"Rheinhessen is a country with hidden stars"

INNOtec: The Member of Parliament Jan Metzler (right) has been informed by INNOtec’s CEO Siegfried Pieper how wheel abnormalities on trains to fractions of a millimeter exactly can determined in real time on the screen with technology from Rheinhessen.

"Rheinhessen is the country with hidden stars!" Member of Parliament Jan Metzler said, referring to those companies that are most successful, even if they are not well known. A "very good example" Metzler sees in the Eppelsheimer company INNOtec Systems GmbH, which he recently visited. "INNOtec shows how high the innovation potential can be in smaller and medium-sized businesses," praised the palrliament member and considers it importance that the policy creates just even this good framework.

In the headquarter in Eppelsheim, CEO Siegfried Pieper requires just a mouse click and even the live data of a train flickers on his screen - for example, from the Middle Rhine Valley, Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart or worldwide from Belarus or China - which INNOtec literally in this way has "on the screen". The data are transferred at the moment in real time in which the train passes one of the measuring sites that are installed on the tracks. Numbers, parameters and graphics are displayed on the screen, its presentation reminds to the laity more like intensive care as to train technology.

"Here you can see the DNA of a train," Pieper said, who can extract a lot from the data. Pieper can see how fast and how long the train is, how many waggons he has, as the loads are distributed, what kind of brakes are used and for example - in this area it matters most - how the perfromances of the wheels are. Abnormalities are detected wheel exactly in real time to fractions of a millimeter. Thus, for example, determines whether the wheels have eccentricities or are roughened, which can double the noise in the worst case. But even if the wears are playing in a minimum area and can not even be seen by professionals with the naked eye, Pieper can demonstrate the weakness in black and white. The train operator can exchange or reprofile early and on low cost the wheels then, long before they are even louder and wear even constitutes a risk of accidents. So INNOtec mainly helps thereby to reduce the noise and makes a significant contribution to the so-called condition-based maintenance of the vehicles.

There are a number of special microphones and measuring systems in the tracks, which register the deformation and the pressure on the rails in real time while heavy trains roll over them. One of these systems is called LASCA, which is a laser-assisted wheel force diagnosis unit. Another is called MONI and also plays a major role in the noise monitoring. With yet another system can be detected, even at a speed of 160 kilometers per hour, the train number. "We did everything ourselves," Pieper says. His small team consists of six permanent employees. A scientific advisory board, in which professors from three universities are participating, supports the team.

The systems from Eppelsheim are in use worldwide, including Australia, China, the United States, the Baltic States and Scandinavia. In Germany, not only the Deutsche Bahn uses technology from Rheinhessen, but also for example the commuter rails in Berlin, Frankfurt and Stuttgart are under monitoring.

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