Presentation of the E-Check Project at Deutsche Bahn

Photo of the Cobot in front of an ICE train (Image: Deutsche Bahn AG / Oliver Lang)

Lehrte, 18.10.2023 - On October 12, 2023, the E-Check project was presented at Deutsche Bahn's first ICE plant equipped with the new technology in Cologne-Nippes. Volker Wissing (Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport) and Michael Peterson (Member of the Board of Management of Deutsche Bahn AG for Long-Distance Passenger Transport) were also on site.

The aim of the project is to maintain the growing number of trains more efficiently and get them back into normal operation more quickly. Mobile robots and artificial intelligence (AI) are being used to achieve this goal. DB is investing 55 million euros in the process, called E-Check. Cologne-Nippes will be followed by the ICE plants in Berlin, Dortmund, Hamburg and Munich by 2025.

The general contractor for the E-Check project is Strama-MPS Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG, project partners are Gestalt Robotics and Götting KG. Increased efficiency in maintenance is achieved by a camera gate inspecting the ICE all around as it enters the plant. The images are then analyzed with the help of AI. Deviations are detected and the associated images are forwarded to the technical staff for inspection. The technicians decide whether there is a fault and can directly trigger a work order, which is automatically transferred to the tablet of the workshop personnel.

Photo of a mobile robot holding hoses on the ICE that supply the train with fresh water and pump out waste water
Cobot incl. AI – the mobile robot supplies the ICE with fresh water and pumps out the waste water (Copyright Deutsche Bahn AG / Oliver Lang)

In addition, collaborative mobile robots, so-called cobots, move independently around the ICE, take over the fully automated supply of the train with fresh water and pump out the waste water. The automated guided vehicles (AGV) used to move and position the robots come from Götting KG. movizon CONTROL is used as the master controller for the AGVs.

Foto aus der Halle des ICE-Werks in Köln-Nippes, im Bild: Dr. Volker Wissing, Bundesminister für Digitales und Verkehr, und Dr. Michael Peterson, DB-Vorstand für den Personenfernverkehr, mit Mitarbeitern des ICE-Werks in Köln-Nippes
Dr. Volker Wissing, Federal Minister of Digital Affairs and Transport, and Dr. Michael Peterson, DB Board Member for Long-Distance Passenger Transport, with employees from the Cologne-Nippes ICE plant (Copyright Deutsche Bahn AG / Oliver Lang)

Dr. Michael Peterson, DB Board Member for Long-Distance Passenger Transport: "By using digital technology, we are revolutionizing the maintenance of ICE trains. Thanks to E-Check, we are virtually creating the capacity of a complete ICE plant. As a result, the trains are back in service for our passengers more quickly. With E-Check, we are also meeting the challenges of a growing fleet and the increasing shortage of skilled workers." (translated by Götting)

Dr. Volker Wissing, Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport: "This project demonstrates the power of combining digital technology and human expertise: employees are relieved of workloads, and at the same time the maintenance capacity of the site increases by 25 percent. In view of our rapidly growing ICE fleet, this is also absolutely necessary." (translated by Götting)

The project partners received the DB Supplier Innovation Award 2022 for E-Check.

Reporting on E-Check

Götting Quick Guide Last updated: 04/2023

Götting KG founded in 1965, ist an innovative company placed in Lehrte near Hannover (DE) and works worldwide.The company develops and produces wireless data communication systems and sensors for automatic track guidance of so-called automated guided vehicles (AGV). As far as we are informed Götting KG has the largest product range of different components for trackguiding AGV.

Further main topics are traffic technology, RF measuring, wireless data communication in general as well as customized developments for car manufactureres, electronic- and radio broadcasting industry. Currently our company employs 90 professionals of which about 30 are experienced masters in engineering and are responsible for research and development.

The core competency of FOX – a special department of Götting KG – is focused on the automation of serial vehicles, especially for the outdoor area (trucks, pay loaders, fork lifts etc.).