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How connectivity can play a key role in rail braking systems

Smiths Interconnect
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Train deceleration is a key function that implies passengers’ safety, environment and property protection and nothing can be left to chance or neglected when it is the moment to select the right parts that have to compose the brake system.

With this in mind, the design engineers have to pay attention to reduce the overall maintenance costs as well to provide a dependable and market aligned solution.

Safety-critical applications are those where if systems fail, they can cause loss of life, significant property damage or damage to the environment. These applications can be found in different segments of the industry such as medical devices, aircraft flight control, nuclear systems, automotive and transport sectors.The railway industry is not an exception. Safety-critical systems are often exposed to high vibrations and extreme temperatures and therefore they need reliable and robust components to achieve the necessary performance, system qualifications and customer confidence to reach satisfactory technical and sales results. Normally the products supplied to this industry are classed as ‘safety critical’ items and therefore must conform to specific Rail Standards for Safety Critical Items

Braking systems are among the sensitive applications that require a reliable design, and their components must work under extreme temperature, mechanical shock and vibration, difficult access, water or dirt and dust ingress, and fretting corrosion. It’s a tall order. Electrical connectors are part of this challenging design and have to withstand all these different challenges and assure precise operating performance and proper brake cylinder pressure under all braking condition. Of course, the combination of superior technical features of the connector is essential to reach this demanding result and solve the system manufacturers’ requirements.

In general, when the application is vital for the users’ safety, in this case passengers, each single product composing the system has to provide tested superior performances and meet the design and operational demands​. The connectors have to be made or robust materials to provide enhanced resistance to fretting wear when exposed to severe vibration, have to provide a long service life​ and a stable electrical signal. In addition to ensure safety, the engineers that design components have to be able to follow the industry trends and to develop the sustainable solutions required by the market and, last but not least, reduce the cost of maintenance by supplying durable solutions.

C series connectors, a family of EMC Metallic Circular Connectors, have been designed keeping in mind all the above-mentioned requirements and preambles. The series, featuring Hypertac Hyperboloid contact technology, is an IP67 circular connector with an EMC metal housing suitable for automatic train, operation and traffic control and in particular for sensors in train braking systems as they resist under the most extreme environmental conditions.

How connectivity can play a key role in rail braking systems

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