Siemens Rail - one of the world’s most recognised brands that delivers trains, maintenance and signalling to the £6.5bn Thameslink Programme - were previously storing the laptops that are used to provide maintenance and servicing to trains and signalling equipment in a cupboard.
The Siemens management team therefore felt that their recording processes could be improved, whilst also improving the way that devices are accessed by their team, plus how the devices were updated, due to the nature of the sensitive data stored on them.
Siemens Rail identified that the key issues impacting the efficient use of and the security of the laptops were the timme-consuming processes of checking laptops in and out through the outdated paper methods, the inability to remotely update devices when they were locked away and not being used and the number of devices that were going out for use with flat batteries, deeming them un-usable.
Manually recording device movements meant that multiple laptops could occassionally be signed out without a paper record, and sometimes couldn’t be signed out at all as they were missing. This made the audit procedure ineffective and the amount of management time required was having a very negative impact on efficiency and ultimately the teams ability to deliver their service to the Thameslink.
In addition, ensuring that the data stored on the devices was up to date is crucial so regular updates are required. This presented its own challenges as members of the IT team would regularly have to gather the laptops up and take them to the IT department for updates, meaning that the laptop was out of action during this time.
These challenges prompted Siemens Rail to search for a solution that would ensure that all laptops were secure yet easily accessible, without the hassle of manually signing them in and out whilst reducing the time required to maintain and update them.
After meeting at the Facilities Show in London, the Keytracker team worked closely with the Siemens Rail teams in the UK and in Germany to understand the challenges that they faced. The result is that Keytracker Ltd installed intelligent lockers at the two main Thames Link depots that allows authorised users to access a laptop by swiping their Siemens ID badge over the card reader on the front of the locker system.
The laptops are stored within secure locker compartments that have charging cables plumbed in so that only the charger head is visible, making sure that the laptops are always fully charged when needed. In addition to the hard wired charger, a cat5 cable can also be seen in the lockers that ensures that devices can be updated using WOL (wake over LAN) whilst they are not in use - making the whole process of updating devices very resource light for the Siemens technical and IT departments.
As a result, the systems supplied were part of a bespoke solution that addresses all issues and requirements through 28 laptop sized locker doors at each site that are made from double skinned 1.5mm steel. Alongside the secure hardware, a special hardened software build was also created for Siemens to ensure complete security and safety for the devices being stored and managed in the Keytracker systems.
Siemens Rail now have an intelligent locker system that gives administrators complete control over who can access laptops kept onsite, whilst also being able to see all transactions through an automatic audit report that is emailed daily or seen via the in-built web software. Combine this with the extra efficiency gained through remote updates and simple use for the operatives that use the laptops, and it’s clear to see why Siemens Rail chose the Keytracker solutions.
Kevin Maxey, said:
“The system automati cally provides an up to date audit trail of who has what asset which
makes it a lot easier to track and locate each individual laptop”.
With each member of staff having their own unique PIN code, the software that works with the system records who has accessed the system, what compartment they have accessed and what time it was opened.
The Keytracker solution is built to improve efficiency, business organisation and productivity. Each locker compartment has a 3-pin plug charging point and an ethernet cable for charging and syncing the laptops to and from the network, this means that each laptop will be fully charged and have all the updated informati on that an engineer will need to do their jobs throughout the day"
Maxey continues: ““After doing a comparison of other locker solution companies, Keytracker came out on top. As soon as the system was installed and ready to use it improved time management and staff organisation. I am very pleased with the service I have received from the team - it has been and still is an excellent experience and I will definitely be recommending them to other businesses”