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How much IoT data does it take to run a midsized company? How does 700 TB sound?  With the help of SAP, that’s how much data is collected and analyzed each year at Trenitalia.

Trenitalia is the primary train operator in Italy with annual revenues of approximately 5.5 billion EUR (6.2 billion USD).  They carry about 2 million passengers every day and their trains travel over 250 million km per year.  The company is comprised of several business units including Long-Distance Passenger Transport, Commuter Traffic, and Freight Service serving customers at both the national and international levels.  They have a total fleet of about 32,500 trains, carriages, and locomotives.  Their newest flagship train, the ETR 1000, can carry 600 passengers and travel at speeds up to 360 km/h (220 mph).

In the railway business, you have to always be on time.  As the fleet ages and the number of kilometers travelled increases, train maintenance becomes one of your biggest costs.  Even new trains are at risk because to make them go faster for better customer service requires pushing the limits of technology.  So how do you increase customer service and decrease your operating costs at the same time?

For Trenitalia, the Internet of Things and SAP were the answer.  Working together, they designed and implemented a “Dynamic Maintenance System Powered by SAP HANA.”  Millions of sensors were installed on their fleet to collect temperature, pressure, vibration, electrical signals and many other characteristics in real-time. 

The endless streams of data are fed through on-board concentrators directly to the SAP HANA digital core.  Live data is instantly and continuously analyzed.  The more data that is collected, the smarter the system becomes. 

So how does this IoT digital transformation help Trenitalia?  The old method of maintenance used the number of miles travelled or the amount of time that passed since the last service to dictate when to perform maintenance.  The new digital approach uses predictive analytics inside SAP HANA to anticipate failures before they occur.  It then tells Trenitalia when to perform maintenance and what type of maintenance is needed.  This new system not only eliminates unnecessary maintenance it also recognizes issues that were overlooked with the old method.

For Trenitalia, their IoT digital transformation means an 8-10% savings on their 1.3 billion EUR annual maintenance cost.  For their customers, it means the fastest service in the business coupled to the highest reliability and on-time scheduling imaginable.  For their trains, it means 700 TB of data.

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