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Transforming Rail Operations Through Automated Robotic Inspection

Revised and translated by ANYbotics. Original article by Benjamin Bitoun, published in VerkehrsMonitor

Thanks to innovative technologies such as the ANYmal inspection robot, rail freight transport is experiencing a significant change in safety and efficiency standards. railCare, a Coop (Switzerland) subsidiary, is at the forefront of this change. Its approach to inspecting wagons, moving from traditional methods to advanced robotic assistance, is an important step towards improving rail safety.

ANYmal inspecting wagons

railCare Enhances Safety and Efficiency with ANYmal

railCare initiated the use of robots for the inspection of freight wagons. In a pilot project in Domat/Ems, ANYmal, the autonomous inspection robot from ANYbotics, is being used to overcome the limitations of human inspection. Equipped with high-resolution cameras and sensors, ANYmal detects minor cracks and signs of wear on the wheel axles – problems that are often invisible to the human eye.

The introduction of robots in wagon inspections offers several benefits:

  • Enhanced Worker Safety: By accurately identifying potential faults, ANYmal reduces the risk of accidents.
  • Improve Efficiency: Robotic inspections are faster and more thorough than manual checks, increasing productivity.
  • Lower Maintenance Costs: Automating inspections lowers long-term maintenance costs and minimizes downtime
  • Workforce Support: Robots alleviate personnel shortages by reducing the workload of inspection staff.

ANYmal conducting autonomous inspection missions at the railCare Domat/Ems facility.

The Future of Railway Safety

The railCare project is part of a broader movement towards digitalization in rail transport. This change improves safety and responds to the industry’s growing problem of skills shortages. As railCare CEO Philipp Wegmueller says, “These technological advances are not about replacing people, but enabling them to do their jobs more effectively and safely.”
This innovative approach sets the standard for the future of rail transportation, seamlessly integrating technology and human expertise to establish a safer and highly efficient system. As this technology advances, it plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of rail freight transportation.

Learn More

Discover how ANYmal maximizes maintenance efficiency and decreases component consumption with automated inspections in rail transportation.

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