Full Steam Forward: CIO Kopal Raj of WABTEC India on staying ‘on-track’ with AI, IoT and sustainability targets

This information coming in via the machine sensors, meeting strains and nifty elements ensures that the whole staff doesn’t have to be on the store ground to know what’s going on. It permits us to carry out well timed distant intervention on the alerts and alerts obtained, thus supporting the on-site engineer.

IoT software program within the machines related to the sensors provides data on the energy or sturdiness of the brakes whereas the locomotive is in use. There may be an initiative to develop autonomous locomotives as properly, which we’re very assured about executing skilfully on fastened tracks.

Technologically, we’re drone-based monitoring of railways sooner or later. This might assist observe upkeep, yard planning and oversee the entire observe space throughout flooding and different pure calamities.

We’re bringing these new applied sciences to India too, as a result of railways are such an integral a part of the nation and its financial system. The biggest funds proposals had been made by railway ministers this 12 months, underneath the management of Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Minister for Railways and Info Know-how.

What are among the steps that you’re taking to foster a tradition of innovation and experimentation amongst the staff and clients, and encourage them to maneuver in the direction of digital transformation in of their work?

There could be components of the business that are nonetheless engaged on redundant legacy programs. As an example, some software program builders nonetheless use Home windows 2007 servers, that are utterly end-of-life, and don’t have the mandatory safety patches.

Thus, we insist on clients to improve, as a result of if somebody sitting in a faraway location is utilizing our software program however haven’t upgraded underlying working programs of the locomotive, then it poses a safety danger.

Even with the all of the important safety upgrades, the cyberthreat has been actual within the final 2 years, and all people has turn into extra delicate to it. Clients together with personal and authorities counterparts query us in relation to the security of their information.

In the end, we’re as a lot a expertise firm as we’re a locomotive firm. The board is dedicated to this too, evident by the elevated funding simply round cybersecurity.

Our robust CTO construction and superior expertise groups are dedicated to downside fixing. We’re asking the suitable questions – about what railroads will appear like sooner or later, and the way the design of the locomotives must evolve.

We’re utilizing generative AI use circumstances to coach the drivers to repair issues. We enable much more freedom of experimentation for our engineers, which helps us increase our innovation requirements whereas nonetheless defending the manufacturing setting the place the shopper is operating their locomotives.

What does sustainability appear like for WABTEC India? What are the steps you’re taking as a part of the management to make sure that the sustainability targets are met?

As a significant transportation participant within the business, now we have signed as much as cut back the carbon footprint generated by locomotives and passenger trains.

We now have additionally launched applications like ‘Winnovate’, underneath which groups intention to resolve age-old issues, like new designs for battery cooling, or a selected latest innovation which is a novel system to seize and repurpose the super warmth power that’s launched while you deconstruct a locomotive or an enormous practice and placing it again into the battery.

We now have a chief sustainability officer, and we’re making efforts in inexperienced expertise, hydrogen gas cells, bringing down diesel consumption and now, manufacturing digital locomotives as properly. In India, the mandate dictates that by 2030, we have to shift to digital locomotives.

While you mirror in your profession, what’s a choice that you simply’ve taken throughout your tenure that you simply’re most pleased with?

I imagine that stretching myself to reset each time I embarked into a brand new area is one thing that I’m very pleased with. Whether or not it was dabbling in community, chemical substances, information tasks, energy crops, or locomotives, I’ve modified a number of groups and have ensured that I emerge profitable in my area so that folks can vouch for my experience.

Earlier, a enterprise chief would merely delegate an IT intervention to someone down within the division and stop to be concerned after that. I’ve been triumphant in gaining the boldness and involvement of the senior management in IT endeavours. I’ve developed a eager sense of foresight for impending errors or failures. Now, I don’t launch tasks until I’ve buy-in from the management. My huge expertise allows me for these nuances of the function.

Back to top button