One of the most daunting dilemmas posed by the rapid rate of modern technological advancement is actually implementing these new innovations into our daily lives. It is neither economically nor environmentally feasible to replace the infrastructure of our day-to-day life each time the latest update is released.
More often than not, finding a means to graft these exciting new creations onto existing technology requires as much ingenuity as the actual invention itself. These retrofits, while often overlooked, are a vital step in bringing the technology of tomorrow to today’s customers.
The rail industry is a pertinent example of both the need for retrofits and the value they can provide for both operators and passengers.
OEM Technology Solutions are veterans of the rail industry. Leveraging their team of experienced engineers, as well as their own range of award-winning technological innovations, such as the PC3 Series Programmable Controllers, OEM are equipped to develop the solutions needed to bring the latest innovations to rail operators and passengers alike.
The Wireless Train Communications Backbone, OEM’s most recent retrofit technology, exemplifies this.
Modern rolling stock has come a long way since the days of the steam locomotive. A host of subsystems operate behind the scenes, controlling and monitoring brakes, doors, air conditioning, wheel degradation and much more.
This whirring tangle of electronics is coordinated by a Train Control and Management System (TCMS) which provides personnel with the means to control subsystems on the train, and operators the ability to monitor the fleet’s condition. This improves both passenger safety, by reducing the risk of an unexpected failure, and increases the efficiency of any maintenance by allowing technicians to troubleshoot with pinpoint accuracy.
Unfortunately, certain on-train infrastructure is required to run a TCMS. As a result, older fleets or those that operate in conditions where attaching additional cabling would be impossible were simply consigned to obsolescence – kept in service but running at suboptimal levels of safety or efficiency.
Fortunately, the Wireless Train Communications Backbone (WTCB) developed by OEM Technology Solutions has overcome these limitations
The WTCB is installed into each carriage in a trainset and is comprised of a pair of Wi-Fi antennas, one at each end of the car. Each car links with the next, forming a virtual ethernet backbone that runs the length of the train.
This backbone provides a reliable communications network that is completely cable-free between cars, capable of running a TCMS and the numerous subsystems that modern rolling stock require.
The wireless nature of the WTCB is supported by a number of intelligent system features developed by OEM.
An auto configuration function allows an individual carriage to detect its specific position within the network and configure itself accordingly, making swapping cars out for maintenance a seamless process.
The Smart Redundant Carriage Coupling (SRCC) system works as an extension of this, allowing networks to detect one another and merge together as needed. As such, a train set can be extended with ease – and without compromising the effectiveness of the subsystems operating off of the wireless network.
OEM Technology Solutions’ Wireless Train Communications Backbone is a gateway - an innovative solution that bridges the gulf that lies between the sturdy technology of yesteryear, and the crucial safety and efficiency developments of the present. The union is both cheaper to produce and quicker to market, allowing operators and passengers to benefit from the technology of tomorrow, today.