ERMEWA, INVEHO and IRT Railenium launch innovation project M4.0

ERMEWA SA, INVEHO and IRT Railenium have launched a joint research and innovation Maintenance 4.0 project to advance condition-based and predictive maintenance.

Signing at InnoTrans 2022

From left to right: Peter Reinshagen, Managing Director ERMEWA SA, Julien Mathiaud, Managing Director INVEHO, Bertrand Minary, CEO IRT Railenium - Credit: ERMEWA SA

ERMEWA SA, INVEHO and IRT Railenium have set up their joint research and innovation project Maintenance 4.0 (M4.0). With the M4.0 project, three leading players in rail freight transport have set themselves the goal of advancing condition-based and predictive maintenance. The contract was signed at InnoTrans 2022 in Berlin. The teams of experts have started to work on the first research packages.

Goals of the project

Improving safety, reliability, and availability of rolling stock through efficient processes is the overriding goal of this innovation project. The focus is on substantially cutting the TurnAround Time (TaT), meaning the period between a wagon is taken out and reintegrated into the transport process. Reducing this TaT will contribute significantly to boosting the operational efficiency of rail freight supply chains.

The collaborative approach to maintenance between practitioners from the industry and scientists is unique to date. In jointly defined work packages, the partners involved will bring together knowledge and experience from practice and academic research work. They deal with topics such as energy management, data acquisition, definition and testing of wear models, failure scenarios and testing.

The project will make an important contribution to increasing efficiency in rail freight transport. It thus fits perfectly with the sector’s goals in Europe: to double rail freight’s share of traffic to 30% by 2030. The climate targets of the European Green Deal cannot be achieved without this shift to rail.

“Forward-looking and predictive maintenance are key to noticeably improving the performance of rolling stock,” Peter Reinshagen, Managing Director of ERMEWA, said. “We are excited to bring our practical perspective to the new and unique Maintenance 4.0 collaboration project. Together we will develop strong solutions that will tangibly strengthen the sector.”

“Deploying condition-based and predictive maintenance will lead us to a better planning of the maintenance operations to be performed,” Julien Mathiaud, Managing Director of INVEHO, said. “This new maintenance organisation, as opposed to traditional preventive or curative maintenance, will certainly leads us to better prepare our workshops in drawing up their workload plans; it will also lead to an increase in the proportion of mobile maintenance operations through better anticipation, making the accuracy of operations more effective.”

“Railenium is proud to carry out this ambitious innovation project in collaboration with Ermewa and Inveho,” Bertrand Minary, CEO for IRT Railenium, said. “This project will enable Railenium to provide solutions to the professions and to everyday users. To do so, we will have to identify and better understand the laws of wear and tear of freight wagons and their main components, relying in particular on our expertise in energy management as well as in data mining and artificial intelligence. These skills are a core factor to improve the performance, safety, and reliability of freight wagons by developing condition-based maintenance and predictive maintenance.”