For its system solutions in the rail and local traffic industries, HANNING & KAHL relies on technology that the company believes will stand the test of time - such as electronic solutions from Weidmüller.
"We really don't make product and series releases easy for ourselves. Before we use a component in our systems, we first of all have to be completely convinced by it," sums up Kay Klöcker, Product Centre Manager for Signal Engineering, discussing what HANNING & KAHL expects of all its system parts. The specialist for control and safety technology, such as signalling systems, point controls or level crossings for track-guided rail traffic, knows how essential reliability is in traffic engineering: "Controls and points have to fully satisfy their safety requirements at all times."
New products are accordingly put through their paces before they are used. The innovative medium-sized company generates benefits from partnerships with companies that - when it comes to their components - have equally high longevity, availability and technical performance standards. The collaboration with Weidmüller is correspondingly valuable for HANNING & KAHL.
Quality portfolio for traffic engineering
As a member of the German Railway Industry Association and the railway team of the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association, Weidmüller is extremely familiar with the requirements placed on modern traffic systems and offers a range of solutions geared towards the needs encountered in the railway industry. "The components we use in traffic engineering are constantly exposed to extreme influences. Correspondingly, every product is subject to strict quality management and satisfies the necessary international railway regulations and standards," reports Industry Manager Detmar Saalmann. "Even under adverse conditions, our solutions guarantee excellent functional reliability - in all climate zones around the globe."
HANNING & KAHL proves this quality promise in its internal product release procedure. "The trust we place in Weidmüller and the high value that the robust components radiate, even at first glance, mean that the initial assessment is a positive one - as was recently the case with the newly used Industrial Ethernet converter for integrating serial communication devices into Ethernet networks," explains Kay Klöcker.
Pushing to the extreme
To ensure that the electronics used are directly operational in all situations, following the initial evaluation, HANNING & KAHL makes sure it is convinced by performing some stress tests. Among other things, these tests push the environmental conditions in traffic engineering to the extreme.
The Weidmüller converters therefore had to prove that they would remain functionally reliable in icy areas of use, in Scandinavia for instance, by triggering a cold start when frozen. For smooth use in hot regions such as Australia, where there sometimes are not any cool breezes whatsoever, the electronics module also had to withstand a 72-hour fire test in the furnace. The device was even able to satisfy all aspects of the electrical isolation "killer criterion".
Unanimous product and series release
Following these initial trials, a usage and handling test was conducted. Here, the media converter's impressively comfortable, intuitive configuration was the element that stood out. The two Ethernet ports featuring a switch function, or even details such as the screw connection for RJ-45 plug-in connectors, were very well-received.
Furthermore, the internal listing of authorised IP addresses and the fact that simultaneous connections were supported to boost availability were also evaluated positively. The monitoring functions of the admin tools, meanwhile, were singled out as the perfect diagnostic feature. At the end and against this backdrop, the product and series release process was carried out on HANNING & KAHL's premises.
Smooth track management
A typical application where Weidmüller converters are used nowadays are modern, networked depots, where vehicle fleets are parked and maintained by workshops. To this end, HANNING & KAHL offers superior depot management systems, which also help to ensure that running-in processes and maintenance are optimally interlinked.
Interrupted connections in communication are to be avoided here at all costs. If the tracks cannot engage or disengage on schedule in the depot, there would be traffic chaos in city centres. The media converter from Weidmüller is therefore a key module within the network for transferring process data from the various independent adjustment ranges. Central data availability ensures a transparent overview at all times. HANNING & KAHL provides long-term guarantees for its systems. Even if the end customers in the private railway and public transport sector at best forget about the systems during this time thanks to their low-maintenance design, the system supplier is on hand around the clock to provide support services. "Here, too, it's worthwhile having partners that deliver the same standard of service," adds Kay Klöcker. "When we encounter challenges in the field, we can count on the fact that Weidmüller will provide us with prompt support."