Developed in record time in response to a specific client’s needs, the system sounds an alarm in the guard’s carriage when a passenger attempts to operate the emergency release. The door operation is delayed 20 seconds, during which time the guard can over-ride the release.
It incorporates a communications system that allows the guard to query the passenger who triggered the release.
The Safety Integrity Level 1 modular system uses both OEM computers and software specially developed by the company to comply with the recently upgraded standard EN50128.
While door release over-ride systems are included in new trains, few built before the 1990’s have them and the task of retrofitting has always been deemed too costly, owing to the many design differences between manufacturers necessitating tailored solutions for each train.
OEM’s modular system overcomes that problem.
Managing Director Richard Gobee said that all that was needed was an interface.
“We are daily producing Condition Monitoring and Train Management systems for clients worldwide. These systems use our modular controllers and can talk to computers in Siemens, Bombardier or Alstom trains to name just a few,” Richard said.
“We have been developing and producing industrial computers for some 20 years and the fact that we have everything in house from design and software to manufacturing means we can provide an unequalled response time, one of the reasons we were approached to develop the system initially.
“When the client came to us they had a deadline of three months and a fixed budget. We not only had to develop the system and software in that time frame, but had to go through extensive compliance testing for the then new standards.
“It was tight, but that’s what we do,” Richard said.
OEM’s contract for the initial system is for almost 300 carriages. It is being done concurrent with a European contract for a sophisticated Condition Monitoring System that is being installed in two classes of train for a major operator.
Richard said that the European contract was indicative of a new area of growth for OEM – operator direct contracts.
Until 18 months ago OEM was very much unknown to rail operators, despite the fact that the 20-year-old Sydney based company’s technology looks after train air conditioning systems worldwide.
That’s because the OEM systems for air conditioning are supplied branded for the actual train manufacturers. With the company’s market led development of Condition Monitoring Systems and Train Management interfaces, though, OEM is increasingly being sought out directly by train operators looking for increased operational efficiencies and improved safety standards through retrofits.
“The market has been quick to realise our advantages,” Richard enthused.
“Quite apart from our price competitive position and the leading edge sophistication of a product that stems from our 20 year investment in intellectual property, because we have both R&D and manufacturing in-house we have a unique ability to deliver a plug and play solution.
“If you look at Rockwell, Siemens or Schneider, they box up a stock product and that’s what you get, leaving you to load your own software and configure your applications.
“We produce a product specifically for a customer’s project, load the software, do validation testing and provide a test certificate as an assurance that all they have to do is plug it in.
“Also, because we have conceived a modular product, we are extremely quick to market in an industry where time really is money.”