Swiss Federal Railways Digital Transformation Initiatives

About the Customer

Swiss Federal Railways is the national railway company of Switzerland with over 33000 employees. It is usually referred to by the initials of its German, French and Italian names, either concatenated as SBB CFF FFS, or used separately.

The Romansh version of its name, Viafiers federalas svizras, is not officially used. The company is headquartered in Bern. It used to be a government institution, but since 1999 it has been a special stock corporation whose shares are held by the Swiss Confederation or the Swiss cantons.

Scope and Challenges

SBB is exposed to sudden short-term fluctuations in power requirements, caused by SBB’s regular-interval timetable and heating requirements in particularly cold winters, to just name one example. That’s why SBB needs to design its energy infrastructure to accommodate maximum peak load - but providing enough energy during peak hours carries logistical and financial challenges. SBB was, therefore, looking for a more sustainable, cost-efficient solution. As part of its long-term power demand management program, SBB worked with SAP Innovative Business Solutions to create a smart, real-time power demand management platform based on SAP HANA Streaming Analytics. This solution enables SBB to monitor power demand to react immediately to power peaks by reducing the delivery of energy to loads that allow power interruption for short periods, such as heaters. This allows shaving power peaks, without sacrificing passenger comfort or system reliability.


Starting with a successful proof of concept, SBB has laid the foundation for its ongoing energy management transformation. The high-performance capabilities of SAP HANA to process large volumes of data in real-time prove invaluable for future scenarios. 

As part of its long-term power demand management program, SBB worked with SAP Innovative Business Solutions to create a smart, real-time power demand management platform based on SAP HANA Streaming Analytics.

Outcome and Implications

Using agile methodology, the SAP Innovative Business Solutions team together with SBB delivered a proof of concept in just six weeks and presented it at the Smart Suisse Event 2017 Close collaboration between SAP and SBB, working as a unified, agile team from the proof of concept to the development of an SBB-specific solution on an SAP platform.

The demand management platform is based on standard software with SAP HANA streaming analytics which forms the smart core of a complex signal processing solution.

SAP HANA streaming analytics
•  receives measurement data from other systems, such as SBB’s Energy Management System (EMS),
•  identifies power peaks,
•  determines which loads should be reduced,
•  and conveys this information to other systems that automatically turn off heaters in train cars or at railroad switches for short periods of time. This happens without affecting the performance of the heating system, so passengers do not notice anything.

Not only does this have the immediate benefit of cutting cost for peaks, but it also helps SBB to better leverage its existing electricity capacity and safeguards network stability. The platform is also extendable for future uses: It is planned to include power demands of drive power of trains and other energy-consuming appliances, such as cooling in train cars – thus enabling an even greater degree of flexibility and cost efficiency.

Some of the benefits by choosing SAP HANA Streaming Analytics are that 1/3 reduction in investment costs per unit of flexible power by leveraging existing assets and postponing investments in new energy infrastructure, reduced energy costs for rail transport services, digital software investment instead of expensive hardware.

Quotes

“We have to design our railway systems to accommodate maximum peak load. But instead of investing more in energy infrastructure, we will invest more in smart software solutions. That way we will also improve overall cost efficiency.” said Beat Deuber, Head of SBB Energy.

“By realizing our power demand management platform, we’re building the foundation for future business needs.” said Markus Halder, Head of Power Demand Management Program, SBB.

“SAP and its experts provided us with a lot of support in integrating real-time data into SAP HANA - this has given us many advantages in terms of time to market. And of course we can count on SAP as a reliable partner. Smart Grid in the railway power supply world is becoming reality for us.” said Peter Kummer, CIO of SBB.


Hilfikerstr. 1
Bern, 3000 , x
Switzerland
41 51 220 11 11
https://www.sbb.ch/
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Enterprise Software & Cloud Applications Purchased by Swiss Federal Railways


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IT Decision Makers and Key Stakeholders at Swiss Federal Railways


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