Home Business Intelligence Full Steam Forward: CIO Kopal Raj of WABTEC on staying ‘on-track’ with AI, IoT and sustainability objectives

Full Steam Forward: CIO Kopal Raj of WABTEC on staying ‘on-track’ with AI, IoT and sustainability objectives

Full Steam Forward: CIO Kopal Raj of WABTEC on staying ‘on-track’ with AI, IoT and sustainability objectives


This information coming in by way of the machine sensors, meeting traces and nifty parts ensures that your complete crew doesn’t have to be on the store flooring to know what’s going on. It permits us to carry out well timed distant intervention on the alerts and indicators acquired, thus supporting the on-site engineer.

IoT software program within the machines linked to the sensors offers data on the power or sturdiness of the brakes whereas the locomotive is in use. There’s an initiative to develop autonomous locomotives as properly, which we’re very assured about executing skilfully on fastened tracks.

Technologically, we’re taking a look at drone-based monitoring of railways sooner or later. This is able to assist observe upkeep, yard planning and oversee the entire observe space throughout flooding and different pure calamities.

We’re bringing these new applied sciences to India too, as a result of railways are such an integral a part of the nation and its economic system. The biggest price range proposals had been made by railway ministers this yr, underneath the management of Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Minister for Railways and Data Know-how. India’s Vande Bharat trains are powered by WABTEC’s expertise. With this unwavering authorities assist and recognition, it’s a good time to be on this area.

What are among the steps that you’re taking to foster a tradition of innovation and experimentation amongst the staff and clients, and encourage them to maneuver in the direction of digital transformation in of their work?

There might be elements of the trade that are nonetheless engaged on redundant legacy techniques. For example, some software program builders nonetheless use Home windows 2007 servers, that are fully end-of-life, and don’t have the required safety patches.

Thus, we insist on clients to improve, as a result of if somebody sitting in a faraway location is utilizing our software program however haven’t upgraded underlying working techniques of the locomotive, then it poses a safety danger.

Even with the all of the important safety upgrades, the cyberthreat has been actual within the final 2 years, and everyone has develop into extra delicate to it. Clients together with personal and authorities counterparts query us in the case of the protection of their information.

Finally, we’re as a lot a expertise firm as we’re a locomotive firm. The board is dedicated to this too, evident by the funding elevated by 10 million {dollars} yearly simply round cybersecurity.

Our sturdy CTO construction and superior expertise groups are dedicated to drawback fixing. We’re asking the correct questions – about what railroads will appear like sooner or later, and the way the design of the locomotives must evolve.

We’re utilizing generative AI use instances to coach the drivers to repair issues. We enable much more freedom of experimentation for our engineers, which helps us increase our innovation requirements whereas nonetheless defending the manufacturing atmosphere the place the shopper is working their locomotives.

What does sustainability appear like for WABTEC? What are the steps you’re taking as a part of the management to make sure that the sustainability objectives are met?

As a serious transportation participant within the trade, we have now signed as much as cut back the carbon footprint generated by locomotives and passenger trains.

We have now additionally launched packages like ‘Winnovate’, underneath which groups intention to resolve age-old issues, like new designs for battery cooling, or a specific current innovation which is a novel system to seize and repurpose the large warmth power that’s launched once you deconstruct a locomotive or an enormous practice and placing it again into the battery.

We have now a chief sustainability officer, and we’re making efforts in inexperienced expertise, hydrogen gasoline cells, bringing down diesel consumption and now, manufacturing digital locomotives as properly. In India, the mandate dictates that by 2030, we have to shift to digital locomotives.

If you replicate in your profession, what’s a choice that you just’ve taken throughout your tenure that you just’re most happy with?

I consider that stretching myself to reset each time I embarked into a brand new area is one thing that I’m very happy with. Whether or not it was dabbling in community, chemical compounds, information initiatives, energy vegetation, or locomotives, I’ve modified a number of groups and have ensured that I emerge profitable in my area so that folks can vouch for my experience.

Earlier, a enterprise chief would merely delegate an IT intervention to anyone down within the division and stop to be concerned after that. I’ve been triumphant in gaining the boldness and involvement of the senior management in IT endeavours. I’ve developed a eager sense of foresight for impending errors or failures. Now, I don’t launch initiatives until I’ve buy-in from the management. My huge expertise permits me for these nuances of the position.



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