OPC Servers Provide Clean Connections

Sept. 1, 2005
The Deutsche Bahn railways use ICONICS software in a state-of-the-art train washing application, for adjusting brushes and sprayers to accommodate any train type and shape.

The railways of Deutsche Bahn AG, one of Europe's largest transportation providers, carry more than 1.8 billion passengers per year throughout Germany and to neighboring countries. The Deutsche Bahn, which is owned by the German government, is also responsible for moving 78 billion tons of freight annually. All service and rail stations are maintained by DB Stations & Services, with DB Netz providing the track infrastructure.

In one of the world's most state-of-the-art train applications, GENESIS32 Enterprise edition from ICONICS, in Foxborough, Mass., is deployed for train washing. Alarms are handled by the ICONICS AlarmWorX32 application. Users can acknowledge alarms from anywhere in the systems. TrendWorX from ICONICS is used for all trending and can give the users up-to-date information, both real-time as well as historical data. GraphWorX32, the graphical design and runtime environment for GENESIS32, plays an important role in this application. From GraphWorX32, all monitoring and control for the train washing is handled with rich 3-Dimensional graphics.

Learning mode

The train washing system is revolutionary in the fact that one washing system can accommodate any type and shape of train in the world. A new 3-D brush allows for cleaning any shape of train, including the modern bullet train. The GENESIS32 system provides a "learning mode" to allow the system to make the necessary brush and sprayer adjustments.

Train specifications are loaded into the GENESIS32 systems and operators can use the animation feature in GraphWorX32 to trace the path the train will take through the washer. The operator can adjust the brushes and sprayers from GraphWorX32 and have this information stored for future use. When the train returns to the washer, the parameters captured during the learning mode are downloaded to the programmable logic controllers to properly adjust the sprayers and brushes. This mode ensures every part of the train is washed.

Mixing water and electricity

SAH Heyd Group was selected for this application because of its industry technology leadership and the complexity of the application. All trains are electric powered and, under most circumstances, water and electricity do not mix. Since all trains need to enter and exit the washer under their own power, SAH had to treat the water so it would not be conductive.

The GENESIS32 system is used to control the water treatment for the washer. All water used in the washing application has the minerals removed, making it nonconductive and safe for use with the electric trains. This revolutionary process allows for trains to be washed without being taken offline, which saves time and money and keeps the trains in service.

Another major feature of the learning mode is the ability to synchronize the left side washing operation with the right side. It is important to make sure the washing is done evenly. Once the operator has made the necessary changes in learning mode, he can have GENESIS32 perform an automatic sync of the left side with the right.

The GENESIS32 System monitors over 1,500 tags. Phoenix Contact's PCWORX, based on ICONICS software, is used in this application. The Phoenix Contact Interbus OPC server provides the OPC connectivity. All automation on the washing side is handled by TCS, a specialty company for washing applications. GENESIS32 is running on Windows 2000 and all alarm trending is done via Microsoft SQL Server.

Says Marco Heyd, chief executive officer of the SAH Heyd Group, "ICONICS was selected for this job for its superior 3D graphics, ease of use and close relationship with Phoenix Contact." The GENESIS32 software allows for rich 3D graphics and has the OPC connectivity needed for this very robust and "clean" application.

For more information about solutions from ICONICS, visit www.iconics.com.