Radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems from Harting offer an optimal solution to a number of challenging problems in the servicing and maintenance of modern railway systems.
RFID systems from Harting are robust, long-lived, maintenance free and reliable, making them suited to address the challenges of rail applications such as extreme environmental demands, stone impacts, vandalism, very high speeds, and the increased demand for reliability in the face of rising cost pressure and tight maintenance schedules.
Harting has many years of experience of producing connectors that meet the exacting requirements of the EN 50155 railway standard, and this expertise has now been transferred to the RFID sector.
In the areas of servicing and maintenance, Harting offers mobile applications for configuration and maintenance management. These mobile products simplify the work, make the process transparent and thereby increase safety, while saving time and costs at the same time.
Another potential RFID application occurs in situations where a train is longer than the platform or where the platform has additional safety doors. In both cases, the train has to be positioned precisely, and only particular doors may be opened. RFID provides a very robust and simple means to enable a train to stop at a precise position and to provide the onboard electronics with a signal showing which doors have been opened and which have not. Since the transponders can also be hidden in concrete, the system is well protected from manipulation and vandalism.
The number of trams and buses with electric drive systems is increasing, and historic towns minimise the visual impact of overhead conductors by charging up onboard batteries to cover gaps in the overhead power lines. In this scenario, Harting RFID systems provide a means of informing the vehicle that it is approaching a charging station, thereby avoiding the loss of charging time. In addition, the precise location can easily be determined so that the vehicle knows whether an overhead line for charging is available or whether the battery has to be used for propulsion.
RFID also allows data recording from fast-moving trains. Successful tests have been carried out on complete Harting RFID systems involving robust, metal-housed transponders and communications software to allow the recording of data from trains travelling at over 120km/h. Here, the transponders are mounted on the train and the RFID reader is typically housed in a switching cabinet mounted near the track in conformity with railway standards.
For further information about RFID systems for railways visit www.harting.co.uk.