Digitalisation brought to life
Global "Internet of Things" Award from Microsoft: Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group and Swisscom are honoured for their "Digital Construction Site".
Bregenz/Zurich, 9th of July 2021 – For the Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group and Swisscom, the digital construction site is already a reality: In a total of five digitalisation projects, the partners are developing and testing how in future the industry can make rail construction safer, more economical and more efficient. This has not gone unnoticed: Swisscom has now been awarded the global "Internet of Things" Partner Award by Microsoft for its cooperation. The "Digital Construction Site" concurred against a worldwide total of 4,400 applications and prevailed in this category.
With this award, the tech group from Redmond acknowledges the "outstanding success and innovative strength" that Swisscom has demonstrated together with the RSRG in the application of digital technologies. Thomas Winter, Member of the Executive Board of Microsoft Switzerland and responsible for the partner business, says: "The project of Swisscom and Rhomberg Sersa sets standards worldwide. Hardly anyone has managed to so well bring together the harsh construction site environment with technologies such as 5G, IoT, cloud and data analytics."
Hubert Rhomberg, co-owner of the Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group, is delighted with the success: "The award is a great confirmation of our commitment in innovative and digital technologies, and in particular of our approach to transferring our construction know-how into our own hardware and software solutions. Without the appreciative, fair and absolutely transparent partnership with Swisscom, we would not have been able to make the digital construction site a reality, nor would we have won this award."
From the very beginning, the goal of the collaboration between Swisscom and Rhomberg Sersa was to create and optimise a digital image of the actual construction site. The intention was to make it possible to organise the construction process perfectly even before the first excavator drives up. "With this 'construction before construction,' we can even better take on the challenges of the industry, such as short time windows, night shifts, weekend shifts as well as dangerous and physically hard work," Rhomberg is convinced. The first steps for the digital construction site have already been implemented, for example in the area of artificial intelligence (AI). Christian Schollenberger, Head of IT at Rhomberg Sersa explains, "We gave Swisscom's Data Scientists 40 hours to develop a data model that can be used to identify types of construction machines. An immediate success: The model has an accuracy of 95 percent." This information flows into planning and logistics.
Rhomberg Sersa and Swisscom are currently working on a total of five sub-projects in which digital applications are being used and tested in the working environment. In the Swiss rail network for instance, the prototype of a measuring wagon is being used, on which a cloud solution, a mobile phone connection and much more are installed. This collects data and pre-processes it using AI and machine learning. Christian Schollenberger says: "The cameras on the measuring wagon measure the rail track while it is in motion with an accuracy of tenths of a millimetre. This helps to identify where maintenance work is needed and can reduce downtime on the world's busiest rail network." Incidentally, the measuring car even detects loosened nuts, even when traveling over the track at 60 km/h. Other tests involve machine monitoring as well as tracking and localisation of machines to ensure full utilisation and functionality as well as personnel safety.
Julian Dömer, Head of IoT at Swisscom, says: "We try out the technologies directly where they will be used later, and thereby put them to the test. The systematic innovation at Rhomberg Sersa is a role model for the entire industry. It combines technical innovation with economic benefit."