Controlling the processes on tram lines and associated marshalling yards is a complex, time-critical undertaking. In Suzhou, Bombardier Poland cooperated with Moxa´s local distributor, Elmark, to deploy systematic control mechanisms that facilitate the task.
The capacities of the new tram line in Suzhou City, China, which is 18 kilometers long and includes 27 controlled points (crossovers) needed to be lifted to the highest level of modern standards. Therefore, for design and deployment, the operator turned to Bombardier, who are well-known for their experience in signalling installation.
The system was designed for controlling up to 200 routes, a route being the distance between two consecutive points of railway signalling. Its main objective was to provide a train dispatcher with the ability to control all the processes on the tram line, i. e. to ensure that the stabling and control process is simplified and made more efficient. The system should also increase overall safety and reduce the probability of human error.
In addition to the system details, Bombardier had to take the specific environmental conditions in Suzhou into account, such as high temperatures and a relative humidity of up to 82 %. Electronic equipment used in such extreme conditions needs to be rugged and provide highest reliability for this mission critical application.
From his local point of control, the train dispatcher controls and monitors every movement in the marshalling yard and on the tram line. He is able to set routes and control individual location points. Moxa’s ioPAC 8500 series of rugged, modular RTU controllers are an important part of the system, collecting and recording real-time measurements from sensors to monitor the railway equipment status for preventive trackside asset management.
Nadir Yilmaz, Moxa´s Channel Sales Manager Eastern Europe explained: “The ioPAC 8500 series of RTU controllers offer precise data acquisition with a high-speed data capture rate and a millisecond timestamp. In Suzhou´s marshalling yard, every cabinet houses two of the controllers which are pairing. This means that any command requires the acknowledgement of both devices before it is executed. This way the solution increases security and prevents unauthorised access to the system.”
One of the major challenges of the project is the extreme environment. High temperatures and humidity require robust industrial hard and software. Bombardier´s software CITYFLO 150 is a key element of the whole project. It requires a rugged hardware platform that ioPAC 8500 delivers along with high MTBF times. The product´s high reliability combined with the modular design and programming in C are important prerequisites for choosing this rugged platform. Moreover, compared to competitor´s products, Moxa´s solution is more cost effective as it combines controller and I/O in one device.