Bombardier and Bull get on board the Train of the Future

For its virtual engineering platform project, the world leader in rail transport has surrounded itself with the foremost specialists, including Bull, who is responsible for an innovative on-board ‘telepresence’ solution

Paris, 27-3-2013 — / — Dividing its business activity between aerospace on the one hand, and rail passenger transport on the other, Canadian corporation Bombardier is constantly innovating to extend its range of products and services to support ‘The evolution of mobility’ for people worldwide. As a result, Bombardier has made massive investments in development; to stay at the leading edge in terms of solutions as well as technological excellence. To achieve this, the company has surrounded itself with a series of expert partners, with similar interests, such as Bull who is involved in one of the corporation’s flagship projects: the Train of the Future.

The Train of the Future was born in at the turn of this decade, when the North American division of Bombardier, BTAN, decided to create a virtual engineering and modeling platform that would allow it to optimize the development of future trains by improving quality through the use of virtualization and related tools.

“Above all, our priority was to bring together the right skill-sets so that we could together refine our vision, and gradually develop the tools that we feel would be useful,” explained Jacques Belley, Director of R&D and Innovation at Bombardier Transport North America (BTAN). Focused on a research and technology liaison and transfer center, Bombardier brought together a number of specialist partners, including Bull with its extensive technology portfolio: modeling, telecoms expertise, expertise in on-board data acquisition systems…

Tangible results already being achieved

With the project only just entering its third year, measurable results are already being recorded. Modeling and virtual bench tests will enable the validation and testing of components and vehicle architectures to be undertaken, to ensure they are as close as possible to reality. However, it is also vital to be able to base research on actual data; and to do this Bull has developed an intelligent device that can be fixed in position at the front of the train to provide a virtual on-board presence, and to transmit even the smallest pieces of information about how the system is behaving to the company’s experts, especially at any stretches of the track where the train particularly at risk. The solution offering virtual telepresence, and remote testing, diagnostics and support, has been successfully integrated into the next generation of underground trains for the Montreal subway.

From the start of this project, the partners have worked in close collaboration. Each partner mobilizes its resources on the project not just in a business relationship, but in a true spirit of cooperation and with a shared desire for success. “Bull has adapted perfectly to this way of operating, and there is a very agreeable working environment between us: one that is dynamic and also conducive to innovation. Over and above its advanced technical expertise, Bull has shown huge flexibility, knowing how to adapt to the changing nature of the project and always mobilizing the right resources at the right time,” Jacques Belley added

An award-winning innovation project

In November 2012, this new collective approach won Bombardier and its Train of the future project the Open Innovation Prize (Prix Innovation Ouverte), from the Quebec Association for the Development of Research and Innovation (ADRIQ). “This accolade is the reward for our partnership-based approach to R&D. For us, it represents an opening up to outside expertise and a key to success for innovative projects. It will help to inspire the teams working on the project and boost the potential for development even further,” added a delighted Jacques Belley.

Bombardier and Bull, partners in sustainable development

Beyond the Train of the Future project, Bombardier and Bull have also collaborated on a project linked to the environmental constraints that manufacturers increasingly face when submitting their r tenders, especially in Europe. A tool has been developed to eliminate banned substances in components and the manufacturing process for trains. This approach enables Bombardier to reconcile requirements for sustainable development and regulatory compliance with commercial imperatives in a market that has become extremely competitive.

About Bull

Bull is a leader in secure mission-critical digital systems. The Group is dedicated to developing and implementing solutions where computing power and security serve to optimize its customers’ information systems, to support their business.

Bull operates in high added-value markets including computer simulation, Cloud computing and ‘computing power plants’, outsourcing and security.

Currently Bull employs around 9,000 people across more than 50 countries, with over 700 staff totally focused on R&D. In 2011, Bull recorded revenues of €1.3 billion.

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