The high demand for skilled workforce
Bettina Lamprecht

Skilled workers in the rail industry are in demand more than ever (part 1)

Post from 6. July 2022

The availability of skilled workers is a basic prerequisite for sustainable economic growth. However, skilled workers are very hard to find these days, as every industry is desperate for qualified specialists, including companies in the rail industry. One event that will affect the rail industry in the near future is that a significant proportion of employees will retire due to age in the coming years – around half in Germany. The consequence will be the loss of valuable know-how.

In addition, the rail industry is an essential tool for achieving climate targets. The change in traffic volumes is causing the rail industry to grow – but it can only grow if sufficient personnel are available and know-how is embedded in the company. For this reason, rail companies are focusing very strongly on strategic human resource management: personnel requirements, recruitment, deployment planning and development. In these areas, digitalization can make a valuable contribution to reducing the challenges of staff shortages and loss of know-how.

The way to protect your know-how

As already explained in the last blog post “Making knowledge accessible: software that opens up potential“, digitalization is an important tool that forms the basic prerequisites for centralized knowledge management.

The leaving of employees is always associated with knowledge loss – knowledge that is crucial for the competitiveness of the company. Whether it is administrative, process-related, or strategic knowledge, all knowledge is relevant and should be anchored within the organization.

Even when people who already have years of relevant professional experience start out in a company, they still have to learn the company’s processes. They are confronted with activities that do not run 1:1 as they did at previous employers. Onboarding is definitely easier for skilled personnel than for people with less experience. Those people have to be trained first. Regardless of the case, onboarding takes time – more for some and less for others. The goal of companies, of course, is to integrate workers into their jobs as quickly as possible so they can operate effectively and efficiently.

With the right digitalization strategy, you can support the rapid integration and development of workers. Nowadays, software solutions offer valuable relief from administrative tasks so that employees can focus on their actual activities. Processes are mostly automated and information is provided where it is needed. Digitalization thus offers the opportunity to accelerate work processes.

Potentials for maintenance – from corrective to predictive

How many vehicles are in your fleet? What is the condition of each of these vehicles? When is the next workshop inspection planned or when should it be carried out at the latest? When is the best time to put the vehicle in the workshop? These are just some of the questions an asset manager has to deal with regarding maintenance. The goal is to keep maintenance costs as low as possible and availability, as well as reliability, as high as possible.

The essential questions are dealt with and answered in the vehicle file. With the software solution “Rail Asset” from Boom Software, administrative efforts are reduced, so that asset managers can dedicate themselves to the optimization of maintenance strategies and thus achieve potentials in maintenance. However, Rail Asset not only supports administrative activities, but also enables predictive maintenance with the “Predictive Maintenance” module, for example for wheelsets.

Predictive maintenance using the example of wheelsets

The measurement data from the measurements taken are collected in the software solution. Ideally, these are automatically entered into the software solution by the measuring device via an interface. This is currently made possible in cooperation with the product Calipri from NEXTSENSE GmbH. By means of models, the wear curve of the wheelsets is sketched and the date of the next reprofiling or wheelset replacement is calculated. Not only one variable flows into the model, but it is composed of different variables that essentially influence the wear of the wheelsets. This information enables the asset manager to better plan not only maintenance schedules, but also future wheelset requirements. Further information on predictive wheelset management can be found here.

Digitalization also provides support in finding the causes of technical problems on vehicles. Uptime Engineering specializes in condition-based maintenance and derives weak points at the technical system level in order to communicate the cause of the problem to users simply and as quickly as possible. This helps to shorten vehicle downtime on the one hand, and saves resources by reducing analysis time on the other. Together with Uptime Engineering, Boom Software provides this information in the form of automatically generated maintenance messages. If you would like to learn more about Uptime Engineering, please visit their website here.

Do you have further questions?

Then get in touch with us. Our rail experts will be happy to help you.

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    Skilled workers in the rail industry are in demand more than ever (part 1)
    Post from 6. July 2022

    The availability of skilled workers is a basic prerequisite for sustainable economic growth. However, skilled workers are very hard to find these days, as every industry is desperate for qualified specialists, including companies in the rail industry.