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IntelliOPS helps keeping Düsseldorf’s roads clear of snow & ice in winter

AWISTA is part of a group of companies that provides municipal and commercial waste disposal and cleaning services from a single source in Düsseldorf and the surrounding area. We have talked with Udo Meyer, Operations Manager at AWISTA, to find out how IntelliOPS supports his day-to-day operations in winter maintenance. Keeping the road network free of snow and ice in winter is a challenging task every year. Professional and continuous use of data and digital applications makes planning and monitoring as well as documentation and reporting of the corresponding operations easier and safer. But how exactly?  

AWISTA GmbH is responsible for all waste disposal and cleaning services and winter services in Düsseldorf, the capital of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and home to around 620,000 people. IntelliOPS was first deployed in Düsseldorf in 2015 and has since become an integral tool in the work of the operations centre. AWISTA has two depots and operates four different winter service strategies. The six Rhine bridges in Düsseldorf in particular are crucial for traffic and are prone to freezing conditions very early in the season. ‘We therefore treat the bridges as a preventive measure when already low temperatures drop further with high humidity. Our winter service is first and foremost about safety. But it is also important to comply with legal regulations. IntelliOPS helps us to efficiently carry out operations in compliance with regulations and to be able to clearly demonstrate our work to the city of Düsseldorf,’ explains Udo Meyer.  

As an operations manager, he himself uses IntelliOPS primarily to monitor the winter service fleet in real time. ‘With IntelliOPS, I can easily track the operations of all 35 spreaders,’ Meyer explains. This requires some preparation. ‘Recording the routes worked reliably from the beginning, but it was done in a different application to the planning. It was important for us to be able to do both on the same platform. We were finally able to achieve this last year,’ says Udo Meyer.  

Extreme weather conditions, poor visibility and starting work at night are all factors that cannot really be standardised or simulated. The weather, which can rarely be accurately predicted, challenges even long-standing and experienced winter maintenance workers again and again. It is a highly stressful type of work that requires the highest level of concentration. ‘For the drivers, the assisted route guidance is an enormous help. In the field, the system support allows them to focus on the essentials and eliminate unnecessary stress factors. The system also allows us to assign routes to drivers who are less familiar or completely unfamiliar with that route.’ 

Udo Meyer, Operations Manager at AWISTA GmbH in Düsseldorf
Udo Meyer, Operations Manager at AWISTA GmbH in Düsseldorf

AWISTA drives the routes in autumn and records them outside of the busy period. The first vehicles have already been prepared so that software updates and new routes can be transferred wirelessly to the vehicle’s control panel. ‘This will make our work even easier, because before we always had to load updates into the control panel using a USB stick,’ explains Udo Meyer with enthusiasm. 

Udo Meyer’s verdict is clear. ‘IntelliOPS helps to make our work more efficient and more transparent. Support in the field is ultimately also a huge bonus in terms of safety.’  

We would like to thank Udo Meyer and AWISTA GmbH for the interview and for giving us his time.