Rail into the digital age with new features
Cybersecurity, EULYNX implementation and progressive developments in the field of diagnostics with Remote Monitoring Display RMD: this small excerpt of current projects makes it clear that Frauscher is defying the ongoing pandemic in 2021 by implementing several new features from the fields of axle counting and preventive maintenance strategies, among others.
Successful despite pandemic
Although the Corona pandemic has tested the economy in many markets, Frauscher achieved some successes in 2020: For instance, our dedicated production staff manufactured 26,400 sensors in 2020, including the 50000th RSR123 since the start of production. We also shipped almost 2,500 deliveries to 53 countries and celebrated the most commercially successful year since the foundation of our Indian location. Another highlight is the IRIS certificate, which we received in silver for the first time.
The mixture of a common understanding of current challenges, together with a sense of future innovations, makes us confident that we will be able to report many interesting projects and developments in the future.
New features and product innovations
Frauscher invests a lot of resources in research and development: the R&D team has grown in recent months. The department has been working agile together for some time and uses the proven Scrum methodology. The available resources in the R&D department amount to more than 10 per cent of the global turnover.
However, research and development are hardly possible without reliable data. Accordingly, the topic of data collection and evaluation plays an important role in Frauscher to be able to constantly optimise products and solutions for the customer's benefits. It is essential to mention that data is also becoming increasingly important in all other departments.
In addition to data and digitalisation, artificial intelligence could also find its way into the railway industry in the near future. Currently, the feasibility of artificial intelligence for the evaluation of sensor signals is being scientifically investigated as part of a project carried out in cooperation with an Austrian university.
Despite the exceptional and difficult-to-plan year of 2020, Frauscher worked continuously on larger projects. For instance, more than 15 Frauscher employees were involved in the further development of our customised interfaces for the Frauscher Advanced Counter FAdC, including an adaptation of the protocol interface for the Alstom Urban Mobility Division in the summer of 2020 to meet the needs of urban transit besides main line (original protocol implementation was made for the main line area/Alstom Italy).
Once again, Frauscher has some exciting innovations to showcase this year: Speed Monitoring is planned to be issued when a train is travelling too fast or too slow.
Further innovations are planned in the field of information security: With the increase in the amount of data provided the software, cyber security becomes of central importance - for even in closed systems, hackers can succeed in impersonating authenticated users.
To prevent this, there are technical possibilities such as public key management (utilizing codes) and penetration testing (how much data must a network be able to withstand) as well as reconfirmation to the system. The overriding question is how to create a secure IT infrastructure to ensure absolute data security internally.
This year Frauscher also completed the EULYNX implementation for the Graz-Köflach project. Uniform industry standards for modular interlocking technology provide cost advantages for the customer. The COM-EUX101 GS01 communication board is to be the interface between Frauscher's axle counting system FADC and any interlocking that complies with the standardised EULYNX interface (approved to EN 50126:2017, EN 50128:2011, EN 50129:2018 and approved as a SIL4 product).
In addition, the Frauscher team is looking forward to the first trials of its level crossing protection system with the inductive wheel sensor SENSiS Detection Point SDP and the associated smart evaluation unit SENSiS Processing Unit SPU in Poland.
Finally, innovations in monitoring and diagnosis through the Remote Monitoring Display RMD, which are at an advanced stage, are also of great importance.
Furthermore, Frauscher is devoting more attention to the topics of usability and UX engineering intending to increase both usability and the "joy of use" thanks to uniform interfaces, standardised icons and similar clicks, as well as standardised information output across all devices.