MGM Berlin Study Trip – Siemens visit

Tuesday, 25 June 2019, 12:47 | Category : Company Visit, International trip, Masters in General Management
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At Vlerick we had the privilege to have an amazing Berlin trip. The subject of the trip was “impossible futures”, and therefore the trip was filled with interesting lectures about the future, and visits to companies who are frontrunners on innovation and research. For every timeslot, we had the choice of a few companies. Siemens Mobility was a very popular choice and the group was filled quite fast.

This is of course because the name Siemens has a certain grandeur among technology companies, and the trains and trams by Siemens are a known transportation mode in Belgium as well. At the company, we got great insights in the way Siemens is preparing itself for the future, with short introductions to multiple ways Siemens is working on innovations. In a one-day workshop, the digitization trends in mobility and the future of rail automation were discussed together.

In the second part of the company visit, we were treated to an in detail look at the locomotive of the future and a lot of our colleagues who chose for other companies were quite jealous when they heard we even had the opportunity to drive a train simulator!

Bernd Keller, ETCS (European Train Control System) Onboard, Retrofit Management, invited us to an inspection of the TC Lina, the Retrofit Test Locomotive. The bright blue locomotive was completely restored some time ago and was equipped with all necessary ETCS components in various installation variants.
We were able to see a live demonstration of how Siemens Mobility can retrofit trains already in service with the latest technology to make them fit for ETCS standards.

A highlight of the day was the ETCS laboratory. Inside the test lab, we had the opportunity to slip into the role of a train driver. The heart of the ETCS laboratory is the realistic setup of a driver’s cab with all the typical controls of a train.
After a brief introduction, we were able to test our skills as train drivers and set off for an independent test run. A small screen shows the field of view from the driver’s cabin.
The train control system ETCS determines information on the speed and position of the train and controls the driving behavior via the driver’s platform display. If, for example, the train’s recommended speed is exceeded, the system warns the driver to adjust the speed via the travel and brake switch. If a station is approached, the system emits a signal to initiate the braking process in time. We were soon able to prove ourselves as passable locomotive drivers.

Long story short: the Vlerick management students took some valuable lessons back to Belgium from Siemens mobility, a visit we will be sure to not forget in the coming years!

(Pictures property of Siemens Mobility DE)

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