German rail system supplier Knorr-Bremse has reached a strategic cooperation and investment agreement with Swiss TradeTech company Nexxiot to develop digital business models for the rail industry.

Knorr-Bremse invested €60m to purchase a minority interest in Nexxiot, which has experience in outfitting railcars and containers with Internet of Things (IoT) technology for use as connected trade assets.

The deal will allow Knorr-Bremse to use Nexxiot’s sensor technology and data ecosystem, in addition to utilising digital, data-driven business models such as subscription-based rail services and software as a service (SaaS).

Knorr-Bremse executive board member Dr Jürgen Wilder said: “Together with Nexxiot’s dedicated team, we’re now pressing ahead with our ambition to add further value for our customers. 

“By combining our systems technology with Nexxiot’s digital ecosystem, we’re creating a win-win scenario that will boost vehicle availability and lower the total cost of fleet ownership by leveraging a new generation of data-based services.”

The deal allows Knorr-Bremse and its North American subsidiaries, New York Air Brake and Knorr Brake, to incorporate Nexxiot’s IoT hardware and software into its future rail products and systems.

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By GlobalData

Knorr-Bremse’s rail brakes, doors, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, sanitary and other systems will now be connected with the digital ecosystem of Nexxiot.

The technology is intended to improve vehicle availability, optimise lifecycle costs and enhance operational efficiency for clients.

Nexxiot CEO Stefan Kalmund said: “This partnership with Knorr-Bremse, a leading supplier of rail vehicle systems, will help us build the best products and services for the industry.

“Together, we aim to accelerate the digitalisation of key areas like rail freight and automation services.”

In February this year, Knorr-Bremse signed a long-term framework contract with French railway manufacturing company Alstom for the supply of rail solutions for Coradia Stream regional trains.