Institute of Engineering and Business Informatics (EBI) – Graz University of Technology

The Institute of Engineering and Business Informatics (EBI) at Graz University of Technology is not only concerned with the development of software applications in mechanical engineering, but in particular with the design and control of complex systems and their interaction with the environment.

Contribution to DACIO

In the DACIO project, the MBI contributes its expertise both in the area of process and requirements analysis and in the area of simulation to ensure the successful introduction of DAC in Austria.

Description of Work Package 2

The Institute of Engineering and Business Informatics (EBI) at TU Graz is in charge of two DACIO Work Packages. In the Work Package 2 we are dealing with the process steps in shunting operations. The introduction of the Digital Automatic Coupling (DAC) will have a significant influence on these processes. In contrast to flat-yard shunting movements with the DAC, which are being investigated by the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) and discussed here, our focus is on the processes of Austria’s large shunting nodes, such as the central shunting station Wien Kledering.

In close coordination with the European DAC target processes from the European DAC Delivery Programme (EDDP) and the European project FP5 – TRANS4M-R, the future and largely automated processes in Austria’s large marshalling yards will be outlined. Initial results show that process times can be reduced, among other things, in activities where long distances have to be covered along the train. For example, when securing freight wagons against rolling away. These target processes not only result in requirements for the DAC to implement automated shunting operations in the future. Systems that interact with the DAC are also included in the process. The criteria collected in the process are organised and processed using requirements engineering tools.
In addition, the influence of the Digital Automatic Coupling on the braking system of the freight wagons is analysed. This influence was shown and documented in the report “Brake system technology in consideration of the DAC”. The report includes a potential analysis and potential assessment with regard to future automation options, such as the use of automatic parking brakes in the wagon.

View from Shunting Hump at the Central Shunting Station Wien-Kledering
View from Shunting Hump at the Central Shunting Station Wien-Kledering
Concept Design of HMI of a Yard Automation and Management System (YAMS) App
© Institute of Engineering and Business Informatics (EBI) at Graz University of Technology

Description of Work Package 7

In the Work Package 7 we are pursuing the goal of presenting a possible future production system of rail freight transport (SGV) in Austria. The basis is the Digital Automatic Coupling (DAC) and the associated technological leverage. For example, we are investigating whether wagon flows can be routed more efficiently through the Austrian rail network after the introduction of DAC and have surveyed its potential. By linking with existing simulation tools such as our TARO shunting node model or the Open Track network model of the southern railway line, a joint development of the Austrian Institutes of Technology (AIT) and the University of Applied Sciences St. Pölten, we aim to take a holistic approach. We want to demonstrate the added value and the necessity of an alternative production model. Initial analyses show that there is a significant savings potential in terms of vehicle kilometers travelled through an adapted production model.
In addition, possible migration scenarios of the DAC will be accompanied and considered by the European projects responsible for this. The migration from the current screw coupling to a DAC is particularly complex, as there are no plans for compatibility between the two systems. Another complicating factor is that there are a large number of different types of freight wagons. Currently, a scenario is favored in which freight wagons are technically prepared for the DAC during a lead time of several years in order to then enable a rapid exchange of the coupling systems of all freight wagons.

Credit: M. Reichmann, Institute of Engineering and Business Informatics (EBI) at Graz University of Technology