Using their rail hardened, embedded technology products, Australia’s OEM Technology Solutions recently provided a state-of-the-art control solution to eliminate passenger discomfort when it comes to air conditioning on Kuala Lumpur’s new state of the art Rapid KL trains.

OEM said that it rose to the challenge when industry partner, Sigma Coachair Group (SCG) was appointed to deliver a sophisticated air conditioning system for the new Rapid KL trains that are scheduled to enter into revenue service in September.

With temperature control being the key objective, OEM provided a cost effective custom designed enclosure that houses OEM’s PLC hardware. In addition to this, the company was also required to tailor their communications gateway product, COM Teso to integrate with the train builder’s (an industry leading transportation company) CANBus train management system.

Having to provide and operate within a tight budget, OEM said that a key differentiator for the company is that its products are competitive while meeting strict rail industry specifications such as EN50155 (which relates to electronic equipment used on rolling stock) at the same time.

“With capabilities that are proven and budgets met, we were well equipped to take on the complex ventilation air conditioning (VAC) products and CANBus embedded technology components to partner with SCG for the new trains,” OEM’s research and development manager Phil Solomon said.

OEM’s PLCs provided the right amount of digital and analogue I/O capabilities that met strict industry standards. In addition, the company’s PC1100 product can sustain a -40°c to +70°C temperature range.

“When working with the rail industry, first and foremost, train builders want to see that you are industry standards compliant,” Solomon said. “Additionally embedded technology needs to be rugged and withstanding in its dynamic environment which was another key criteria we were able to address.

Another challenge we faced was integrating into a state-of-the-art and very complex train management network which incorporates all the signalling and commands that are communicated back and forth across the train’s management network.

Essentially we were faced with integrating into several subsystems on the train. In July 2009, OEM provided onsite assistance in Kuala Lumpur overseeing the commissioning of the air conditioner controls. Solomon said they were able to quickly diagnose problems and implemented solutions in a timely manner.

This included implementing a complex solution of sequencing the starting of motors to avoid overloading the train’s auxillary power supply,” he said.

Once OEM’s project was complete, SCG was able to deliver a sophisticated VAC system that provided a stable and consistent temperature in the new trains to ensure optimal passenger comfort at all times, irrespective of Kuala Lumpur’s high external ambient temperatures. OEM has subsequently gone on to design, integrate and commission several other embedded technologies focusing on HVAC systems for Vancouver’s SkyTrain project and is currently engaged with Sydney’s new double deck Waratah Rail Project: the next generation of trains following on from the millennium trains (4GT).