10 years of Frauscher UK
The oldest railway network in the world (over 16,500 km long) has always been an interesting market for Frauscher. We are now going to take a look back on the history of Frauscher UK and its development and growth over the past decade.
How Frauscher UK was established
Frauscher was already making a name for itself in Great Britain, even before the location in UK was established. Collaborating with the Westinghouse Company, Frauscher was involved in the Position Detection Project for the London Underground.
However, the actual incentive for the establishment of the location in the UK came from another project. ‘Westinghouse’ (later Invensys) was looking for an axle counting system that was suitable for Modular Signalling.
In 2009, after productive discussions with Siemens, the idea for the development of the Frauscher Advanced Counter FAdC was born at Frauscher in St. Marienkirchen near Schärding. After the first successful prototypes had already been built, Frauscher considered what conditions needed to be applied to receive an approval for the English market. This became the foundation of Frauscher UK. Throughout the course of this development, the FAdC approval was granted by Network Rail.
With the FAdC, Frauscher UK succeeded in bringing an easy-to-use system to the market, which was in great demand in the UK from the very beginning. This successful development was aided by the fact that British operators and system integrators recognised the advantages of an axle counting system over the outdated track circuit technology.
This successful development is also reflected in the number of wheel sensors sold. Whilst around 3,500 Frauscher wheel sensor RSR123 were installed in 2018, the proportion rose by over 70 percent to 6,000 units in 2019. In future, the wheel sensor RSR110 could also became ground-breaking for the UK market.
A steadily growing market for wheel sensors and axle counters
For Frauscher the UK is a stable and growing market. This can be seen from the turnover and the number of projects, which have increased steadily in recent years. In addition to England, Scotland and Wales, we are also represented in Ireland by an important sales partner. In order to further strengthen our market position, we will focus on the digitalisation of the railway in future.
Frauscher knows from experience that the market in Great Britain demands future-oriented solutions while maintaining high security standards. The combination of our RSR123 wheel sensor, which is highly resistant to electromagnetic interference, and the FAdC axle counting system are very popular. These offer significant advantages over the outdated track circuit technology. In addition, we are convinced that we will be able to offer even more customised solutions such as Counting Head Control CHC, Supervisor Track Section STS, Frauscher Safe Ethernet FSE protocol FSE and Remote Monitoring Display RMD in future.
Successful in business: Reference projects in the UK
Over the past ten years, Frauscher has won major contracts throughout the UK, which have steadily enhanced the company's reputation. One of the most significant milestones was the CASR Cardiff project in Wales, carried out with the operator Atkins. A total of 1,300 metering points were installed here in 2012 to improve the reliability and capacity of the line.
Another very important project currently in its final phase is the Paddington Crossrail Station Project. With a volume of around two million euros, it is a high priority for Frauscher UK.
Other top projects include Victoria Area Resignalling and Feltham Phase 1-5. Furthermore, Frauscher UK already has important future projects in its sights. One being the East Coast Mainline (ECML); and the other being the High Speed 2 Railway Project (HS2) between London – Birmingham and Manchester – Leeds.
Digitisation in the UK: webinars and online training
For Frauscher, being close to the customer also means using those formats and channels that bring the greatest benefit to the customers. In this context, webinars in particular stand out as a useful content format that should be of interest to all.
We design our webinars in such a way that they focus on the customer's problems and provide suitable solutions and applications. In our webinars, for instance, we present the applications Level Crossing and Speed Measurement. Project partners and guests will also have the opportunity to ask questions and listen to one another.
In addition to the webinars, Frauscher UK has also expanded its range of digital training courses. The training sessions no longer take place exclusively in the academy; instead, half of the training sessions are now offered online. This not only saves time from travelling to a location, but also expenses for travel. Moreover, in times like the corona pandemic, Frauscher can react quickly to external influences without having to forego training. Another milestone is the Frauscher Knowledge Hub - a knowledge database for our customers, which can be accessed at any time.
In the coming years, we at Frauscher UK will continue to push ahead with digitalisation in order to provide our customers with relevant and helpful information via several channels, allowing access anytime, anywhere.
In addition to webinars and online training, the Technology Days are an important format for discussing our products and solutions with customers. The technologies RMD and SENSiS, for instance, are presented here. Regardless of the stage of development of a technology - the development of SENSiS, for instance, is not yet complete - Frauscher highly values the opinions of its customers.
Furthermore, Technology Days serve to ensure that we do not lose sight of ourselves completely in times of progressive digitalisation and to maintain personal contact with our customers. The special thing about these meetings is the informal atmosphere. The focus is not on the actual presentation of products and solutions, but on the exchange with our customers. By bringing the exhibition stand to our office, we give the customers not only insights into our work, but also into our team.