Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


POWERVE Report Summary

Project ID: 734404

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - POWERVE (Portable Weigher for Railway Vehicles)

Reporting period: 2016-08-01 to 2017-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

IVM has developed an innovative portable scale for rolling stocks and railway vehicles: POWERVE.
It’s ease of use, portability and finely cured measuring process make it a unique product able to advance the management process of rolling stock fleets by opening to new diagnostic and maintenance scenarios.
Its innovation lies in the development of high tech compact load cells and uniquely shaped ramps, which allow the creation of a portable, low cost, highly accurate and easy to use weighing system.
At the beginning of SME Instrument Phase I action the system was TRL8, thanks to the results described in this document and the continuous efforts of IVM in its improvement, it is now TRL9.
The weight of a rolling stock and its distributions are of an extraordinary interest for rail maintenance specialists as they are required in a number of applications and their precise evaluation is complex and costly. The POWERVE product is a breakthrough solution able to change the way in which operators can monitor and control the weight of rolling stocks. The specific objectives of POWERVE are to reduce the cost, the required time and the complexities related to the measurement of the weight stress of a rolling stock, its overall weight and its distribution, allowing for a more efficient management and maintenance.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the Phase I action are: the assessment of POWERVE’s marketability in Europe, the requirement analyses to reach European countries’ markets and the identification of a regulatory framework.
IVM efforts under the SME Instrument action period have been focused on:
- assessing the European potential market in terms of (1) categories of potential clients and (2) the needs POWERVE is able to satisfy for such potential clients;
- identifying and scouting the commercial promotion strategy to contact the potential clients;
- quantifying the efforts required to achieve a declaration of conformity to applicable international regulations in the field of railway portable scales;
- identifying competitors, comparing POWERVE to their solution and protecting IVM’s intellectual property.

POWERVE business idea has been principally strengthened and enriched by the market characterization activity and the feedbacks received by customers and potential customers during the SME Instrument Phase I action. Moreover, during this period, IVM has envisioned a more defined and structured characterization of the market players and the market needs. This directly reflects on the promotion of POWERVE and in the description of the needs it can address. Probably the most effecting result of the SME Instrument Phase I action is the identification of a broader market for POWERVE. During the reporting period, IVM exhibited at two market fairs (Expo Ferroviaria Turin 2016 and Innotrans Berlin 2016) collecting a more than positive enthusiasm from potential customers. Moreover, IVM has also finalized distribution agreements with local distributors in targeted European countries.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The Feasibility study demonstrated that IVM can reach the European market by offering a product that increases the sustainability of monitoring and maintenance for rails and creates an economic added value by diagnostic cost reduction, timely maintenance interventions and prevents potential damages caused by the circulation of non-compliant rolling stocks.
The POWERVE product is the new enabling technology that allows for a change of measurement strategy: a rolling stock can be measured everywhere along the track with great direct advantages in terms of costs, the time required to perform a measurement and its quality. Thanks to its characteristics, POWERVE can be an interesting investment also for workshops which are already equipped with fixed scales. This has been confirmed by potential customers which expressed their need for a portable scale in order to avoid time consuming operation of moving rolling stocks around the yard in order to reach the measuring site of the fixed scale.
The product will have a great impact thanks to its innovative simplicity as demonstrated by the great interest it raised in Italy where it created a niche market. As it has already been verified by first contacts with worldwide stakeholders, through the Innotrans Berlin market fairs of 2016, POWERVE rises great interest and each of the contacted stakeholders identified and imagined several applicative scenarios not fully exploited yet. These scenarios have been better understood during the SME Instrument Phase I action.

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