Cases

Locomotive control at a chemical plant

Ukraine

Specialists of one of the Ukrainian integrator-companies have developed a control system of diesel locomotives at a chemical production plant using Galileosky devices and Wialon software.

Project background

The Ukrainian integrator company has developed a solution for a large chemical enterprise that produces charred coal. At such kind of a production, it is important to strictly follow the production process regulations, otherwise a 15-minute downtime or an accident can entail huge losses and even environmental problems.

On the territory of the plant, chemicals and raw materials are transported between buildings by rail and go through various stages of cleaning. Powerful diesel locomotives, developed in the USSR, are used as tractors.

Chemical plant management to managers required to standardize all processes that relate to chemicals logistics throughout the plant, as well as conduct a comprehensive equipment performance control.

Challenges

  • Display route data on 4 displays: number, start and end points of the route, time, date and name of the next stop
  • Announce stops using an autoinformer
  • Display data about the nearest bus on bus stops
  • Set up voice communication with the driver
  • Quickly respond in case of emergency (accident or driver attack)

Maxim Shvedov, Head of the BTS LLC
Maxim Shvedov, Head of the BTS LLC

The only way to meet all customer requirements is to use Galileosky units.

Solution

Rail ways map

First of all, specialists decided how to display railway tracks maps in a high-quality. The difficulty is that, unlike highways, the developers of such maps paid less attention to drawing railways, especially those located on the enterprises’ territory. It was necessary to independently "draw" the maps of the railway tracks for high-quality, informative and presentable reports.

Here's how they did it: the best way to improve the quality of maps is to drive along all the enterprises’ routes and log them using geofences. A light railcar was chosen for calibration rides and since Galileosky trackers have the ability to connect high-precision GPS signal receivers, such as Trimble, the positioning accuracy when drawing ways was maximum - up to 3 cm.

However, the light railcar was not very suitable for this challenge, since it swayed strongly while moving and when passing rail points. This affected the quality of data from telematics devices. Here is a tip from BTS engineers: they loaded several concrete blocks into the trolley in order to increase its stability, smooth running and make its weight closer to the weight of the real locomotive. After that they drove along all railway lines at the enterprise.

Accelerometers in Galileosky units are known for high sensitivity, thanks to which it is possible to set up an Eco driving system. But in this project, on the contrary, specialists decreased the device sensitivity. The thing is: while moving, due to uneven and a bit bumpy tracks, the locomotive sways and this affects the quality of the track drawing - it is displayed in zigzags. The experts have achieved an ideal and stable rendering of the track by adjusting the sensitivity of the accelerometer from the Configurator settings.

As a result, tracks were prepared and geofences were created, so that dispatchers can always control locomotive position, additionally to tracking other railway indications. It is important for them to know when: the locomotive left the garage, drove into a sump, is on the way to the station, or is working on the chemical plant territory.

 

Fuel

The fuel control was set up in like this: the locomotive has two tanks with a total capacity of 5 tons. In each of the two tanks, two FLS were installed, calibration was carried out and the fuel data transmission was to the monitoring server was set.

 

Alertness

How to monitor the locomotive crew alertness? On railway transport it is important to have a system that activates a buzzer in the cab every 5 minutes. In response to the signal, the driver must press the button, confirming that everything is OK. Integrator specialists have implemented such a system based on Galileosky devices and Easy Logic technology. Moreover, a four-second detailing of the locomotive performance was adjusted, thanks to Galileosky trackers and the Wialon cloud server.

 

Locomotive performance

The previous flagship, Galileosky 5.0 trackers with 8 inputs were used in the project. According to Maxim Shvedov, head of the integrator company, this was one of the compelling reasons to choose Galileosky equipment.

As a result, the specialists parsed all the necessary analog and current signals, as well as the positions of the driver's controller. The most important data was about diesel engine speed and diesel temperature in the large and small circuits, as well as oil temperature. The temperature data was output via the 1-Wire interface to the monitoring software.

Diesel locomotives TGM4 are equipped with a hydromechanical transmission, therefore the temperature and pressure of the oil in the system are the most important parameters that need to be kept under control. Experts monitored the indicators using current sensors and calibrated data through Configurator filters.

The next task on the way to launching the project is to display the load on the locomotive. The railway transport does not have a gas or brake pedal, but there is a multi-position operator's mechanism, which allows to select the required power according to seven modes. Thanks to the tracker, which receives data from the locomotive position controller, as well as the Wialon server, the plant managers could see at what power, at what mode and how long the locomotive was operating.

Another tool for monitoring the performance of a locomotive is notifying the dispatcher about the current status of the equipment. This function is implemented using sensors that can distribute events depending on the voltage.

Maxim Shvedov, Head of the Bureau of Telematic Solutions LLC
Maxim Shvedov, Head of the Bureau of Telematic Solutions LLC

We connected all the necessary peripherals to the tracker, and also used voltage dividers. They allowed several signals to be entered into one input.

The result is the following principle:

If the input is 0 volts – there is a malfunction of the control unit

3 volts – faults are diagnosed, the locomotive is going to the depot

6 volts - locomotive at work

9 volts - locomotive waiting for work

12 volts - reserve or the locomotive is empty

All information goes to the dispatcher in real time. Thanks to this, it is possible to promptly send a spare locomotive to a busy section, or vice versa, send it to the garage for a while not to burn fuel.

Maxim Shvedov
Maxim Shvedov

Galileosky devices can work with two SIM cards and switch them depending on the signal level. Thanks to this, we got rid of blind spots and ensured a stable data flow for analysis.

In order to identify, assess and prevent future work disruptions, the specialists divided downtime reasons into three groups.

 

  1. Idle time in work - violation on the production part;
  2. Downtime without work - violation by the dispatcher;
  3. Downtime while waiting for work - violation by the enterprise auditor.

 

This separation allows to address a request to a specific department and find out the real reason for the downtime quickly. Such in-depth and detailed analysis helped to optimize the production processes associated with the transportation of substances across the enterprise territory.

Devices

Galileosky 7x C

GPS tracking unit with maximum number of inputs for facing main monitoring challenges

Galileosky 7x

A feature rich GPS tracker for advanced fleet management

Results

A solution based on Galileosky trackers and flexible Wialon software made it possible to set up control of almost all necessary nodes on an analog locomotive and achieve tangible results after the project was launched.

 

Busy locomotives : there were - 10, now - 8, the effect is 20%;

Locomotives in reserve: former - 1, now - 3, Effect - 300%;

Fuel consumption per day, tons: was - 4 tons, now - 3.32, effect - 17%;

Unregulated downtime: was 26 hours, now it is 17 hours, the effect is 35%.

 

The capabilities of Galileosky equipment and technologies are keep moving. A tablet computer can be connected to the devices, and the Galileosky 7xC device from the new line has 10 inputs. What's more, you can additionally use the Galileosky input expander to solve any monitoring task.

Apply similar solutions in your projects. The potential of the devices is great, they are used in any area from the passenger transport control to the oil and gas industry monitoring. The devices control vehicles, ships, sports cars and even weather stations.

Do you have a success story to share? Contact us, we’ll be glad to know about it. The most interesting cases will be published on our website and included into the monthly digest.

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