A virtual “Google maps” to electrify trains

proyetco enrutar alsom
proyetco enrutar alsom

Alstom spain is developing a pioneering r&d project that seeks to apply augmented reality and virtual technologies to the electrification tasks of trains.

Within the Industry 4.0 strategy at the Santa Perpètua plant, Alstom is developing a pioneering R&D project that seeks to apply augmented reality and virtual technologies to the electrification tasks of trains. The preparation and design of train wiring systems is one of the most complex and precise tasks of a train manufacturing process. Dozens of kilometres of wires go over a train in order to supply energy to the motors, feed the air conditioning systems, run the signalling systems, on-board technologies, passenger information devices, lighting, etc. In one metro unit, such as each one running on line 9 of the Barcelona metro, there can be over 5000 wiring systems.

The Alstom manufacturing plant at Santa Perpètua (Barcelona) has begun an R&D project to virtualize this process and thus make it more efficient and accurate. Virtual reality technique will capture and “map” the train electrical internal system, in order to guide operators – equipped with augmented reality glasses- along a pre-designed path. The installation of the entire wired network will become, consequently, more simply, efficiently and accurately. It is estimated that, thanks to this virtual guiding along these fastest and most efficient “paths”, the time used in this process will be reduced by 12%.

The project, which is being developed jointly with the company Aumenta Solutions, is co-financed by the Generalitat de Catalunya and the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund.

In 2016, Alstom’s industrial site in Santa Perpètua de Mogoda (Barcelona) began a digital transformation process to become the first 4.0 factory of the railway sector in Spain. This project includes both integration of the latest technologies and empowerment of the human capital.