Moxa Inc. supplied an easily programmable RTU controller for heavy-duty rail asset condition monitoring to meet the specific needs of a leading Australian mine operator.
The mine operator needed to construct a 300km heavy-duty rail line to transport processed iron ore from a mine in west Australia. This privately operated rail line will operate five trains every day, each consisting of three locomotives hauling up to 32,000 tons of ore. Given that this critical railway asset would be heavily used, the railway operator needed a solution that monitored the condition of the railway equipment and provided early warnings about possible equipment failures.
Key system requirements included rugged design in compliance with all railway requirements for higher reliability; wide operating temperature range of -40°C to +75°C to withstand harsh environments; modular and hot-swappable I/O modules design for flexibility; and programmable open platform for easy integration.
The mining operator sought an IP-based data acquisition solution that connected its rail assets and monitoring devices with their existing Ethernet backbone. Asset condition monitoring of wayside systems can ensure the reliability of the rail line’s daily operations and enhance maintenance efficiency.
Moxa’s ioPAC 8020-C RTU controller connects a series of asset protection detectors, such as solar power detectors (DI), dragging equipment detectors (DI), stream flooding detectors (DI), and cold rail detectors (AI). These sensors collect real-time management information and store it locally; the central train management system can access the data remotely through the ioPAC 8020-C RTU controller for analysis, enabling any system warning signs or anomalous conditions to be easily identified before failures occur.
The ioPAC 8020-C RTU controller particularly excels in this application because it is a programmable platform with comprehensive APIs that include I/O control and alarms, and is highly interoperable with SCADA/DB systems. The APIs and interoperability reduce the amount of programming work needed to deploy the system.
Additionally, the ioPAC 8020-C RTU controller’s hot-swappable I/O modules allow maintenance staff to easily replace modules at any time, without affecting the rest of the system. The rugged design compliant with EN 50121-3-2, EN 50121-4 and the essential sections of EN 50155, meets railway standards and operates in a wide temperature range, allowing it to operate sustainably in the harsh outdoors environment of Australia.