In 2003, when Cyient started its engagement with Bombardier Transportation, little did I know that 15 years later I would still be deeply involved with the Bombardier Transportation center of excellence at Cyient, working closely with one of the world’s leading rail company. It has been an incredible journey—what started out as a six-member team, today, constitutes a 1,200-person strong center of excellence at Hyderabad delivering innovative, customer-centric solutions to Bombardier. When I think back on all the work we have delivered over the years, some key projects stand out—for their complexity, the challenge they posed, and the value they brought to the client.
One of the first few projects that we delivered for Bombardier Transportation was exciting and challenging in equal measure. Though it seemed a fairly simple requirement, finding an optocoupler to replace an obsolete part was extremely exciting. Bombardier Transportation approached Cyient (then Infotech) requesting us to redesign an entire board and had earmarked $200,000 for the new design. The Cyient team delivered a solution in less than 10% of the cost, making an invaluable contribution to Bombardier Transportation’s bottom line.
Replacing an ASIC that had become obsolete was another similar exciting experience for us. Both these projects, though small in size, provided a great value to Bombardier Transportation and gave them a high level of confidence about our abilities to take up complex work in the field of electronics.
The success of these two projects resulted in a highly exciting project for the electronics team at Bombardier Transportation in 2006-07. The Mobile Communication Gateway (MCG), a TCMS (Train Control and Management System) product development that was handled by BTECI from scratch—from generating the requirements to the product validation and support to the manufacturing and development of production test software—was an awesome experience.
This was a truly global project with teams from the US, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, and India working in close collaboration for over two years until the product development was complete. The success of this project helped us understand the TCMS in detail which then led to the creation of software development and test teams serving BT on global projects.
In 2008, the BTECI also got opportunities to develop various Bench Test Equipment (BTE). The team started with small BTE applications, and today we have successfully developed an entire BTE covering about 50 TCMS and Propulsion LRUs and their Board Level testing for the New York, San Francisco, and Montreal projects. The entire BTE was conceptualized, designed, developed (mechanical, electrical, electronics, software), tested, and even manufactured at our DLM facility in Mysore.
The journey described above is an extremely remarkable story for me to cherish throughout my life. Of course, I cannot undermine the excellent support we received from the team at Bombardier Transportation, for it has helped us groom ourselves and excel at what we do.
As the Head of the BTCoE from August 2013–April 2017, the experience I gained and the work that our team was able to deliver were innovative and out-of-the-box. We forayed into multiple new areas of business taking the CoE to a new level of service offering that involved high-level design activities such as systems engineering, owning up 80-90% of technical writing for the Crossrail project, and most remarkably building the team for the WMA that enabled the CoE to clock the highest ever hours on a single project—more than a quarter million hours on the Crossrail project!
The sleepless nights and restless days that I spent during that period certainly have not gone in vain… I love what I do and my team that has supported me during all times. Looking forward to many more such milestones—we have only just begun!
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