workplace situation. The interactive operation of a clearly displayed system replaces the strenuous, physically demanding manual inspection.

- The brake test is an essential part of the "1-person operation" that is gradually being implemented by railway companies such as SBB Cargo, particularly as a measure to manage the shortage of skilled labour resulting from demographic development.

Günter Petschnig, CEO of PJ Monitoring, looks back on several years of development: "It's a long way from the vision to the innovation of a completely new system. A major project of this size can only be successfully realised if the project partners work together step by step over several years. The teams at SBB Cargo and PJM have done a fantastic job. A big thank you to the stamina and commitment of everyone involved!"

Media release

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Nomination for the Austrian Mobility Award: Online voting until 23 July

Mercitalia's "super-intelligent" freight train project has convinced the jury. The most intelligent goods train in Europe is nominated for the Austrian Mobility Award, carried out by the VCO.

"The most intelligent goods train in Europe by Mercitalia" is nominated for the Austrian Mobility Award. Every year, the VCÖ selects the best mobility projects in several categories. A jury of experts has evaluated the top 5, now it's your turn and take part in the online voting: You can vote until 23 July (in German language). The German title of our project is: "Digitaler Bahntransport: Der intelligenteste Güterzug Europas". 

https://vcoe.at/voting-digitalisierung-in-der-mobilitaet

Of course, our WaggonTracker is also on board as the basic system for the large number of functionalities.

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