When people go through huge development changes, this will often manifest itself in their outer appearance. One starts to dress differently, has a different hair style or gets rid of one’s beard. When companies strike out in a new direction, this will usually manifest itself in new product designs.
Our presence at iaf 2017 was fully dedicated to “Innovation for you”. And indeed, we presented a series of ground-breaking technologies on a grand scale for the first time. These included the “PlasserSmartTamping – The Assistant” system, the new generation of SmartALC guiding computers, the further enhanced PlasserDatamatic 2.0 remote diagnosis system and the “SmartCatalog” spare parts app. Furthermore, we presented our two new E³ machines, the Unimat 09-4x4/4S E³ and the HTW 100 E³. They were the absolute highlights of the trade fair because they introduced the ground-breaking benefits of hybrid drive technology to a wider audience and because they showed our new machine design in full size for the first time.
The dynamics of innovation at Plasser & Theurer that impressed the expert audience back then was just the start. In the meantime, we have made considerable progress in SmartMaintenance, for instance. One project in this context is the digital survey where a virtual twin of a real-life section of track is created to be able to carry out comprehensive investigations and to recognise potential for optimisation. At the centre of this innovation is the EM100VT track recording car, which was built for developing and trialling digital products.
But not just the new technologies are trend-setters. We also set new standards in developing new service strategies. We are restructuring and expanding our global service network to be even closer to the customer. New service packages are on offer, e.g. VEDO, which contains all services required to get a machine into top condition as part of the first major overhaul, or the major overhaul of tamping units at a fixed price.
Another trend-setter is the platform strategy PlasserModularCustomizing, which offers new benefits in the manufacturing of individually modified machines. All modifications conform to the first approval in technical design and quality; this makes the approval process much shorter.
Our production processes, too, are currently undergoing a significant change. The best example is the reorganisation of cabin construction. Since January 2019, we have been producing all cabins in a specially adapted workshop. The production concept is a combination of assembly-line method and fixed-station assembly. Material logistics follows the 'just in time principle'. We are making use of numerous new production tools, and the staff with their long-standing experience contributed significantly to the development of the work process. After six months we can say that expectations have been more than met. Production efficiency and installation quality have increased considerably.
Our innovative machine design stands for new, ground-breaking technologies, for new service and design strategies and for even more production efficiency and quality. So we are really happy that this dynamic of innovation goes down well with our customers. Within only two years we delivered 23 machines into eight countries.