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Frauscher invites you to research and network at the “Frauscher Innovation Centre Annaberg-Buchholz”

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Frauscher puts innovation and technology in focus and shares its perception: The Digital Rail Summer School 2020 (DRSS 2020) in Annaberg-Buchholz. An insight into the Frauscher Innovation Centre on campus.

370 kilometres are between the Frauscher office in St. Marienkirchen near Schärding and the Saxon district town of Annaberg-Buchholz. On the Digital Rail Summer School there, the technology venture was able to socialise and present innovations.

The Frauscher Innovation Centre as part of the Smart Rail Connectivity Campus

Research campus instead of a bicycle lane: A bold project preceded the foundation of the Frauscher Innovation Centre. In 2014 six Saxon communities and the Erzgebirgsbahn merged in order to maintain an old railway section from Annaberg-Buchholz to Schwarzenberg, which has been supported by the Saxon government ever since. In 2018 the vision was created, to establish a campus in regards to this project, available to various interest groups for test and research purpose. The outcome: The foundation of the Smart Rail Connectivity Campus SRCC in 2018 that paved the way for the Frauscher Innovation Centre in Annaberg-Buchholz.

Behind the SRCC stands a non-profit organisation that links technology ventures like Frauscher, Deutsche Bahn, Erzgebirgsbahn and the technical universities. The aim is to initiate various tests on a 35 km section, on which there is regularly no rail traffic.

Frauscher soon realised the capability of the SRCC, who provides ideal conditions for research and development. The cooperation agreement was solemnly signed at InnoTrans 2018. Already one year later Frauscher inaugurated a container and presented FTS and its axle counting technology in the course of the event “Rail & Digital Mobility User Conference”, which took place from 18th to 20th September 2019. Apart from Frauscher, other well-known companies like Thales, Siemens, China Rail Signalling, Plasser & Theurer, DB, universities and Bombardier (only to name a few) run tests at the Smart Rail Connectivity Campus.

An insight into the Frauscher Innovation Centre Annaberg-Buchholz

The aim of the research campus is to develop and implement a modern and sustainable rail transportation. Railway technology is considered to be a major field of innovation.
The centrepiece is the test track, which particularly provides Frauscher the opportunity to apply new products, research projects and innovations in test operations.

For Frauscher, the Innovation Centre fulfils three functions:

Presentation Platform

On the one hand the Frauscher Innovation Centre acts as a presentation platform in order to present the latest products and solutions to an interested public. Thus, the complete product portfolio of the Frauscher wheel sensors is available for demonstration in the container. At present, the company has installed two wheel sensors RSR123 on two demonstration rails. This enables employees on the site to clearly demonstrate how our technology works and to explain the different applications and functionalities of the sensors. The fibre optic and signal cables built into the sensors are also clearly visible.

Sensonic has provided an HSI system with the FTS display unit FDU for demonstration purposes. This enables interested parties to see for themselves what the system can do in the basic version. Every train from and to Annaberg which passes by the route in the lower terminal in regular operation, can be detected and identified as such. The information generated by the system goes far beyond common basic data.

The test conditions will continue to improve in the future. Deutsche Bahn will install a special armoured fibre optic cable and Frauscher will benefit from the possibility to directly test on this new product.

Research Institute

On the other hand, the Frauscher Innovation Centre is an ideal research institute for wheel detection solutions and the spin-off Sensonic. With the Frauscher Advanced Counter FAdC, which is mounted on the rail track at the Annaberg-Buchholz terminal south, a complete point can be monitored.

Thanks to the Frauscher Diagnostic System FDS, FAdC monitored track sections can be displayed visually on a screen. The Remote Monitoring Display RMD, which monitors extensive tests at the Frauscher Innovation Centre, will also gain importance. 

Frauscher will fully exploit the potential provided by the research campus. On the one hand, the technology venture plans to also test the SENSiS System extensively. Furthermore, another big aim is the approval of the FAdC by the Federal Railway Office Eisenbahnbundesamt EBA.

Employer Branding

By the presence in Annaberg-Buchholz Frauscher also strengthens its employer branding. Many talented students from popular technical universities gather here. The frequent visitor tours and test demonstrations incentivise for recurrent visits. Besides there are regularly local and national politicians, the Transport Committee, the infrastructure company DB Netz as well as DB Innovation and Digital Schiene on site.

How we actively shaped the event 2020

The items on the agenda of the Digital Rail Summer School that took place from 21st to 25th September 2020 on four different sites: at the Frauscher Innovation Centre in Annaberg-Buchholz, at the lecture room in Jöhstadt, at the Preßnitztalbahn in Jöhstadt and at the DB test station in Scheibenberg.

The Frauscher employee Florian Einböck gave a lecture to the topic “EULYNX compliant implementation of the train detection system”. EULYNX is a European initiative of 13 infrastructure operators with the aim to standardise interfaces and elements of the signalling technology. The organisation has already been in existence since 2014. Concerning interfaces EULYNX is the policy of the future and has therefore gained importance even with Deutsche Bahn.

Sensonic was represented by Sebastian Haid with a small stand at the test station Scheibenberg. Presumably, the company will directly run tests there. The armoured fibre optic cable and the Frauscher fibre optic test cable have already been laid.

Among the participants of the event were technical experts and partners as well as students of the Universities of Chemnitz, Dresden, Potsdam and Ingolstadt, all of them are interested in getting insights from the present state of research with regards to sensor technology in the railway industry and who presented their project thesis.

For Frauscher the event was the perfect opportunity to present themselves as a competent and innovative partner.

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