Retrofits - Fit for the future
A retrofit is a modernisation of a system by retrofitting partial components. This allows costs to be saved in an environmentally friendly way. SCS has already carried out several retrofits, especially for ticket vending machines, and has received a Solar Impuls Award for this work.
In the case of electronic devices, from ticket machines to signal boxes, obsolete components must be regularly replaced with new ones. Even though this drives economic performance, it destroys a lot of national wealth and resources.
Instead of buying a whole new system every time, SCS suggests replacing only the necessary internal components. With the integration of a new, open software solution, the majority of the hardware components can be retained (retrofit). Moreover, it is possible to add new functionalities.
The main advantage of such a retrofit is the lower cost compared to purchasing a new system as a whole. Further advantages are the ecological and business management aspects. Systems can thus be made fit for the future with simple methods.
Supercomputing Systems AG has been observing the suboptimal use of resources in industry for some time. In the case of electronic devices, from simple cooling units to locomotives, entire new systems regularly have to be procured because of individual obsolete components.
In 2009, SCS implemented a first project to counter such partial obsolescence with a retrofit. Thanks to our modernised IT solution, it was no longer necessary to purchase a new overall solution. For the public transport of the canton of Zug, it was decided to implement a retrofit instead of purchasing new ticket vending machines. This pioneering project at the time paved the way for numerous other projects in which a group of experts at SCS specialised.
Coupled with the opening of the system and their interfaces to the owner and user, this has developed into a disruptive business model. The original business model of vending machine suppliers with vendor lock-in has been replaced by a customer-oriented model. Access to the source code ensures investment protection. In addition, further developments can be planned on the basis of requirements and implemented more cost-effectively. This is possible, for example, for traffic light systems, lockers, airport infrastructure, railway technology and other industrial systems. All these infrastructure areas can benefit from retrofits and thus be made fit for the future with little investment. SCS is striving to modernise further systems.