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Railway Embedded Systems from EKF

Embedded Systems play a crucial role in the railway sector. They are used for a wide range of applications such as train control, passenger information and entertainment systems, train-to-land communication, video surveillance and maintenance.

Embedded systems for rolling stock applications must be robust, reliable, and energy-efficient in order to withstand the harsh conditions of railroad operations.

CompactPCI serial boards and systems, along with modular industrial PCs, have become essential building blocks for the creation of embedded systems for railways.

EKF collaborates with customers at various levels, from railway suppliers to train operators directly. Using our extensive network of partners, we can complete development from board design to testing and certification at the system level. Our service also includes the integration of cloud software applications throughout each stage of your project.

Requirements for Railway Embedded Systems

Robustness and Vibration Safety

Railway applications are often subject to strong vibrations and shocks. The plug connections and the mechanical structure of embedded systems must therefore be particularly robust in order to ensure reliable operation even under these conditions.

EKF’s Advantage

EKF provides for these markets in particular. M12 connectors are used for power supply and data. Rotating parts are avoided as much as possible. Interfaces are mechanically secured as heat sink connections or as data lines between boards.

Temperature Resistance

Embedded systems in railroad applications must be able to cover a wide range of temperature extremes, as they are used in both summer and winter under all weather conditions.

EKF’s Advantage

Board designs fulfill the extended temperature range from -40 up to +85°C ambient temperature, differentiated between OT4 + ST2 or OT6, depending on components. Boards and system solutions will be qualified in EKF’s own temperature chambers. Nonflammability up to Hazard Level 3 can be achieved and will be tested by an accredited laboratory.

EMC Protection (electromagnetic compatibility)

The electronics in public transportation are exposed to a multitude of electrical and electromagnetic interference. Consequently, the plug connections and the mechanical structure must be designed to provide optimum electromagnetic shielding.

EKF’s Advantage

KF boards are designed to offer a reliable out-of-the-box basis for EMC certification. As the systems design including cabling, PSU and all other components influences the EMV 06 measurements, EKF supports the customers certification process. EKF also offers to take on this task for the customer.

Compact Design

Space is limited for many railroad applications. Therefore, compact designs of embedded systems, including connectors, are crucial to facilitate integration in limited spaces.

EKF’s Advantage

The 19″ technology results in a large pack size for the mechanical structure, while CompactPCI Serial accelerates the electrical side to PCIe speed via independent interfaces. The combination is a compact solution. Complexity and high data rates naturally require careful design to support power consumption, but also to dissipate heat safely. Since EKF has been offering 19″ technology on various backplane standards for decades, we have learned many details about possible traps and pitfalls.

Long-Term Availability

As railroad applications are often long-term investments, the plug connections and the mechanics of the embedded systems must be designed for long-term availability. This ensures that spare parts are still available even after many years.

EKF’s Advantage

EKF is a partner you can rely on from first contact up to after-sales market. To extend the life cycle of products and to supply customers for as long as possible with the same products, we are a partner of major suppliers in the Embedded market, offering a roadmap with long-term availability for embedded and industrial components.

According to our life cycle policy, we will never discontinue products due to economic reasons. Our products will continue to be offered for as long as we can obtain obsolete components from reputable sources at a comparable quality and price point.

Planning even further, we work on a case by case basis to store obsolete components long time to be able to produce more products when needed. EKF owns all rights to its designs and operates its own production line, giving us independence and complete control over the process.

Norms and Certifications

Plug connections and the mechanical structure must comply with the applicable standards and certifications for rail applications in order to ensure safety and reliability. This includes, for example, standards such as EN 50155 for electronic devices in rail vehicles.

EKF’s Advantage

Depending on the customers’ requirements, EKF can qualify custom solutions according to discrete specifications, for instance EN50155, to verify that a design fulfills the application environment.

Conformal coating according to EN50155 PC2 includes coating, under-filling and sealing for maximum protection of the board against external impacts.

EKF Use Cases for Railway Embedded Systems

EKF has a long experience with embedded systems for railways. Below are just a few examples of our different railway-related projects.

IBIS Protocol Integration with ModBlox7

Rail Server Connection to G5 Network with CompactPCI

Interlocking Computing System with CompactPCI

Single Pair Ethernet for Sensor Connection with Embedded Blue

Railway Security System with CompactPCI Serial

Passenger Information System with CompactPCI

How can we help you?

As these are just examples, you may ask yourself if your requirement would be a good fit with our set of competencies?

Simply get in touch and find out what is possible for your specific project! EKF sees itself as a partner at the round desk. We work in collaboration with clients to create the optimal solution for the particular application.

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Cloud Connection for Railway Embedded Systems

When it comes to cloud connections, we trust in our partner Ci4Rail. Combining hardware and software competetencies and also strong market focus on railways and public transportation, EKF and Ci4Rail are forming your power partners from Edge to Cloud.

Ci4Rail offers the first cloud native IoT platform for predictive maintenance and fleet optimization – EdgeFarm.

EdgeFarm focuses on the loss-free and high-quality acquisition, transmission and processing of all types of field data and thus provides the basis for intelligent maintenance, predictive maintenance or fleet optimization, regardless of vehicle type and manufacturer. In addition, EdgeFarm enables convenient management of your devices and applications in the field, thus creating transparency for your fleet.

Conveniently from your desk – a higher-level, holistic system.

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