Commissioned by the Flemish transport company De Lijn, Agidens Infra Automation replaced outdated PLCs and connected them to the Technical Control Center via existing communication lines. We removed the old system and converted it to a Barco video wall to allow for dynamic visualization of the entire traction network for the trams in Antwerp.
The traction network delivers the energy for the trams of Antwerp, both for the metro and the pre-metro. The distribution of the supply consists mainly of high-voltage switchgear, a conversion to 600VDC, and switchgear for powering the catenary. To be able to monitor and control this equipment remotely, it is equipped with PLCs and RIOs, whose data are centralized and visualized for the operators. In this way, they can always see the current status of the supply networks.
Because the PLCs of the old system and the communication equipment were no longer supported, De Lijn opted for an upgrade and a new platform for remote monitoring, Clearscada. The new system had to be easily extendable with new stations, have a logical structure, be scalable and have a visualization system that gave an overview of the Antwerp traction network, including zoom function down to house number level.
Challenges & Solutions
The main challenges were that the stations had to be converted with no downtime for the tram lines and that the various stations were difficult to access.
Agidens replaced the visualization system, consisting of remote monitoring controllers and synoptic walls/logging PCs with a new PLC visualization system and took care of the delivery, installation, implementation, commissioning, and testing of the new hardware and software. The new system was built for 60 traction stations, 17 pre-metro stations with associated tunnels, and 9 buildings (50,000 tags) with easy extension capabilities.
After successful completion, De Lijn contracted Agidens Infra Automation again to connect additional stations (5,380 tags) to the new overarching system. This second project was delivered in December 2019.