By: Jesús Guzmán, CEO, Invensys Rail Dimetronic
The world is rapidly urbanizing. We estimate that by 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population reside in cities, some as large as 20 million people. This burgeoning population will require innovative, reliable, and safe methods of transportation.
As one of the leading rail signaling companies in Europe, we at Invensys Rail Dimetronic put safety at the top of our list. After all, trains like the Spanish High Speed Lines travel as fast as 350 km per hour, so smart train signaling systems have to be, at a minimum, 99% reliable.
Rail signaling systems function like air traffic controllers at an airport, making sure each planes’ speed, flight path, and landing schedule is perfectly coordinated with hundreds of other flights each day. There is little margin for error. Similarly, the rail systems we design and build help move thousands of people in a short amount of time. Our equipment must be able to stop trains if anything goes wrong, for any reason.
What connects all the different elements is the signaling — from the control center, the track, the train itself — is software. Speed and accuracy are critical, not only for the software we build, but in the software we use to help us in the development process. We must meet strict standards set by the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), but these are constantly evolving so we have to work quickly to update our systems.
That’s why we rely on systems development software from IBM. All software development tools and processes are integrated, which is critical as many software versions emerge during the development process, each with different functionality.
Requirements management software is equally vital. Some of our products have been in development, and in industrial use, for twelve or more years. Naturally, the requirements for these long-lived products change over time. Using IBM software our development and test teams manage and link the corresponding changes, which makes the 2,000+ requests per development lifecycle far more manageable.
Since the railway industry closely monitors all system software for strict adherence to its safety standards, each requirement and all subsequent changes to the requirement must be fully accounted for in the software we deploy. With software models we create using IBM tools, we can generate most of the one million lines of source code directly from the design model. And the reports we can automatically generate helps us prove compliance to both our customers and to industry regulators.
We’re proud to deliver a high-level of quality for our expanding base of global customers. At the same time, we’ve reduced time-to-market for our products by as much as 40 percent, thanks to the automation and quality management capabilities provided by IBM.