Efficient maintenance instead of long waiting times
Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe AG

About the customer

Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe AG (KVB) operates the public transport system of the city of Cologne with the Cologne light rail system and the city bus lines, as well as the Cologne cable car. As a company with a long tradition, Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe has been an integral part of Cologne since 1877.

In 2019, 286 million people used the KVB’s trains and buses. The trains and buses covered more than 55 million car kilometers. The company made a turnover of almost €300 million in 2019. KVB also makes an important contribution to climate protection, as the company offers many options for climate-friendly transportation within Cologne. Nine electric buses are currently in operation and 53 more will follow by 2021.

KVB’s workshops play a not inconsiderable role in ensuring smooth public transport. In the main workshop, in four depots and – if necessary – also on site, around 420 employees not only carry out regular maintenance work, but are also well equipped for unforeseen repairs – day and night, 365 days a year.


KVB has been using IBM Maximo to manage its heterogeneous fleet of vehicles and their technical components for over 20 years. Now a version change of the maintenance system used since then was pending in version 4.11. The company was faced with the decision of whether to renew the existing system or introduce a new one. KVB had to decide which EAM system would be best suited in the future to flexibly master the upcoming functional and legal challenges surrounding maintenance and repair.

In addition, the ticket vending machine technology was to be included alongside the light rail and bus areas and merged into a holistic system solution. The new EAM system should also fulfill all documentation requirements in an evidence-proof manner and include a mobile solution.


The EAM system IBM Maximo 7.6 was chosen because it offered the required functional flexibility, user-friendliness, interface diversity and expandability for weak point analyses and, in its final configuration, can also be used as an early warning system for the technical systems in the areas of light rail, buses and ticket vending machines. Within the scope of a Europe-wide tender, RODIAS GmbH was selected as implementation partner.

During the implementation, the master data was optimized and the existing individual solutions were merged into an integrated overall solution. In addition, the mobile fault clearance service was equipped with networked and customized mobile solutions. This gives all employees and responsible persons an overview of the entire technical actual inventory at all times, as well as optimal search options. Thanks to the additional deep integration of SAP applications such as materials management and procurement, the KVB workshops now have a real-time overview of the condition of the vehicle fleet as well as the complete order history.


Thanks to the consolidation of common structures into one EAM system and integration with the SAP applications Materials Management, Payroll, Human Resources and Procurement, KVB workshops now have a real-time overview of the status quo of deployed or inactive vehicles. Likewise, they can also track all components (e.g. bogies, hydro tanks or other interchangeable components).

Mobile applications facilitate the processing of orders and material disposition and provide evidence-based and identifiable documentation of completed orders. Added to this is the automatic generation of work schedules based on KVB’s own coding system – another effect that ensures higher vehicle availability through efficiency gains in maintenance.