Industrial automation systems can be quite versatile - take them out of the factory and beside a rail track and even Britain’s or Germany’s infamous trains might run like an oiled automation line. In order to prove this hypothesis, a transportation company and an automation expert join forces.
However, to enable these solutions to be used, they must be programmable using the standardised IEC 611331-3 languages and must also satisfy the high safety requirements for rail traffic, in accordance with the CENELEC standards EN 50155 and EN 5012x.
Both partners of the new co-operation agreement, Thales Germany and Pilz, intend to develop products, functions and applications for signalling technology. Both partners are currently working on joint approval from the Federal Railway Authority (EBA) for an application with the highest safety requirement (CENELEC SIL4). The technical basis for these rail engineering solutions is the Pilz automation system »PSS 4000«.
Volker Schenk, Head of the Transportation Systems Division at Thales Deutschland, comments: »With Pilz we are pursuing the goal of providing long-term, reliable and economical solutions in signalling technology, based on programmable logic controllers«.
The automation system PSS 4000 is a control solution which can be used in conjunction with the I/O systems in a modular design, an approach both versatile and expandable. When appropriate measures are in place, the solution can be used in applications up to the highest safety integrity level SIL4 in accordance with CENELEC.
»Using industry-proven, safe automation technology in control systems for signalling technology, we can work with Thales to demonstrate a new way of modernising signal box technology«, explains Renate Pilz, Managing Partner of Pilz.
With solutions for safe control technology, Pilz has acquired some experience in numerous railway industry applications and is a member of the German Railway Industry Association VDB.