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Daily press, Trade press, 2018-09-04, 06:55 PM

Special award for outstanding energy efficiency. EnergieAgentur.NRW honors project to optimize use of locomotives at thyssenkrupp Steel

  • Tablet computers enhance efficiency of shift changeovers in railway operations
  • Savings of 119,000 liters of diesel per year
  • GPS system ensures efficient traffic flows and helps in emergencies

New industrial tablets are making life easier for shunting locomotive drivers at thyssenkrupp Steel Europe. Since the Railway Operations unit at the Duisburg steel mill equipped its locomotives with modern logistics hardware and software it has been able to deploy the locomotives far more productively. For making more efficient use of resources, the state energy agency Energieagentur.NRW presented thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG with a special award during the Energy Innovation Awards ceremony in Düsseldorf today. “There’s nothing better than a well thought out, functioning example,” said Christoph Dammermann, Secretary of State in the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. “That also applies to smart, more economical use of energy. The range of award-worthy projects in this competition was very broad. Winners like thyssenkrupp are an impressive testament to the possibilities available to companies to make efficient use of energy.”

“All change” at the Duisburg steel mill

87 locomotives and around 2,000 railcars are in operation day and night at the Duisburg steel mill, which boasts Europe’s biggest company railway system. Thanks to the new, permanently installed tablets, locomotive drivers no longer need to go to the crew room first for shift changes. Previously they had to check the noticeboard there for that day’s instructions before unlocking their locomotive in a siding. Now they receive this information in person from the driver they are replacing at the start of their shift, and the day’s instructions are available digitally on the tablet. Carrying out shift changes at the locomotive eliminates the need for two of three major vehicle inspections every day.

Less diesel – lower CO2 emissions

That saves not only time and paper but also energy: Thanks to the “Optimized use of locomotives” project, one of the 87 company-owned locomotives can be taken out of service permanently, resulting in savings of around 7,000 operating hours and 119,000 liters of diesel per year. CO2 emissions from the locomotives are 313 tons per year lower.

The GPS system fitted in the locomotives at the same time improves safety by allowing them to be located precisely at all times, including in critical situations. The “FleetInfo” system also ensures locomotives take the most direct route and prevents congestion at junctions. Precise booking times for movements enables schedulers to define the optimum route for the locomotives and thus make more efficient use of resources. That also saves energy and protects the environment. “We are working hard to optimize logistics and planning processes in the company so as to enhance our competitiveness and secure our future. The “Optimized use of locomotives” project generates not only advantages for the company but also lasting ecological effects,” says Ulrike Höffken, head of Logistics at thyssenkrupp Steel Europe.

“Well-rounded solution”

EnergieAgentur.NRW praised the “Optimized use of locomotives” project as a well-rounded contribution to in-company mobility. The panel also commended the digital approach applied in this innovation. “We want companies to be more aware of energy efficiency in the area of mobility. thyssenkrupp Steel Europe has delivered a well-rounded solution for this,” said Ulrich Goedecke from Energie-Agentur.NRW during the presentation of the special award.

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