Safely maintained, safely archived, thanks to the products of EASY!
When it comes to maintaining and repairing railroad wagons and trains, Talgo, a company with a long tradition, is a step ahead of the pack. And the same applies to the archiving and documentation of documents that require storage: In this area, the German subsidiary of the Spanish company relies on solutions from EASY Software.
The railroad vehicle manufacturer Talgo relies on EASY
Thanks to EASY Archive, we aren’t only able to respond to inquiries more quickly: since we only need a fraction of the time that we used to spend on additional searches in the archive, some maintenance and repair work is faster and more efficient – which is extremely important for the profitability of our workshop operations.“
Stephan Korte, Leiter Produktion und Betrieb, Talgo (Deutschland) GmbH
The Spanish company Talgo looks back on a long history: At the end of the 1930s, the engineer Alejandro Goicoechea developed a new type of articulated train. The model had an important advantage, because it had a lower weight on the tracks than the railroad cars that were used until then. It put less strain on the tracks and required less fuel.
This laid the foundations for a company that currently delivers its trains to 28 countries in four continents. Deutsche Bahn is one of the company’s regular customers: In 2019, it signed a contract with Talgo for the initial delivery of 23 long-distance trains. Talgo (Deutschland) GmbH in Berlin has been responsible for the maintenance and repair of Talgo railroad cars and trains in Germany since 1994. In its plant, which is certified according to the quality standard ISO 9001:2015, the company employs some 110 people.
The huge building in the Friedrichshain district has its own connection to the railroad network and spans two hall tracks with a total length of 730 meters – including indoor cranes, overhead line test sections, a lowered track and an underfloor turning machine.
In 1942, the inventor Alejandro Goicoechea founded the company Talgo together with his financier José Luis Oriol. Talgo stands for „Tren articulado ligero Goicoechea Oriol“. Translation: „Lightweight articulated train according to Goicoechea and Oriol“. In February 2019, the company signed a framework agreement with Deutsche Bahn for the production of up to 100 trains and an initial order for 23 trains.
Talgo: A world-class project partner
Talgo is also more than present internationally: Among others, the company won the contract as supplier to the prestigious Haramain line in Saudi Arabia. The Haramain route connects the pilgrimage locations of Mecca and Medina. Talgo provided 36 high-speed (over 250 km/h) and very high speed trains (over 300 km/h). The maximum capacity of the route is estimated to total 160,000 passengers per day and 50 million passengers per year. By the way: Talgo still holds the unofficial world speed record of 256 km/h for diesel-powered multiple rail car units.
A flood of documents
The maintenance and repair of railroad cars involves a tremendous amount of documentation that requires archiving. On the one hand, of course, the taxrelevant documents which have to be archived on an audit-safe and GDPdUcompliant basis (principles of data access and auditing of digital documents). And on the other hand, the very specific documents from everyday workshop life that need to be stored securely so that they are easy to access. “We carry out almost all work on a wide range of trains and rail cars – from inspections and minor repairs through to major overhauls, which are necessary every 1.2 million kilometers and include a full inspection of all the mechanical and electronic components,” explains Stephan Korte, Head of Production and Operations. “Our archive includes order slips, test and assembly reports, measurement and weighing records and much more.
And most importantly: Our archive holdings are growing all the time.” Until the introduction of EASY Archive, Talgo worked with a conventional paper filing system. The problem: It was reaching its limits and no longer able to meet the increasing demands. “We were faced with a genuine flood of documents and therefore the question of how to ensure that documents could be retrieved in the future. In our paper filing system, we were only able to archive documents according to two criteria: The rail car number and the time limit classification. Anyone who wanted to find all the damage within a certain time limit had to go through the paper archive manually, remove the required files, copy the documents by hand and put the originals back into the folder.” This was already time-consuming, let alone more complicated searches in the archive, which were almost impossible.
EASY Archive accelerates maintenance
The paper filing system simply wasn’t flexible enough. Instead, Korte wanted an electronic system that would store all the documents centrally, be accessible to all departments, and be easy to search through. In the specification sheet, he also noted compatibility with Microsoft, SAP and IBM Maximo, which Talgo continues to use today as a planning and control system. Of all the available solutions, it was EASY Archive that prevailed. As Korte recalls, this wasn‘t just because it had all the required characteristics: „The competition worked with pretty rigid structures and offered little scope for individual adjustments. The EASY solution, by contrast, was more flexible and adaptable – strengthening us in our decision.“ And the expectations weren’t disappointed. The implementation project ran smoothly, and the training of the employees working with the solution was completed without a hitch. Today, Talgo benefits from an archiving system that offers a significant increase in transparency and speed – even though it still isn’t possible to completely go without paper.
The colleagues in the scheduling department use IBM Maximo as their primary order management system. The system is used to generate regular maintenance orders, repair orders and preventive maintenance orders. Each one has to be printed and, if necessary, attached with enclosures.
All the documents for an order at hand
If an additional measurement has to be carried out after the maintenance for example, the corresponding measuring sheet is enclosed immediately. All of the documents are also given an individual barcode that assigns them to a data record in IBM Maximo. „The mechanics and electricians fill out the documents in the workshop, sign them and then return them to the disposition department,“ says Korte. „All that remains is to scan the order slips and store them in our EASY archive, which is connected to IBM Maximo and our ERP system via the EBIS interface. We can now view the documents directly from these systems, and make searches using metadata such as the rail car number or order number or using keywords.“
The advantages are clear: Users from all the departments have all the documents for an order at hand. They can see everything in the archive and work with the corresponding data. The current status of an order is more transparent. Used spare parts can be reordered more quickly. And if an employee finds any damage while processing an order, he can view the previous processes for the rail car exceptionally quickly – for example, the last inspection or measurement reports. If required, searches in the digital archive are also possible for documentation that stretches back 25 years, as Talgo has digitalized all of the key documents from the past quarter-of-a-century.
EASY Contract in operation
And the archive has continued to grow: Soon after its introduction, the order slips were supplemented with receipts from the materials management, accounts payable and accounts receivable departments. Talgo now processes approvals of outgoing invoices with the help of EASY and its in-house SAP system in just one work flow. The processing time for the invoices has been reduced by half. In addition to this, all the incoming invoices are digitally archived and can no longer be lost. Sending paper around the company’s corridors is now history. In just a few clicks, the clerks know the current status of an invoice and can therefore provide information at any time.
Keyword “informative”: Today, Talgo archives qualification certificates with EASY as well. For security reasons, several activities can only be carried out by employees who have received specialist training. Some of the certificates acquired in this respect expire after a certain period of time and have to be renewed. “If, for example, the manager decides to ask a junior operative to complete an overhead welding job, he has to check whether he has the up-to-date certification. Thanks to EASY Archive, he no longer has to go through the files manually. And last but not least, in the event of an audit we can present all the certificates quickly and easily,” explains Korte.
The objective: to go completely paper-free
The archive currently contains some 19,000 debtor documents, 48,000 creditor documents and 200,000 order slips. And these are increasing in number. The company also manages contracts with the help of EASY Software: In 2019, Talgo installed EASY Contract. The brief training phase in May was followed by a smooth go-live. Some 200 contracts that were previously stored in Sharepoint are now saved in the central archive.
In the medium term, the company plans to completely dispense with paper. Talgo also wants to create the conditions for archiving order-related voice memos and photos with the use of EASY. “With EASY, we have a great partner by our side for projects like these,” says Stephan Korte with conviction. “The solutions offer exactly what we need. And the cooperation takes place at a human level. We are looking forward to the future projects.”