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  • Dear Readers!

    2018 has been an extraordinary year for our group. There have been some great business opportunities around – in the area of recycling as well as in the global market for mobility, both in the private and public transport sector. We have been able to make the most of these opportunities by taking steps to acquire DSD (Duales System Deutschland GmbH) – as has the RETHMANN Group, which is intending to purchase shares in Transdev, a leading global operator of mobility solutions based in France. Both transactions must still be approved by the rele-vant authorities.

    As an operator and global integrator of mobility solutions, Transdev – “the mobility company” – provides eleven million passenger trips every day, connecting people and places with its efficient and environmentally friendly transport services. Transdev advises and collaborates with public authorities and private sector firms providing sustainable, safe and innovative transport solutions.

    82,000 employees serve the company’s customers and passengers in 20 countries. In 2017, it generated a turnover of 6.6 billion euros. Transdev’s operations, however, not only include trains, trams and buses. People using the ferries in Sydney to get across Sydney Harbour are also Transdev’s customers. And the company’s portfolio also has cable car networks and auto-mated minibuses. With Transdev being so important for our family-run company, it makes absolute sense for the mobility group to become the RETHMANN Group’s fourth main field of business alongside REMONDIS, Rhenus and SARIA.

    This past year has been one of the driest since records began in Germany. This has, on the one hand, led to the water levels of our rivers being much lower than normal – quite possibly the lowest levels ever – causing huge problems for inland shipping companies and their customers. On the other, it has once again turned the spotlight on the subjects of climate change and resource conservation. The Vatican is also worried about “our Common Home”. Pope Francis made it clear just how worried he is when he wrote his “Laudato si’” encyclical. REMONDIS joined a number of other family business owners to attend the first Roman Forum, which was held in the Holy City and organised by the BDE [Federal Association of the German Waste Management Industry]. During the event, the participants had a moving meeting with the Holy Father who was impressed by the initiatives of these privately run businesses to promote sustainability.

    Talking about sustainability: Meyer Werft, a shipbuilding business in Papenburg, is also focusing on sustainable production activities – and on building environmentally friendly ships having recently launched its first gas-fuelled cruise ship. This traditional company is also being supported by REMONDIS. Heading for new shores together, so to speak.

    May we take this opportunity to thank you for your great support and collaboration over the last twelve months and wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and successful New Year.

    Ihr Ludger Rethmann

Automation saves time & money

  • Smart factories, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence: industrial manufacturing is heading towards the fourth revolution or Industry 4.0. Digitisation and automation are becoming ever more important – also in the areas of service and maintenance. Which is why XERVON Instandhaltung, XERVON’s maintenance specialists, is adding forward-looking technologies to its portfolio of services. Its goal: to save time and money and further improve quality and safety by optimising processes.

  • Innovations at XERVON Instandhaltung

    Just as is the case with manufacturing, there have been a number of fundamental innovations in the maintenance sector that make it possible to further improve processes and advance the industry. Digitisation has provided the basis for this progress. The next stage is for companies to adapt these new processes and tools to their customers’ and their own individual requirements so they can be added to their portfolio.

    XERVON Instandhaltung specialises in servicing, maintaining and overhauling production facilities and plant components.

    XERVON Instandhaltung has been focusing on new technologies that primarily benefit their customers. Digital solutions, new communication systems and web-based processes all play a central role here.

    • Maintenance projects are often complex and time sensitive

  • Greater depth of information thanks to smart glasses

    No matter how big or how small a maintenance project may be, it is always complex – often with very tight schedules, a large number of people involved and many interconnected tasks. Just how successful such projects are often depends on how quickly information can be passed on. Mobile communication devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops have been in use for a long while now. XERVON Instandhaltung recently began testing smart glasses as it believes they can offer some additional benefits. As these glasses transmit information via audio and video stream, the operatives can send images from wherever they are working in real time. Any questions they may have can be quickly clarified by talking to their colleagues and/or their client. A further advantage: as this is wearable technology, the employees have both hands free to do their work while communicating with their colleagues.

    Thanks to smart glasses, sound and images can be transmitted straight from the workplace

  • Rapid completion with electronic feedback tools

    Maintenance projects involve a chain of processes, with each stage needing a number of different tasks. In the past, the employees had to make their way back to a central point to pass on the information that their work had been completed. Nowadays, XERVON Instandhaltung’s operatives can use digital devices to provide feedback from wherever they may be. This, of course, saves time as they no longer need to walk to the central point. Instead, the completed tasks are fed into the system and everyone involved in the project can access this information immediately. The result: shorter reaction times.

    • Real-time communication allows questions to be clarified quickly

Greater availability of devices thanks to RFID & Co.

XERVON Instandhaltung has an extensive range of high-performance equipment. Digital solutions are used here, too, to ensure these technical resources are managed efficiently as well as to coordinate their use. What’s more, the company is also looking at the possibility of using sensor technology, RFID, chips and barcodes. It could make good business sense to use these modern ID systems for inspections and tracking machine parts. If, for example, a facility or parts of facility have to be dismantled so that a number of tasks can be carried out, then ID technology could show exactly where the individual parts were and how far the work had progressed. In addition, it could further improve the interfaces used for everyday tasks so that less time is needed to carry out chains of services.

“Unlike industrial robotics, our sector requires robots that are very mobile. Indeed they must be as mobile as a human being to be able to perform work at height. Development has only just begun here.”

Thomas Kramel, Managing Director of XERVON Instandhaltung

Digital tools in HR

XERVON Instandhaltung is also making the most of digital tools for staff recruitment and development. The goal here is to find managers and specialists, to train them and to enable them to use new technologies. This, of course, involves knowledge management, documenting the experience and know-how gained and making it available to as many people in the organisation as possible.

XERVON’s portfolio of digital services includes tasks such as condition monitoring.

And what about robots? Thomas Kramel, managing director of XERVON Instandhaltung, said: “Unlike industrial robotics, our sector requires robots that are very mobile. Indeed they must be as mobile as a human being to be able to perform work at height. Development has only just begun here.” Like Industry 4.0, tomorrow’s maintenance is a future project that has only just started. How fast it will progress will, in part, depend on what advances are made in general technology.

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