ELECTRIC TRACTION CONTROL SYSTEM
……when the collaboration is faster then the bureaucracy ……
TECNAU Transport Division s.r.l
Since 14th December 2002, a new technology, which reached their height with
remote control system for electric traction the activation of the Bolzano IEMS (1989).
(SCTE) has been in use in the Firenze - These systems employ a HW and SW
Campo di Marte control station. Thanks to structure that is to a large extent proprietary
close collaboration between RFI personnel (100% in some cases), which makes it
and TECNAU technicians, it took only one difficult for them to be extended, maintained
year to set up the system (actual time from or integrated (obsolete HW not available on
specifications to activation). the market).
Below we describe the scenario in which the The method of operation, by means of a
new ET remote control station has been special keyboard, was revolutionary in the
developed, together with its technical ‘80s but is too laborious nowadays; simple
characteristics. activities, such as masking an alarm,
situation with demanding
regard to operations that
IEMS can be carried
systems. out only from
As already maintenance
described in position. In
the article by view of this, a
Alvaro Fumi couple of years
published in ago the FS
the magazine embarked on a
“La Tecnica policy of
Professionale” replacing the
in June 2002, systems, with
the ET remote the ultimate
control stations aim of having
currently Fig. 1 – Control position of the SCTE system at RFI Firenze Campo di Marte only one ET
operating on remote control
the FS network fall into two groups: system, using cutting-edge technology, for
Traditional (13) and Computer-operated (15). each division.
We need not describe systems of the
traditional type here, but we wish to specify Introduction to the SCTE system.
that almost all the computer-operated systems The SCTE system was developed in order to
currently in use are the outcome of the earliest allow peripheral locations on the Chiusi(e) –
experiments in the field of information Attigliano(e) section of the Florence-Rome
line LL(normal speed) and the Montallese(e) Concentrator and Alpha and between
– Bassano(e) section of the Florence-Rome line Concentrator and peripherals. In designing the
DD (high speed) to be included in the remote SCTE system, the standards recently specified
control system, under the jurisdiction of the by RFI were taken into account.
Compartimento di Firenze. The SCTE system
is a personalized version of the basic SCADA HW architecture. The SCTE system consists
product developed by TECNAU s.r.l. In the of a Control Station installed at Campo di
case of the RFI Compartimento di Firenze, Marte, which handles all information to and
the version supplied was the “SCTE Stand- from the Peripheral Cabins (TIC1000, of the
alone”, which has no redundant apparatus Telettra type) by means of a Concentrator
except communication links between located at Orvieto, in the premises of the SSE
Firenze Campo di Marte
PC – Pulpito di
Maintenance - PC Hub/Switch Alpha Modem ISDN Router
Private Network Public Network
Concentrator - PC Modem ISDN Router
Orvieto SSE Normal Line
High speed line
S.S.E C.E S.S.E C.E. S.S.E S.S.E
CIVITELLA ORVIETO SUD ORVIETO ORVIETO NORD ALLERONE C. D. PIEVE
TIC 1000 TIC 1000 P TIC 1000 TIC 1000 P TIC 1000 TIC 1000
TIC 1000 D TIC 1000 D TIC 1000
TIC 1000 TIC 1000 TIC 1000 TIC 1000 TIC 1000
ALVIANO BASCHI S.S.E ALLERONA FABRO FICULLE
Apparatus supplied by Tecnau Normal speed line
Apparatus not supplied by Tecnau
Normal Modem Line
Backup Modem Line
WAN – Wide Area Network (Extended Local Network)
Fig. 2 – HW architecture of the SCTE system, Stand-alone version
of the LL line. The use of TIC1000 cabins In the case of the extension of the Ethernet
must not be considered as a design-driven network (manufactured and supplied by
choice, but rather as a need felt by the TECNAU) from Firenze – Campo di Marte to
customer, who wished to recycle as much Orvieto, a PCM channel belonging to RFI has
functioning material as possible. been used as the primary line, while an ISDN
Figure 2 shows the HW structure of the SCTE channel has been rented from the public
system, Stand-alone version. operator, Telecom, as a backup line.
In particular, the diagram shows:
• control position consisting of commercial
PC, 4 18” LCD monitors, mouse,
keyboard. SW Architecture. The SW architecture of the
• Alpha mainframe, distributed by the SCTE system is based on the Client/Server
company HP. concept, which allows information to be
• Maintenance workstation, consisting of processed at any node in the network; data
commercial PC, monitor, mouse, can likewise be recorded at any other node.
keyboard. This concept means that all resources,
• Network printer. throughout the network, have been
• Various network devices, e.g. rationalized and may be used in a practically
Hub/Switching device, ISDN router, unlimited fashion.
modem. This design gives the SCTE system a high
degree of flexibility and modularity, for
Client Level – Control Position
Man Maschine Interface – MMI Process control
Remote control Remote Menu Bar
RCE Database Synchroniz.
Remote control Remote Calculation of Privilege
Management Monitoring State of Track Management
Management and Feeder
Process control Topographic
Server Level – Alpha mainframe
SCTE Firenze Campo di Marte
Fig. 3 – SW architecture of the SCTE system, Stand-alone version
example by allocating user processes to function is very useful during
computers other than those used for data maintenance operations.
processing. • Alarm and Signal Masking: makes it
In this context, the need to modify possible to exclude an alarm or signal
components or add new modules represents a from scansion.
problem that can be solved immediately, from • Preventive lock: the operator is presented
the point of view of both Hardware and with only those commands that are
Software. In the SCTE system, the Server possible at that precise moment.
processes are installed on the Alpha • User privilege management: access to
mainframe, while Client processes take place the system is regulated by a procedure for
on the Personal Computer of the Control entering User and Password; each
Pulpit. operator has his/her own access code
Figure 3 gives a functional diagram showing (User and Password), unique within the
all the processes that make up the Control system. A certain profile is attached to
Station of the SCTE system. each operator. The system can handle 4
Figure 3 shows that the Control Station has different types of profile: Administrator,
various SW subsystems; for each subsystem ET Operator, Maintenance Operator,
there is a Server block (sometimes consisting Trainee.
of several programs) and a Client block. • Chronological event recording: all
Arrows indicate how the various subsystems events intercepted by the system are
relate to one another. The programming recorded in chronological order in a
languages used, and indeed the very structure relational database. The application of
of the programs, allow porting of the entire suitable filters helps the operator search
Server level on state-of-the-art Personal for historic data.
The functions for managing SMA apparatus
Tasks carried out by SCTE. The SCTE (Scambio Moduli Automatico – Automatic
system has the following functions: Module Exchange) and telemetry have not
• Remote monitoring: supervision of plant been installed, because the peripheral cabins
by means of several video terminals (TIC1000) do not support these applications.
providing overall views (Synoptic Panel)
and detailed views (Command Pages); Operational aspects. The SCTE system is
• Remote control: possibility of remote extremely simple and intuitive to operate.
control for all devices on the stretch of Elements or functions are selected with the
track controlled; mouse; the keyboard is used only for access
• Visualization of State of Feeders: to the system or to enter optional comments
visualization in real time of the feeders concerning the events recorded. The operator
(AT, MT, BT) in relation to the state of can choose how to allocate the video pages
the devices; Forcing: possibility of (control pages, synoptic panel, window for
simulating commands; handling events) among the 4 monitors. All
• Countermarking: possibility of printouts requested by the operator are sent to
countermarking a device (1-5 times) after the network printer. The system also handles
a module has been released. In this way, acoustic signals associated with the activation
the transmission of commands to a of an alarm or with the spontaneous variation
countermarked device is prevented. of a device. The phases in the execution of a
• Device Masking: makes it possible to remote command can be defined as follows:
exclude a device from scansion; this
• STEP1: select command page; out by the ET operator in the control position)
• STEP2: select device to which a on events incepted by the SCTE system and
command is to be sent; recorded in the relational database.
• STEP3: select command on device;
• STEP4: enter (or cancel to interrupt
execution of command).
Fig. 4 – Example of procedure to Unblock Countermarking
The command is registered by the program Configuration of SCTE system.
“Chronological Event Recording” and sent to The program EXCEL is used to compile a
the peripheral. Figure 4 shows an example of number of spreadsheets, which constitute the
the Unblock Countermarking procedure for configuration files for the SCTE system.
device S12 at the Allerona Electric Substation The configuration files are processed (off
cabin. line) by special programs, which create the
database for the system.
Maintenance Workstation. This consists of
an operator workstation for the use of
maintenance personnel, installed in the
machine room. From this workstation,
historical searches may be carried out (in
exactly the same way as they can be carried
Reliability. The reliability of the system is Conclusions. In conclusion, we can say that
ensured by: collaboration between RFI personnel
• The robust SW of the basic product, belonging to the Compartimento di Firenze
SCADA, supplied by TECNAU s.r.l. (The and the technicians of TECNAU s.r.l. has led,
product has been used by FNF Ferrovie in the space of a very short time, to the
Nord Milano in a CTC configuration since development of an ET remote control system
1996 and by FCE Ferrovie Circum Etnea that is to the client’s utmost satisfaction.
in a CTC configuration since 2001).
• Precision of factory testing.
• Use of top-quality materials.
Remote maintenance. The apparatus
constituting the Control Station of the SCTE
system does not require ordinary
maintenance; everything is entrusted to
automatic SW procedures. All extraordinary
maintenance activities resulting from unusual
situations are described in the maintenance
manual. In cases of extreme necessity the
SCTE is connected via ISDN with the
laboratory of TECNAU s.r.l.
Advantages. The advantages deriving from
use of the SCTE system are as follows:
• Rapid installation and activation;
• Easy configuration;
• Robust HW and SW architecture;
• Modular HW and SW architecture,
giving the system great flexibility and Fig. 5 – Tecnau cabinet
• Possibility of configuring the Server
level, i.e. the Alpha mainframe, in
TECNAU Transport Division s.r.l
• Possibility of including more than one Via F.lli Rosselli, 19
control position; 50055 Lastra a Signa (FI) Italy
• Use of cutting-edge HW that is easily Tel. +39 055 8728222-3 Fax. +39 055 8975229
obtainable on the market; http://www.tecnau.it
• Possibility of video display on the
• No ordinary maintenance required;
• Easy integration with CTC or SCC
systems (SCTE is designed to support
the exchange of data with the CTC
system supplied by TECNAU s.r.l.);
• High degree of customer satisfaction.