PJM and Voith agree to digitalise rail freight operations

automation and automatic couplers PJ Monitoring (PJM) and Voith signed a collaboration agreement to develop a new digitalised system for automation and automatic couplers which will determine a more efficient and safe rail freight transport services.

The companies will work together over the next few years to develop a system that combines coupler-assisted automatic train inauguration and the safe remote-controlled decoupling of freight cars with an automatic coupler.

Under the agreement, PJM will use its expertise as a leading developer and supplier of automation solutions for rail freight operations. With its patented monitoring system WaggonTracker, the company is also a pioneer of digitalisation in this segment. The new solution combines monitoring and automation, offering a robust overall system that provides fleet operators with important real-time information about their freight cars and freight transport. This data can also be used to automate complex processes. For example, WaggonTracker also allows brake tests to be performed automatically. The platform has enabled numerous customers to significantly improve efficiency and achieve substantial cost savings.

For the new project, the two companies will pool their leading-edge capabilities in digitalisation, automation and automatic couplers. The objective is to provide customers with a system solution that allows the automated use of the CargoFlex coupler, with a focus on remote-controlled decoupling processes. In combination with the solutions developed by PJM, this is intended to form the basis for highly digitized logistics management.

Alongside the technical challenges, the interoperability of the innovative system solution is a top priority for the development team and the key to marketing it on a broad basis. Therefore, the two companies aim to jointly manage the development of key components such as safety-related applications, communication tools or protocols. Moreover, it is planned to transfer the system into an industry platform during a subsequent project phase to make it available to other market participants.

Voith has been one of key innovation drivers in the rail technology segment. One example is its automatic freight coupler CargoFlex that has already demonstrated that it can improve the competitiveness of freight transport and strengthen the market position of fleet operators. CargoFlex is the second cornerstone of the development alongside WaggonTracker.


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