Press Release


Potential Recognized – IoT@ZF

  • ZF recognizes and uses the potential of the "Internet of Things"
  • At InnoTrans 2016, ZF will show how the benefits for the overall rail system go beyond the components used

Many things in our daily lives can now be connected electronically and can thus operate intelligently. The "Internet of Things" (IoT) simplifies many aspects of everyday life, from energy management, to shopping to running a vehicle. This technological progress holds great potential for mobility. ZF has seen this trend and is focusing on IoT in its research and development.

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Potential Recognized – IoT@ZF

The significant developments of the 21st century are happening in the area of digital systems. This is also true for the rail traffic sector. The digital railroad control center is already a reality for many.

The Internet of Things enables the total utility of simple components, which is both greater than the sum of the single components and much greater than their previous use. All of a sudden, services are possible in the user world that represent a real added value when compared with the original product. Service and maintenance according to requirements is just one of these possibilities.

The objective of connectedness in IoT is also to improve the individual components. With additional data, this is possible in many cases. Not only that, components (e.g. transmission with integrated sensors) give a clear picture of the condition of the rail and the line. This means that time and money can be saved on line and rail maintenance, while, at the same time, safety is increased.

ZF has recognized the potential of this development, and is implementing the new technology based on the following pillars.

  • Connectedness of the supply and manufacturing chain in production using IoT technology and the Industry 4.0 approach.
  • * Enrichment of products with sensors that are adapted from the automotive sector to the specific requirements.
  • * Facilitation of new digital business models that are based on existing hardware and solve problems for manufacturers and operators, for which there has been no satisfactory solution up to now.

ZF's objective is to cooperate even more closely with partners and to design the system world of our in-house products. In order to realize this optimally, we need a team of experts who can push forward the technology in a systematic way. In this respect, the open telematics platform "Openmatics" is a real pioneer at ZF. "Openmatics" has operated successfully on the market since 2010 and is continuously expanding its solutions. These include mobility services and concepts in the smart logistics service area.


Georg Ehling

Head of Marketing and Business Development

+49 7541 77-2199