The Berlin Transport Authority (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) AöR) is Germany‘s largest public transport provider. In 2017, the company transported more than a billion people on its buses, ferries, trams and underground trains for the first time - which was more than 2.9 million trips per day. An important prerequisite for transporting people safely and reliably throughout Berlin and the surrounding area is the regular maintenance and renewal of the fleet.
For this purpose, BVG will now be maintaining its tram technology with the Engineering Base (EB) software from AUCOTEC. It takes the digitization of railways to a new level and creates synergy effects for maintenance and revampings. EB‘s merging of previously different data sources into a single source significantly reduces the work involved in documentation.
First, the documentation of 150 of the more than 350 BVG trams of different generations and manufacturers will be migrated to EB as the „single source of truth“ and will be digitally enhanced. The approximately 230 employees of the four BVG workshop and service sites will then have direct access to this central source. „The updating of the many complex changes will now be much easier and more comprehensive than previously,“ explained Georg Hiebl, AUCOTEC Product Manager for the Mobility area.
This is based on EB‘s data model. Since diagrams and lists are „only“ different representations of the objects entered once in the model, changes have to be entered at only one point and are „inherited“ into each discipline-specific representation. Error-prone data transfers will be eliminated with this always up-to-date, comprehensive digital twin of the railways. In addition, computer-aided control runs are possible for the first time.
„The generation change is not only taking place in the engineering system, but also in the engineering team. In the next few years, many experienced experts – who know the different railway models down to the last contactor even without a diagram – will be leaving and taking their expertise with them,“ said BVG Head of Mobility Rico Gast. This is why the area will be relying on the new, intuitively comprehensible digital image of the trams.
From documents to data
Legacy data migration is BVG‘s first step from file-based documents to objects that can be used directly in a database. A pilot project in which the paper designs and PDFs of a rail grinder were digitized, updated and processed with EB showed that the quality of the data, its availability and clarity were significantly improved. Future new vehicles are to be designed in EB from the outset.