Frauscher is a well-known brand in the global railway industry and has completed projects in more than 100 countries across the globe. Frauscher Sensor Technology India Private Limited, more commonly known as Frauscher India, is a pioneer in the field of axle counting and wheel detection. Frauscher India, established in the year 2013, has made a substantial and significant mark in the Indian railway market. The company aims to provide its customers with maximum added value through cost-effective technology and a highly motivated, skilled team of employees. The overall intention is to achieve rapid and sustainable growth to provide best in class technology for the Indian subcontinent.
The company’s priority will always be to conduct its business following the highest-level ethical standards. Frauscher India focuses on trust and transparency, both in its relations with customers and in the way it runs its business. In all its activities, the company is committed to lay special emphasis on quality, safety, health and the environment.
Since its inception, Frauscher India has seen steady growth in the Indian and South East Asian Market. Frauscher India has executed some of the most iconic projects in the Indian railway market. The company has not only collaborated with the Indian Railways (IR) which is often called the lifeline of India but has also been working closely with most of the metro operators like Delhi Metro, Lucknow Metro, Kochi Metro, Mega Metro, Noida Metro, etc. In addition, Frauscher India has several state-of-the-art technical training centres in India where it trains and educates railway operators and system integrators on the use of its technology. The production facility in Mysore has also been a place of product training for a number of its esteemed customers.
The network of locations in the Indian market enables Frauscher to respond quickly and provide immediate on-site support as needed. In addition, it allows for uncomplicated communication between us and its customers. Moreover, customer training facilities are always within close proximity.
Counting axles on a reliable basis
An axle counter is simply a system used in railway signalling to detect the clear or occupied status of a section of track between two points. Axle counter systems operate based on wheel sensors. Inductive sensor technology forms the basis for Frauscher wheel sensors and axle counters. These robust wheel sensors work highly reliably on the principle of electromagnetic induction. They keep up their functionality even under harsh influences, such as extreme temperatures, when covered with industrial dust or mud and even under water during heavy rains. Due to its innovative design and IP68 ratings, a lot of issues like change in sensor current parameters are prevented. Since Frauscher axle counters do not use any electronics on the trackside, their functionality is also not affected by electromagnetic interferences. Mounting of wheel sensors is simplified by the usage of rail claws, which make drilling the rail obsolete. This mounting method ensures that the structural integrity of steel rails is kept intact, while also reducing the installation time on the trackside significantly. Within the sensor, transmitter and receiver coils are electromagnetically coupled. This continuously induces a certain voltage/current in the receiver coil. A passing wheel of a train modifies the coupling, whereby the receiver signal is changed and train wheels can be detected. This detection is done in a fail-safe manner.
The Frauscher Wheel Sensor RSR180 combines tried and tested technology with decades-long experience.
Proven solution with benefits
Modern axle counters can flexibly meet these requirements with new functionalities to increase their availability as well as interfaces and software options to enable individual configurations. All Frauscher products and solutions are ideally suited for wheel detection and axle counting tasks. Many years of experience with the use of these components even in the most extreme environments have proven the reliability and robustness of these systems.
In addition, the Frauscher axle counter portfolio offers maximum flexibility for individual solutions. Functional modularity, scalability and various interfaces allow a wide range of configurations. For example, Frauscher Axle Counter offers the option of an ethernet-based software interface that enables a wide range of individual configuration options.
Frauscher Advanced Counter FAdC
Railway yards: Issues and solution
Railway yards are a complex system that has many railway tracks in parallel. They consist of switches and crossings for the purpose of storing, sorting, loading and unloading rail vehicles as well as assembling new trains, etc. Yards usually consist of multiple tracks on which the movement of trains, passengers and goods must be controlled. Axle counter provides the information needed for controlling such movements in the yard safely and efficiently. In addition to the points already mentioned, such as availability and reliability, the following challenges should be mentioned:
- The complexity of large yards with switch points and crossings
- Less time available for reset and restart at busy stations
- Shunting movements
- Single component failure could bring a whole station to a standstill
- Limited space between tracks for equipment, personnel, etc.
- Drilling holes into the tracks requires a lot of time when installing sensors in complex track layouts
Since the Frauscher Advanced Counter FAdC is highly flexible and network-enabled, different types of architectures can be designed depending on a yard’s size and layout.
Centralised architecture means the entire arrangement of axle counting components are located in one place (e.g. relay room or interlocking room). The complete axle counting logic is bundled and positioned at this location. Communication with other systems such as interlocking as well as configuration, diagnostics, etc. is carried out centrally. The implementation of route blocks can be realised via copper lines or fibre optic lines (closed networks, according to EN 50159-1).
Due to modern transmission technologies, decentralised arrangements are gaining importance, which is more economical with regard to the cable infrastructure, among other things. In contrast to the centralised architecture, the axle counting logic is distributed to several, freely selectable locations – decentralised. Individual interlocking clusters (field controllers; area controllers; object controllers) are arranged along the route, e.g. in control cabinets. These clusters communicate with each other via existing or new network infrastructures (open networks according to EN 50159-2, class 5). To establish a decentralised architecture, clusters of detection points spread out along the rail line which can also be connected via ethernet. There is no additional requirement for relays, IO boxes and complex wiring. They are operated and maintained de-centrally from a higher-level location.
Fully redundant and highly available architecture
The FAdC also enables the system to be kept at a very high level of availability since almost all the components of the axle counter system are redundant. This architecture ensures that the failure of a single component does not affect train operations at any point in time.
This solution can be provided for critical locations where fault avoidance takes priority. The fully redundant, highly available system can be employed in both centralised and decentralised architectures.
All benefits at a glance
- Fast implementation and installation
- Supervisor track sections for the auto-reset of tracks
- Counting Head Control [CHC] functionality makes the system immune to temporary influences (e.g. maintenance crews)
- Maintenance-friendly: decreased need for personnel to be on the tracks, as there is less trackside equipment
- Compact sensors that fit in tight spaces between rails in case of complex track layouts
- No trackside electronics
- All electronic adjustments are carried out indoors requiring less access to the tracks for such activities.
- Better immunity to traction interference and ease of maintenance
- No drilling of holes into the rail required
One of Frauscher’s successful projects: Track vacancy detection for DFC
DFCs separate freight and passenger traffic to increase the speed of freight movement. Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) is an Indian state-owned company tasked with creating modern railway infrastructure for efficient freight transportation on important routes (Delhi- Kolkata and Delhi- Mumbai). An eastern dedicated freight corridor between New Khurja to New Bhaupur (351 km of new electrified double track railway) has been commissioned with Frauscher axle counting system FAdC.
This is the very first project in India that uses a software interface between interlocking and axle counting system, eliminating the relay interface that has been used for interfacing with interlocking systems in IR’s and metro projects in India so far. The use of the software interface also eliminated multiple I/O boards on both sides (interlocking and axle counter) and thus bringing down the need for space and power for the components. The reset interface is through VDU (for the interlocking) and separate reset boxes in the operators’ room have been eliminated.
The entire project was based on a combination of Frauscher wheel sensor RSR180, Advanced evaluation board AEB as well as communication board COM-FSFB.
The use of Frauscher Axle Counting System FAdC provides maximum reliability, availability and maintainability for the important dedicated freight networks.
Frauscher Advanced Counter FAdC