YVAIN CORNET COO AT PULSAART BY AGC

Yvain Cornet, COO of Pulsaart by AGC, oversees the rollout of the company’s connectivity solutions in Europe. With vast experience in automotive connectivity and antenna product deployment, he now also leads the implementation of Pulsaart by AGC’s rail connectivity solutions, including the innovative WAVETHRU™ Retrofit, across the continent.

 

How long has your company been in business?

AGC, established in 1907 in Japan, has evolved to become a global leader in glass manufacturing, ranking among the top three worldwide. Beyond its core activities in raw glass production, AGC has been at the forefront of glass technology innovation. Through dedicated research and development, the company has successfully transformed glass into functional materials and active devices, showcasing its prowess in glass connectivity for nearly five decades and demonstrating expertise in customized glass coating.

Tell us about Pulsaart by AGC. Which sectors do you work in and what types of products and services do you offer?

Pulsaart by AGC was launched in 2021 by AGC Automotive Europe and is a startup specializing in advanced antenna connectivity solutions on glass. The company offers a wide range of connectivity services and products, including antenna testing, design, and development, serving clients across all mobility industries such as automotive, rail, and aerospace. To the rail companies, we offer glass coating RF treatment called WAVETHRU™ Retrofit.

What are some major projects you’re currently working on?

Speaking of our ongoing projects, despite our primary focus on developing connectivity solutions for automotive OEMs, we are actively implementing the WAVETHRU™ Retrofit solution on trains. Additionally, we are exploring smart city applications.

What are some of the biggest challenges the rail sector currently faces? What are some potential solutions?

One of the rail sector’s most pressing challenges is maintaining continuous connectivity for passengers, as modern trains have coated windows that block the outdoor cellular network signals. Obviously, one of the solutions is to replace such windows with the ones that are already transparent to cellular signal. But it is very cost-ineffective and time-consuming. Besides that, it’s not a sustainable solution at all. However, our WAVETHRU™ Retrofit solution provides an innovative alternative to glass replacement. This service enhances signal strength inside trains by up to 300 times, offering an environmentally friendly retrofit option that is cost-efficient and can be applied on already installed glass.

With increasing passenger expectations for digital services, how can rail companies keep pace with the demand for constant connectivity?

To address the growing demand for digital services and uninterrupted connectivity, Pulsaart by AGC’s solution is universally compatible, maintenance-free, and durable for the lifetime of the glass, ensuring passenger satisfaction and ease of adoption for rail companies. It is also compatible with all cellular phones and operators. This makes WAVETHRU™ Retrofit a perfect solution to make any travellers happy for all rail companies.

Can you give us an overview of WAVETHRU Retrofit and how it emerged as a solution in the rail industry?

Initially WAVETHRU™ technology was developed by AGC for the automotive market to facilitate the use of sensors behind coated glass in cars. Later it was adapted for the buildings sector and has now proven to be an effective solution for the rail industry by being adaptable to any type of glazing and offering quick and flexible service.

What are the key technical innovations in WAVETHRU Retrofit that differentiate it from other connectivity solutions in the rail industry?

WAVETHRU™ Retrofit distinguishes itself by avoiding the need for glass replacement, offering both economic and ecological benefits. Its superior performance, compatibility with all mobile phone bands and operators, maintenance-free longevity position it as an optimal service solution. Also, our service is customer-tailored to fit rail companies’ maintenance schedules as we perform all the work at our clients’ sites with a speed of one retrofitted train per day.

In what ways does WAVETHRU Retrofit provide value to rail operators?

This innovative service not only significantly improves the user experience and customer satisfaction in the transportation sector but also aligns with Pulsaart by AGC’s commitment to delivering high-quality, technologically advanced solutions.

Could you share some success stories or case studies where WAVETHRU Retrofit has been implemented effectively?

Pulsaart by AGC has achieved notable success. One of the recent success stories would be the completion of more than one hundred train treatments for a client who, satisfied with the initial project for 30 trains, requested the WAVETHRU™ Retrofit service for their entire fleet. I believe it’s a testament to our ability to deliver timely and high-quality solutions.

What challenges did you face during the development and deployment of WAVETHRU Retrofit, and what lessons have you learned?

The development and deployment of WAVETHRU™ Retrofit faced challenges in seamlessly integrating our service with train maintenance operations. Therefore, we focus on enhancing the ergonomics of our equipment for flexibility and high-quality glass treatment, with a strong emphasis on safety during maintenance periods.

Which other connectivity solutions can you offer to the rail industry?

As a glass antenna designer and manufacturer, Pulsaart by AGC offers numerous advanced connectivity solutions besides WAVETHRU™ Retrofit. Over the years, catering to different industries, we have developed a series of invisible glass antennas designed to support 4/5G and Wi-Fi communications in MIMO configurations. As seen on the picture, these antennas integrate seamlessly into both new and existing glass panels, optimizing functionality without compromising the glass’s aesthetics or the antenna’s performance. This innovation not only facilitates signal transmission across different environments but also enhances the visual appeal of windows with its sleek, modern design.

Although not yet applied in the rail industry, this solution has been successfully utilized in buildings to boost office connectivity, suggesting significant potential for enhancing railway communications. The retrofit capability simplifies certification processes and offers a novel alternative to traditional rooftop equipment placements, promising a transformative impact on rail technology infrastructure.

Building on this foundation, Pulsaart by AGC’s approach provides an economical solution, particularly valuable to the railway industry where updating communication systems often involves significant expense. By embedding these innovative antennas directly into glass panels, we offer a cost effective and sustainable alternative to conventional system upgrades, avoiding the need for extensive structural modifications or the acquisition of additional equipment. This method significantly reduces both initial and long-term maintenance costs, offering an attractive return on investment. The blend of technological advancement with economic efficiency highlights Pulsaart by AGC’s commitment to delivering value driven solutions that meet the dynamic needs of modern connectivity.

How do you see the future of connectivity in the rail industry evolving in the next five to ten years?

Looking forward, the future of connectivity in the rail industry over the next five to ten years is poised to prioritize passenger experiences, with a focus on enabling seamless digital interactions. WAVETHRU™ by Pulsaart is set to be a key enabler in this evolution, facilitating advanced signal exchanges between trains and trackside equipment.

 

Want to know more about Pulsaart by AGC?

Tel: +32 2 409 12 21
Email: pulsaart@agc.com
Visit: www.pulsaart.com/wavethru-retrofit