In the Netherlands train commuters can enjoy safe and comfortable travel thanks to the effective management of the country’s rail network by Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) and their daughter NedTrain, a company responsible for maintaining and refurbishing the fleet of trains operated by NS. As part of a project involving the upgrade of one of NS’s fleets, NedTrain faced the challenge of replacing the sensor cable assemblies and connections responsible for monitoring and transmitting critical data about the condition of the wheel axle sets, braking systems and general condition of the bogies. This data is safety critical as it provides insight into the qualitative state and wear and tear of wheel sets including wheel flats, axles and the condition of a trains automatic braking system etc. With this information trains can be maintained, repaired and upgraded in a timely and planned way for the general safety and comfort of passengers and staff. Robert Adamo, Team Leader & Project Engineer NedTrain: “Anamet Europe got us on the right track to the robust and maintenance friendly protection of our signal cables against weather, wind, and stone splash.”
Robert Adamo manages the department of Construction, Modification and Aftercare at NedTrain. He also represents his department in a multidisciplined project group that supports the NS with logistics, purchasing, manufacturing, maintenance and technical quality services. The thirty employees within this department are responsible for the configuration and requirement management services for NS: in other words, they design, engineer and test innovations on existing NS rolling stock, the objective being to effectively carry out improvements and modifications within the regular planned maintenance schedule. The use of maintenance friendly components that are quick and easy to upgrade is integral to this.
Robert Adamo “At NS, safety, comfort and ease of use for the commuter are our main concern. The maintenance performance needs to be measured continuously using Key Performance Indicators, traveller reviews and real-time sensor data from the trains. We use ATB (axle rotation counters) and ABI (pulse generators) sensors that fulfil a role within a train’s safety system. Axle mounted sensors provide data about rotational speed, rotational angle signals for wheel slide protection, information about wheel geometry and other critical data such as shock and vibration impact on the axle. The ABI sensors detects danger such as a potential collision and automatically transmits a signal to the train’s control system to slow a train down or bring it to a complete standstill. With this data, NS and NedTrain have access to data which allows total condition monitoring of the bogie and safe running of the train which in turn enables them to carry out predictive maintenance and plan revisions and upgrades in a timely and scheduled manner. This sensor data is essential for both the safety as well as the comfort of the passenger. It is therefore very important that the cables transmitting the sensor information are properly and optimally protected and meet the fire, smoke and toxicity standards of the industry. The Anamet Europe products provide this protection and also meet the fire, smoke and toxicity requirements of EN Standard 45545-2.”
NS and Nedtrain are facing important challenges, ranging from upgrading the fleet to have free Wi-Fi and phone charging stations to ensuring that trains are fitted with ergonomically safe and comfortable train furniture: every change needs to be an improvement and be practical and effective – from design and engineering to implementation and, in many cases, issues have to be resolved in an innovative and responsible way. Robert Adamo “This requires well thought-through engineering and integration trajectories as well as a lot of flexibility and creativity. This is why we value highly close constructive collaboration with our suppliers. During our search for better protection of our signal cables we asked the experts at Anamet Europe to be proactively involved in the process. Together we developed and tested a reliable and durable custom-made solution that we are now in the process of implementing on NS-trains.”
Jerry Matena, Product Manager Electrical at Anamet Europe: “Anamet Europe products are often used to protect cables in rolling stock applications e.g. brake sensor cables, jumpers etc., but the specific demands from NedTrain required a special tailor-made solution. When developing our cable protection systems we set a goal for ourselves to minimise the amount of loose parts, because this is beneficial for both the reliability as well as the stock-management of spare parts on the clients-side. For NedTrain we combined our Anaconda Sealtite ½” HFX-V0 flexible A conduit is a gateway in which electrical wires or other items can pass through. with a specially designed Anamet Cable Hose Fitting PG21 that fits seamlessly onto the enclosure of the axle rotation counter. The Anaconda is the brand name of our flexible conduits and matching Anaconda fittings. The Anaconda conduits are available in a wide variety of materials, diameters and can be with or without cover. HFX-V0 conduit meets the requirements of EN44545-2 and has an IP protection rate of 66/67, guaranteeing a completely watertight solution. Anaconda Sealtite is the brand name of the type of conduit that is used to protect wires against different circumstances. HFX V0 features a halogen free cover that supresses the development of smoke: for example, in the case that there is an emergency situation in a tunnel it is of the utmost importance to minimise smoke development for the safety of passengers and crew”.
Additionally, Anamet designed a durable solution for protecting the sensor data cables underneath the train which transmit data about wheel vibration and the condition of the bogie in real time. Anaconda Sealtite ½ “ HFX-V0 conduit was used once more for this application because it is robust, durable and capable of withstanding stone splash, wind and sand abrasion, temperature and humidity fluctuations etc. It also complies with EN45545-2. The ½ “ conduit is connected to the sensor by way of a specially designed fitting. This combination of conduit and special fittings ensure a watertight and very robust mechanically strong connection, resulting in a very durable and reliable cable protection system which is quick and easy to install. The use of one type and size of conduit is beneficial to NedTrain as they only have to order and stock the same product for both applications.”
Robert Adamo: “We have enjoyed working with Anamet Europe for a few years now, not only because their modular products are very versatile, but also because they can deliver products in large quantities expediently. In addition to the versatility and the quick availability of the products, Anamet Europe also delivers the required expertise and aftercare. From our own professional experience we know that new products need to be modified, even after implementation, to ensure the best end result. In collaboration with Anamet Europe we have designed a robust solution that fulfils requirements and which is easy to implement for our engineers.”
Jerry Matena: “In addition to having our custom-made solutions applied by NedTrain in the field, we also carried out extensive testing before implementation. We also had the multi-connectors of a different supplier tested, so that we can ensure that the full solution meets the NedTrain requirements. In this way NedTrain and the Nederlandse Spoorwegen are set up for the future.
NedTrain is a daughter to the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) and responsible for maintaining and refurbishing the fleet of trains operated by NS.
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