The investment in the machinery featuring a weight of 65 tonnes and a length of 21 metres amounted to approx. EUR 1.5 million. The plant can automatically weld complete locomotive frames with a diagonal length of up to six metres and a weight of seven tonnes. This will serve as the basis for competitive production times. One main feature of the machine is the significant increase in productivity and production capacities as well as optimising the interface between human beings and the machine. The main task of the employee has changed, from the craftsmen responsible for the work to the technician monitoring the process, according to Siemens. The employee can identify the operating conditions via an App installed on a smart phone.
Proactive maintenance work is also possible, enabling the timely identification and prevention of impending plant downtimes. All software programmes used in connection with the machinery were initially developed with the "digital twin" i.e. the computer-simulated likeness of the actual plant. This approach enables the rapid coming on stream and also a particularly high plant availability in the long-term. This is because both small-scale and more extensive reprogramming steps can also be carried out offline.