ACTIA’S PLACE IN THE ON-BOARD RAILWAY EQUIPMENT MARKET
The world railway market is organised around three main segments: rolling stock, signalling and infrastructure. This sector is particularly dynamic in Europe. On the Old Continent, urban areas and regions prioritise the modernisation of existing networks, infrastructure (roads, docks, highway structures, etc.) and signalling (on board and/or on the ground), as well as rejuvenation of the rolling stock.
Damien Redondo - “ACTIA operates in many markets, such as the automotive and aircraft markets, so the group has sufficient past experience and perspective to confirm that the rail market has particularly demanding technical requirements. The normative context is, as such, very binding. This is all the more true since we cannot apply certain automotive processes due to the small quantities of products required.
In this market, as electronics specialists, we are also confronted with the problem of components becoming obsolete. The equipment is not renewed often: the lifespan of a train can be more than 30 years. From a technological perspective, it is a real challenge to keep systems functioning for such a long period of time. This is all the more true because the components are constantly being improved and are replaced regularly. This is particularly the case in our passenger information and safety domain.
Finally, the third issue, which I believe is common to all automotive markets, is cybersecurity. Like all forms of transport, trains are becoming increasingly connected, and thus increasingly connected to their environment, infrastructure, etc. Data security is therefore a major technological focus for ACTIA, especially given that we offer solutions that generate large data flows.”
Pascal Pin - “ACTIA must take into account the changes in usage and inter-modal mobility. The aim is to provide solutions for passengers that integrate real-time information and features that are increasingly based on digital data. The market requires increasing availability and therefore technically sound solutions that ensure the reliability, security and availability of the service.
In addition to the technological, cybersecurity and operational maintenance issues that Damien mentioned, I would add budget constraints. Manufacturers work to optimise operating costs on an ongoing basis. These include: the cost of acquisition, the impact of product reliability and the maintenance system, and the cost of replacement and repair.
Finally, in the process of modernising and renewing networks, the rail sector must take into account the policies aiming to decarbonise trains, by working on projects for electric motor trains. In this sense, ACTIA is the ideal partner, as the group has expertise in the electrification of vehicles and equipment. It even offers battery and BMS (Battery Management System) solutions for trains. This rounds out ACTIA’s offer as an equipment manufacturer.”
Pascal Pin - “ACTIA solutions are there to ensure passenger comfort and safety. They improve the passenger experience. ACTIA develops and produces PA-PIS (Public Address and Passenger Information System) audio and visual passenger information solutions suitable for all train configurations.
In terms of safety, ACTIA offers high-performance train-to-ground rear-view and video-protection systems. This way, video surveillance can be used to look at real-time images of rolling stock from the ground, to search for footage recorded on board, or to receive alarms that focus controllers’ attention. Finally, ACTIA’s safety offer is completed by trackside announcement systems used for securing track maintenance sites.”
Damien Redondo - “We have a complete offer on these families of products. Our solutions panel is sturdy and adapted to the specific needs of each client. One of the advantages of our offer is flexibility. ACTIA develops customised products from a single platform. This is a major advantage on the passenger information screens market. It should be noted that screens can account for up to 50% of the price of the passenger information solution (PA-PIS). They are processing more and more information with ever more demanding requirements for image quality. The definition is the same as that of mass-market screens, with a definition of up to 4K, for example. The position of screens from a physical, integration and budget point of view is therefore very important for our customers. ACTIA meets these requirements, which can sometimes pose surprising technical challenges, such as the design of a screen 2 m in length and 25/30 cm in height!”